Nicaragua Cup of Excellence dominated by young farmers

The passing of the baton to a new generation of innovative coffee producers is evident in Nicaragua as an impressive 75% of the 30 trophy winners are innovative younger farmers.

“It’s an amazing result given the concern about whether a new generation would want to take over family farms or be willing to embrace the challenges that come with producing extraordinary coffee. These young farmers, much like the new generation of coffee roasters, are implementing innovative methods and a deep passion for coffee as a career,” said Erwin Mierisch, executive director of The Alliance for Coffee Excellence and Cup of Excellence.  “We are so impressed with their creativity and their efforts,” he continued.

Seven of the thirty winners are women, who through persistence walked on stage to accept their awards. Sara Corrales represents the second generation of coffee growers and is also a member of the Nicaragua chapter of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance.

At the awards ceremony, Samuel Zavala explained how he took over his family farm in 2018 following the death of his father. “When my father died in an accident and I took over the farm I had been working on with him learning about farming, but it was really hard. Specialty coffee was a real challenge since much of the farm was commercial coffees sold to exporters. I felt a lot of fear about whether I could sell this coffee at a sustainable price. Six years later, I am very happy with how my work has been rewarded. This competition is really important for opening doors. Even my sons are excited to stay in coffee and learn about either the farm or about cupping.”

 As with other younger farmers Octavio Peralta Jr. also utilised his academic knowledge to experiment with cutting-edge coffee fermentation and won an award for the family. “Each farmer always has a unique story and enters with distinctive coffees,” explained Kathia Lopez, auction manager for The Alliance For Coffee Excellence, “Winning farmers won with Parainema, Pacamara, Maragogype, and the coveted Geisha varieties,” she continued.

The upcoming auction on 20 June is crucial. Specialty buyers that desire sustainable high-quality coffees should participate and bid on these exceptional coffees, says the Alliance. The auction is a direct way to offer these hardworking farmers the financial support needed to continue producing high-quality coffees.

For more information about the auction and how you can participate, visit

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