San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica toasts country’s best coffees

On Friday, the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry (MAG) and the Costa Rican Coffee Institute (ICAFE) hosted a festival in honor of National Coffee Day. The event welcomed coffee farmers, purveyors and the public to the MAG building in San José where they were invited to enjoy a variety of coffee products including cappuccino, coffee bean jewelry and ponche, a cream based coffee liqueur.

The event featured Luis Ricardo Calderón, owner of La Finca Estrella, the 2011 winner of La Taza de la Excelencia (The Cup of Excellence).

The Cup of Excellence is an annual prize awarded to the highest quality coffee produced in nine participating countries.  Candidates are judged by national and international cuppers at least five times throughout the course of the competition. The rights to sell the winning coffee are then auctioned to the international community. This year’s highest bidder was Japan who outbid South Korea and Taiwan.

The Calderón family has been producing coffee for more than 30 years. Luis Diego Calderón said he believes his family’s coffee won this year because it has the the right combination of body and sweet aroma. Coffee from La Finca Estrella scored 90.38 points on a 100 point scale.

“Coffee farming is a very important activity for us, and it’s important that we work to maintain it,” Ricardo said. “I think the government should continue to promote coffee and help coffee farmers. Coffee production has been a very good industry for our country, and I believe it will continue to move Costa Rica forward for many years.”

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