San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
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Costa Rica's Cup of Excellence has record-breaking auction 

Francisco Mena is a very happy man. On Tuesday, Mena’s top scoring coffee in the 2016 Cup of Excellence competition set a new record at auction: $59 per pound. That’s the highest price paid per pound at auction since Costa Rica started holding the competition in 2007.

The 728-pound lot was bought by Takamura Coffee Roasters of Osaka, Japan for a total of $42,952.

Another 793-pound lot from Mena went for $58.10 per pound, totaling $46,073.

The top bid for this year’s Cup of Excellence winner was 30 percent higher than the next highest price paid for a winning brew, which came in 2012 when Juan Alvarado of Finca Zamora sold his coffee for $45 per pound.

“We’re very grateful for the results of the auction,” Mena told The Tico Times on his way to the World Barista Championship in Dublin, Ireland. “We thank God and all those who work at the farm who contributed all year with their efforts and sweat to create these exceptional quality standards.”

Mena has a long history in Costa Rica’s specialty coffee business. He founded the specialty exporter Exclusive Coffees in 2008, but he’s relatively new to farming. He’d only managed Finca Sumava for two years when he won the 2016 Cup of Excellence with a score of 93.41 out of 100.

The score was a hair under Alvarado’s 93.47 score in 2012 for the highest rated coffee in Costa Rica’s Cup of Excellence history.

The judges’ tasting notes described the coffee as complex and floral with pronounced flavors of molasses and blueberry.

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Contact Zach Dyer at zdyer@ticotimes.net

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