After rounds of blind tastings by an international independent jury of top culinary and coffee experts, illycaffè, the global leader in high-quality, sustainably grown coffee, announced that coffee beans grown by Rwanda’s Ngororero Coffee Washing Station, represented by Ms. Philotée Muzika, were designated “Best of the Best” in the third annual 2018 Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award (EIICA).
The award winner was chosen from among the world’s top lots from the 2017/2018 harvests in nine countries, whose growers attended a gala at the Rainbow Room last night.
A separate “Coffee Lover’s Choice” award, presented by United Airlines, was also conferred to Ms. Muzika on behalf of Ngororero Coffee Washing Station.
Alongside Rwanda, coffee beans from Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India and Nicaragua were chosen to compete as finalists, following intensive analysis at illy’s Quality Lab at its Trieste, Italy headquarters.
All nine finalists, spanning four continents, are ingredients in the legendary illy blend, celebrated for decades for its unparalleled richness, complexity and consistency.
“It is an honor and a pleasure to recognize Ngororero Coffee Washing Station and Ms. Muzika for their achievement, and that of all of our finalists, who are focused on producing the highest-quality coffee through sustainable methods,” said Andrea Illy, Chairman of illycaffè.
“This week celebrates an even greater theme, and that is the enormous dedication, pride and talent of the world’s 25 million coffee-growing families, who fill our cups, and replenish our souls, every day.”
On Monday, to mark International Coffee Day, illycaffè focused its efforts on honoring women coffee growers, who are responsible for nearly half of the world’s coffee production.