Alliance for Coffee Excellence announces winning Nicaraguan coffee producers

Alliance for Coffee Excellence has announced the winning coffees from the 16th Nicaragua Cup of Excellence.

The competition returned to Nicaragua after a one-year hiatus with 249 participants, 74% of which were first-time contestants. This year’s competition awarded 17 Cup of Excellence coffees and 12 National Winner coffees. The top scoring coffee was given 91.2 points along with a Presidential Award. Winning producers are reportedly thrilled with the outcome; however, they still await results from the auction which takes place on 16 July.

First-place Luís Alberto Valladarez Moncada, who also took first place in 2018, won with a natural process coffee. He said, “we humbly receive this award in the name of Nicaraguan farmers. We represent small farmers in Nicaragua, and we know their effort and everything that must be done in order to produce these coffees. With the effort of everyone involved we can push ourselves through this difficult time, people want to work and make it happen. This is a small example of what Nicaraguan coffees can do to offer the world.”

To continue supporting coffee producers this year, the Cup of Excellence programme augmented its competition which traditionally is held entirely at origin. This was the programme’s first competition which saw the international stage hosted at various Global Coffee Centers (GCCs) around the world including Japan, South Korea, Australia, Norway and the US.

Synøve Nesøen, Nicaragua Cup of Excellence international judge and green coffee buyer from GCC Kaffebrenneriet in Norway, reflected, “it has been a pure pleasure and a humble experience to cup and score exemplary coffees from Nicaragua in this year’s Cup of Excellence. I am convinced that every professional cupper will find several gems among them and consumers all over the world will be thrilled to taste the sweet, clean and mouthwatering treasures from Nicaragua.”

This year’s Cup of Excellence and National Winners represent five regions in Nicaragua. The 17 Cup of Excellence winning coffees represent seven varieties, with the top five winners being all Maracaturra. The 12 National Winner coffees include 9 certified organics and 11 first-time contestants.

In a virtual awards ceremony and press conference held on 3 June, the 2021 contract for Nicaragua Cup of Excellence was also signed with Nicaragua in-country partners CONATRADEC.

“It’s a historic day for Nicaragua, Cup of Excellence and the country of Nicaragua. This has been part of a plan for development for the coffee industry of Nicaragua,” said Nicaragua minister of agriculture, Eduardo Centeno. “The quality of our coffee is showing results. This pushes us to keep working harder. Together with ACE we know we can keep working with farmers to give them access to buyers around the world.”

This year’s Alliance for Coffee Excellence auction will offer buyers tiered opening prices along with a lowered opening price for the National Winner auction to promote direct trade relationships among producers and buyers. For more information on the winning coffees and details on the auction, visit:

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