SCAA Coffee of the Year

by on April 21, 2010

Let’s take a look at the winners of the annual Coffee of the Year competition for single origin coffees, announced at the Specialty Coffee Association
of America
(SCAA) event. There were around 140 coffees competing this year.

This year the COTY coffees were available for tasting as pour-overs in a spacious tasting area where information on each coffee (including score) was available. People could taste them all and submit a ballot indicating their single favorite coffee. In past years, the open tasting was from airpots, blind, and we submitted our top three favorites. I liked this format, in particular that the data given on each coffee included region, varietal, and farm certifications.

If anybody knows the outcome of the expo participant voting, or the roaster/availability to consumers of any of the winners, please let everybody know in the comments.

The overall point leader with a score of 90.5 was — as it was last year — from Colombia (San Agustin, Huila): Finca Buenavista. This was a microlot from the farm of Carlos Imbachi submitted by Sweet Maria’s (right now the notes are in Thom’s Colombia offering archives), imported by Virmax. The 7-ha farm is Rainforest Alliance certified.

Here are the rest of the winners, in descending-score order. I’ve put the certifications, if any, in italics below.

  • Best of origin, Guatemala: Puerta Verde (Antigua, Sacatepequez). Score
    89.625. Placed 7th in the 2009 Cup of Excellence competition, and certified under Starbucks CAFE practices.
  • Best of origin, Honduras: La Isabela (Mogola/Marcala/La Paz). Score
    89.313
  • Best of origin, Kenya: Gichathaini (Nyeri). Score 89.222. Fair Trade certified.
  • Best of origin, Peru: Tunki (Puno). Score 89.2. Fair Trade, Organic, and Rainforest Alliance certified, also a winner in this year’s Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality competition, where you can read more about it. This was our personal favorite, and was getting very favorable comments from people. It was really nice, very distinctive and bright. I would not have guessed it for a Peru. (Update: here’s an interview with the farmer. He has a quality tip: no sweaty mules.)
  • Best of origin, Panama: Hacienda La Esmeralda (Boquete). Score 89.125. Rainforest Alliance certified.
  • Best of origin, USA/Hawaii: The Rising Sun (Ka’u). Score 87.563. Nice article here.
  • Best of origin, El Salvador: El Recuerdo (Apaneca/Ilamatapeq). Score
    87.375. A participant in the 2008 Cup of Excellence competition.
  • Best of origin, Nicaragua: Un Regalo de Dios (Mozonte/Nueve Segovia). Score 85.558. Starbucks CAFE practices.

That’s an average of 89.22.

Coffee & Conservation covered previous versions of this competition in 2009 and 2008.

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Revised on March 21, 2014

Posted in Coffee awards and competitions

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