India’s Jumboor Estate wins the sixth Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award

Consumers vote ‘Coffee Lover’s Choice’ award to Proyecto Lift Olopita in Guatemala

Trieste, December 2nd,2021 – illycaffè announced today the winner of the Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award 2021, a prize given since 2016 to the producer of the best sustainable coffee among 27 of the best coffee producers participating from nine of the most significant coffee growing countries. This year’s winner is Jumboor Estate in India, represented by B.M. Nachappa, and voted “Best of the Best” by an independent panel of international culinary and coffee experts.

The “Coffee Lover’s Choice” award, designated by a panel of consumers through a blind tasting organized in select illy cafes worldwide, was given to Proyecto Lift Olopita in Guatemala, represented by Alfonso Urbina Perlata.

In all, there were 27 finalists - 3 from each of nine countries –  from Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, India, and Nicaragua. The international panel – which comprised three-star Michelin chefs Kyle Connaughton, Viki Geunes and Niko Romito; journalists Josè Carlos Capel, Clark Parkin and Michela Proietti; and coffee experts Sunalini Menon, Birhanu Gebis Wuli and Henry Alirio Martínez Salinas – voted the “Best of the Best” award to India’s Jumboor Estate, which they described as an intense coffee that leaves a silky, delicate, and soft sensation on the palate, enhanced by notes of chocolate, caramel, citrus fruit, walnuts, and a hint of fruit.

Jamboor Estate is located in the plateaus of India’s northern Coorg district, at an elevation of 950-1000 meters in an area of rich organic soils. Established in 1870, this 390-hectare estate only cultivates Arabica coffee and produces "Jumboor Gold", a high-quality Yellow Bourbon Arabica variety. In order not to interfere with the flow of pure water from the nearby mountains, which is used during coffee processing, the areas adjacent to watercourses have been left in their natural state, without any crops being grown there.

“This is the first time that India won the Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award. This is a country where coffee is grown under the shade of tall trees, usually together with other crops such as peppercorns, vanilla, cardamom, and cinnamon. I am very happy that the prestigious ‘Best of the Best’ award was assigned to a product that is grown in a virtuous manner, demonstrating the potential of this agricultural model as a way to achieve sustainable quality,” said Andrea Illy, Chairman of illycaffè. He continued, “The recognition of Guatemala, which with its group of small producers participating in the Lift project won the consumers’ choice award for best coffee, also proves that quality continues to be an important  engine to drive sustainable growth among  coffee communities.”.

Proyecto Lift Olopita, which won the “Coffee Lovers’ Choice” award, was created in 2017 in Guatemala with the goal of bringing together small coffee growers interested in learning about the best farming practices to produce high-quality coffee. So far, this project has brought together 112 families of coffee producers who receive constant training and support on the part of the technical department of Mercon Guatemala, a coffee exporter of which illy is a partner, to help them become full-fledged managers of their family businesses, ensuring better prices for their sustainably produced coffee.

The event, which was held online once again this year, was hosted by Lily Cole, a model and actress celebrated for her activism on behalf of sustainability.

Starting on December 2nd (afternoon), the video of the awards ceremony will be available on the illy website.

The 27 finalists are listed below, ranked first to third place within their respective countries:

Fazenda Agua Viva - José Marques de Araujo
Fazenda Fonte Alta - Maria Claudia Porto
Fazenda Sitio Daniella I - Daniella Romano Pelosini

Cabildo Coffee Project, Jambaló - Aracely Vitonco
Women Coffee Project, Caldono - Griceldina Quinayas
Intergenerational Coffee Project, Piendamó - Gerardo Arroyo

Costa Rica
Marespi S.A. - Johnny Marín Badilla
Coopesabalito R.L. - Warner Quesada Elizondo
Coope Atenas R.L. - Juan Carlos Alvarez Ulate

El Salvador
Finca Agua Caliente - José Ernesto Borja Papini
Finca La Providencia - Fernando Alfaro
Finca La Concordia - Carlos Antonio Borja

Gera Estate - Alemayehu Dagne
Asma International Business Pvt Ltd Co. - Seada Shifa
Bechu International Trading Pvt Ltd. Co. - Darmyelesh Bechere

Proyecto Lift Olopita - Alfonso Urbina Peralta
Finca Joya Grande - Jovita Castillo
Finca Peña Blanca - Pablo Chuy Flores

Finca El Cedrón - Gerardo López
Cocasancol - David García
Finca Los Liquidambar - José Humberto Ardón Pérez

Jumboor Estate - B.M Nachappa
Buskull Estate - Balaraju
Hallihithloo Estate - Mahesh Gowda

Proyecto Lift - Holman Vicente Rivera Herrera
Finca Santa Isabel - Osman Gregorio Gutiérrez Moreno
Finca California - José Neftali Arauz Herrera

Information on the Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award
The ceremony, now in its sixth edition and named after Ernesto Illy, pioneer of virtuous collaboration with farmers to produce sustainable quality, wants to be a way to celebrate and reward the best coffee suppliers for the attention and passion they dedicate every day to their work, and renew the company's commitment to improving the lives of producers and to realize the dream of offering the best coffee in the world.

Every year, illycaffè’s quality lab selects the best batches of coffee on the basis of quality and sustainability parameters. The countries that most stood out during the 2020/2021 harvest were Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, and Nicaragua. The best 3 producers for each country were selected to take part as finalists for the Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award 2021 to compete for first place in their respective countries and become one of the nine finalists for the international competition.

An independent panel of international experts comprising food critics, chefs, and coffee experts participated in a blind tasting of the finalists. The coffees were analysed under several different brewing methods – espresso, moka, drip coffee, and filter coffee – and the winner was selected on the basis of the richness and complexity of the aroma, the elegance and balance of flavours, and the intensity of the aroma.