Looking for an excellent cup of coffee? Wait to see what the judges decide at a coffee competition Friday in Veracruz.
A jury of 23 coffee experts from all over the world will judge 40 Mexican coffees in the seventh Cup of Excellence México competition in Xalapa, the state capital.
The 40 varieties of coffee went through a pre-selection process for which there were 248 entrants, and then were vetted by a jury of Mexican coffee experts. The international jury will choose the top 30 varieties, which will be included in an international auction to take place on August 8.
The auction is an opportunity for producers to sell coffee for more than the market price. In 2017, Veracruz producer Rodolfo Jiménez López sold half a kilogram of coffee for over US $100.
The top three coffees will win the distinction of Cup of Excellence, bringing them to the attention of the world’s top coffee buyers.
“International tasters and buyers even come to visit the farms where the winning coffees are grown, so it opens up a door to the world for the farmers,” Cup of Excellence organizer Amanda Santos Chávez told the newspaper El Universal.
Veracruz has the best representation at the competition with 18 samples of its coffee. Other entries are from Puebla, Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca and México state. In the six competitions that have taken place in Mexico since 2012, coffees from Veracruz have won first place five times, and second place four times.
“This event is very important for coffee producers, because the best coffees come to compete,” Luis Herrera Solis, coordinator of the Mexican Coffee Association, told El Universal.
“Most of these coffees come from very small producers, and because of the training they get, they can produce excellent coffee.”
The Cup of Excellence was founded by the Association for Coffee Excellence in 1999 to help farmers sell high-quality coffee for higher prices.
The first competition took place in Brazil, but coffee producers from other countries quickly joined in. Mexico has been participating in the international competition since 2012, along with 11 other countries.