The El Salvador Cup of Excellence auction, ended midday June 4th with the surprising announcement that the buyers for lot #13 were donating the projected profits from the sale of this coffee to Ricardo Espitia, Executive Director of The Consejo Salvadoreño de Café who had suffered a stroke in January of 2009. Sweet Maria’s, Oakland, CA; Tony’s Coffees & Teas Bellingham, WA; and Ritual Coffee Roasters, San Francisco, CA; wired the funds the very next day to El Salvador. “This is an amazing gesture that shows compassion and also shows the nature of many of the Cup of Excellence buyers,” commented Susie Spindler, Executive Director of the Alliance for Coffee Excellence, Inc. “ We are the Cup of Excellence global family and these three companies show why that name is so fitting.”
Tom Owen of Sweet Maria’s explained his rationale: “I had the idea to connect our auction lot to Ricardo’s recovery and it was terrific that Wendy De Jong (Tony's Coffee) and Ryan Brown (Ritual Coffee) both jumped onto the idea immediately. I met Ricardo some years ago and feel he has done more than anyone else to promote and improve the quality of El Salvador specialty coffee. Every time I taste a beautiful cup from this origin, I owe him a debt of gratitude. This is just a little payback. Plus, it was inspiring at the recent El Salvador competition to see Ricardo there, dedicated to participating even though it was extremely challenging for him, physically. If this contribution speeds up his recovery, we in the coffee world will all be better for it.”
The auction also saw a new record for El Salvador’s first place coffee. Wataru & Co. Ltd of Japan, bidding for C&C, purchased the top coffee for $22.25/lb. The previous record was $20.10/lb, set at last year’s auction. A Canadian company, T.A.N. Coffee placed winning bids on 3 lots and has already resold nearly half the coffee to other North American roasters who want a taste of extraordinary Cup of Excellence coffee.
While Japanese roasters were the top volume buyer these award-winning coffees will also be heading to South Korea, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The El Salvador auction grossed over $500,000 with 33 Cup of Excellence winners up for worldwide bidding.
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