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Brazil’s CoE: 104 natural coffee samples pass on to the national stage

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After selecting its best peeled and pulped cherry coffee beans, which elected 22 winners in October, Brazil now turns its eyes on natural coffee beans. Pre-selection of the Cup of Excellence – Naturals 2015 has approved 104 of the 241 registered samples, which will, from November 30 to December 4, be screened by the national jury in the main quality competition for harvested and dried unpeeled coffee beans.

The competition is organized by the Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA) in partnership with the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brazil), the Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE) and sponsored by the Support Service for Micro and Small Enterprises (Sebrae).

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According to measurement by Safe Trace Café, responsible for auditing the event, there were seven regions who had their coffee qualified for the national stage of the Cup of Excellence – Naturals 2015: 55 samples have an Indication of Origin from the Mantiqueira Mountains of the state of Minas Gerais (52.88%); 13 come from Southern Minas Gerais (12.5%); 12 have an Appellation from the Cerrado (tropical savanna ecoregion) of Minas Gerais (11.54%); 11 from the Zona da Mata (forest zone mesoregion) of Minas Gerais (10.58%); 10 have an Indication of Origin from the High Mogiana region of São Paulo (9.62%); two from the Middle Mogiana region of São Paulo (1.92%); and one from the Chapada (Central Mountains) of Minas Gerais (0.96%).

Complete results can be seen on BSCA’s website (


In the national stage, Brazilian professionals will analyze the coffee beans based on properties such as body, flavor, sweetness and acidity, assessing them with scores ranging from 0 (zero) to 100, according to the official table of the competition.

Those that score equal or higher than 85 points will qualify to the final stage of the competition, when the international jury, comprised of tasters and classifiers of the main importing countries in the world, will reassess the samples and define the event champions, which will then be entitled to participate in the much disputed global auction via the Internet, where substantially higher prices than the conventional market’s will be reached.

In 2014, for instance, in Cup of Excellence – Naturals 2014’s auction, the product farmed by brothers Antônio Márcio and Sebastião Afonso da Silva in Baixadão smallholding in Cristina, with Indication of Origin from the Mantiqueira Mountains of Minas Gerais, was bought by Starbucks Coffee Trading Company for US$ 23.80 per pound, breaking the record for the contest.

This bid corresponded to *R$ 9,384 (US$ 3,148) per 60-kg bag and provided a total collection *R$ 144,733 (US$ 48,552) for this lot.

Held exclusively in Brazil, the Cup of Excellence, intended solely to natural coffee beans, has revealed how complex Brazilian coffee beans are. Commenting during the international phase of the 2014 contest, Starbucks Coffee Trading Company’s specialty coffee trader, Ann Traumann, revealed that she got to know and acknowledged the work of the national coffee growers.

“I have discovered many lots of wonderful natural coffee beans. Brazilian producers have shown and proved to me that Brazil is a country of specialty coffee,” said the trader of one of the world’s largest coffee companies.

*Dollar trade rate at R$ 2.981, as of exchange rate closure of March 4, 2015.


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