illycaffè announces the finalists for the 6th Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award

The ‘Best of the Best’ will be announced in December during the final event hosted by Lily Cole

Trieste, November 11th 2021 – illycaffè announces the 9 Arabica coffee producing countries selected for the 6th Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award, the award commemorating Ernesto Illy, the son of the company’s founder and a pioneer in promoting virtuous collaboration with coffee farmers to produce high-quality sustainable coffee. Among them will be chosen the ‘Best of the Best’, which awards will be assigned on December 2nd during a virtual ceremony hosted by the model, actress, and activist Lily Cole.

illycaffè’s quality testing labs analyzed samples from the 2020/2021 harvest and selected the best lots as the finalists for this sixth edition of the award. They come from Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, India, and Nicaragua.
The lots will be evaluated by an independent, multi-disciplinary jury of international experts (chefs, journalists, coffee tasters and professionals) who will taste the 9 finalists and assign the title of ‘Best of the Best’.

The 9 finalists will also be voted upon by consumers. The coffee that wins the most consumer votes during a series of tastings organized in illy’s flagship’s stores will be awarded the “Coffee Lovers' Choice” prize.

The finalists for the 6th Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award are listed below in alphabetical order:

Fazenda Agua Viva
Fazenda Fonte Alta
Fazenda Sitio Daniella I

Caldono - Women Coffee Project
Jambaló - Cabildo Coffee Project
Piendamó - Intergenerational Coffee Project

Costa Rica
Coope Atenas R.L.
Coopesabalito R.L.
Marespi S.A.

El Salvador
Finca Agua Caliente
Finca La Concordia
Finca La Providencia

Asma International Business Pvt Ltd Co.
Bechu International Trading Pvt Ltd. Co.
Gera Estate

Finca Joya Grande
Finca Peña Blanca
Proyecto Lift Olopita

Finca El Cedrón
Finca Los Liquidambar

Buskull estate
Hallihithloo estate
Jumboor estate

Finca California
Finca Santa Isabel
Proyecto Lift

The independent jury comprises:

Josè Carlos Capel: food critic writing in El Pais since 1990. President and founder of the Madrid Fusión international gastronomy summit, he has published 45 books and is a member of the Royal Academy of Gastronomy and various other Spanish and European institutions.

Kyle Connaughton: Three Michelin Star Chef, culinary author and Chef / Owner of SingleThread Farm-Restaurant-Inn in Healdsburg, California with his wife Katina, continues to be widely embraced.  Among its numerous accolades, it is the only three Michelin starred restaurant in Sonoma County and in 2020 was honored with a Green Star recognizing its commitment to gastronomic sustainability. 

Birhanu Gebis Wuli: director of the Ethiopian Centre for Coffee Certification and Quality in Addis Ababa. He has ten years’ experience in the fields of coffee, quality control, and export standards.

Viki Geunes: Belgian Three Michelin Star Chef who ventured into the world of gastronomy after having studied industrial science, becoming a self-taught chef. Thanks to his studies and ironclad discipline, Viki learned the secrets of the food and wine sector so well he became a top chef.

Sunalini Menon: she has been called the Asian first lady of coffee. She worked as quality director of the Coffee Board of India. She is currently president of Coffeelab Limited, the first Asian laboratory to deal with all services related to coffee quality, and that covers the entire coffee production chain for the Asian and international markets.

Clark Parkin: Anglo-German journalists who has been writing about global lifestyle, food, and wine for over 20 years. He lived in Paris for 10 years, where he expanded his gastronomic experience by patronizing the city’s best restaurants. His interviews with starred chefs and his essays have been published in Vanity Fair and GQ, among others. Currently he writes mostly for Welt am Sonntag, the Sunday edition of the famous German newspaper which is based in Berlin. Clark Parkin lives in the Bavarian Alps south of Munich at the Walchensee.

Michela Proietti: Italian journalist who writes for Il Corriere della Sera and the magazine 7. She writes about fashion and society and is a television commentator. Born in Perugia, she lives and works in Milan, a city that inspires her more than any other place in the world: she dedicated her best-selling book La Milanese and its sequel La Milanese 2 to the city. She loves coffee, but unlike the Milanese woman in her book, she never drinks it from a large cup, and never adds ginseng or soy milk. She prefers a simple, classic espresso.

Niko Romito: Italian Three Michelin Star Chef internationally renowned, he runs the Reale restaurant in Castel di Sangro, the two Spazio Bistrot restaurants in Milan, and all Bulgari Hotel restaurants worldwide. Romito is considered a visionary of cuisine.

Henry Alirio Martínez Salinas: Commercial director of the Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros of Colombia. He boasts 25 years of experience in quality control, coffee tasting, and the management of the coffee supply chain.