The competition is over and I’m back home in Portland, Oregon ”what a week! It was, in fact, so exciting, that I’ve arrived home pretty under the weather, which is slowing me down ”nothing serious, but I have some recovering to do. So please forgive me for not posting sooner, and look for my coverage of the Nicaragua CoE in the August/September issue of Barista Magazine. In addition, we will be posting a slideshow from the trip to the Media section of the homepage soon — will let you know when that’s up and running, as well.
Above, the international jury at the Cup of Excellence in Nicaragua votes on the top 10 coffees.
61 producers made it past the national jury, and those were the coffees we cupped last week. 26 made it to auction (with scores of 84 points and higher), and a whopping five received Presidential Awards!
The moment we’d been waiting for! The winner of the CoE Nicaragua was announced! She is MarÃa Amparo Castellano, of Finca La Esperanza in northern Nicaragua. Her coffee received a score of 92.75. It was tight between the top one and two coffees ”but MarÃa’s won out due to a spectacular complexity in the cup, a coffee that, jurors said, just kept revealing more and more layers of sweetness and an elegant body that left a brothy mouthfeel.
Above, MarÃa gets over the shock enough to give a beautiful smile. She initially looked as though she was going to faint after it was announced that she was the winner of the 2009 CoE Nicaragua. But why wouldn’t she be overwhelmed? Her life changed from here on forever. The top price she will receive for her coffees will allow her the opportunities to improve her farms and indeed, her livelihood.
CONGRATULATIONS MARIA!! And thank to an incredible international and national jury, as well the the awesome head judge, Silvio, and Susie from CoE, and so many, many others who made this monumental, 50th CoE competition possible and such a success!