Spirit of Peace Ex-Combatants named Best of the Best at Illy Awards
At the fourth annual Ernesto Illy International Coffee Awards, illycaffè, named Colombia’s ‘Spirit of Peace Ex-Combatants’ – Asacafè (represented by Carlos Arturo López Guarnizo and Oscar Rodrigo Campo Hurtado) as the “Best of the Best”.
An independent jury of nine top culinary and coffee connoisseurs from around the world gathered for a series of blind coffee tastings, brewed individually from the harvests of nine different countries, to thoughtfully determine the best bean of the 2018-2019 season.
Twenty-seven top grower representatives from nine countries (Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Nicaragua and Rwanda) were recognised and celebrated for their sustainable quality. Each lot, before being examined by the independent jury in New York, was selected through intensive analysis at illy’s Quality Lab and then judged on aromatic richness/complexity, balance/elegance and aroma intensity/strength.
“It is an honor and a pleasure to recognise Colombia, ‘Spirit of Peace’ and Asacafè for their achievement, as well as applaud all of our finalists who are focused on producing the highest-quality coffee through sustainable methods,” said Andrea Illy, chairman of illycaffè.
“This award celebrates and honors the Spirit of Peace project, that we have supported since the very beginning, with the aim to give a chance for the rural Colombian coffee community to become the engine of a bigger transformation through the economic reintegration of the ex-combatants and their victims in the Cauca region.”
The “Coffee Lover’s Choice” honour was awarded to Rwanda’s Ngamba Coffee Washing Station, represented by Ms. Celine Niwemugeni, for the second consecutive year. Presented by illycaffè CEO Massimiliano Pogliani, the prize was determined by a demanding jury of its own: more than 1,000 discerning visitors to flagship illy cafès locations in London, Milan, Paris, Shanghai and San Francisco.
The Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award, named after illycaffè’s visionary, second-generation leader, celebrates the company’s hand-in-hand work with farmers for nearly 30 years to offer the best sustainably grown coffee to the world, as well as its commitment to improving the wellbeing of the world’s coffee growers.
“The Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award starts with the unique illy blend, developed consistently year after year, which gives us a deep knowledge of the coffee origins. We then combine this expertise with our direct sourcing model, working hand-in-hand with coffee growers to produce the highest quality Arabica beans sustainably,” said Massimiliano Pogliani, illycaffè CEO.
“Coffee lovers and connoisseurs around the world are becoming more and more interested in learning and understanding not only about aromatic and taste profile typical of a specific terroir – very similarly to what happens int the wine world – but also how their coffee is produced and who produces it. This is the deep meaning of this Award, which wants to shorten the distance and bring together growers & consumers.”