For coffee lovers, Costa Rica is a great place to be. The very best coffee in the nation is discovered each year in Costa Rica’s Cup of Excellence competition run by the Institute of Costa Rican Coffee and the Association of Fine Coffees.
This highly prestigious award is only granted after intense scrutiny from the judges who perform rigorous tastings and re-tastings as they evaluate hundreds of cups of coffee. They score each one out of a possible 100 in categories of smell, acidity and volume as well as overall taste characteristics. The cupping process continues over a three week period until the top ten are identified then cupped again and the winner emerges.
The winning coffee commands record breaking prices at auction as there is huge demand for the fine quality and unique characteristics of a rare farm grown product. The latest winner was “Finca Fidel” a small family plantation in Naranjo, Alajuela. Arrieta Lobo, the owner, proudly received the award along with his wife and sons. He uses traditional methods and older style equipment for growing and drying his beans and all his processing is done locally in Alajuela.
Receiving the plaque as the winner of the Cup of Excellence was not only a huge honor for Arietta but the fact that that he could sell his coffee at the International Alliance for Coffee Excellence auction is the ultimate prize.