Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award

by

Editorial Policy

Published on

[O]n a crisp November morning in New York, coffee producers from nine countries gathered to celebrate the Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award. The award seeks to recognize coffee growers’ commitment to quality and sustainability, emphasizing Illycaffè’s commitment to working hand-in-hand with producers to pursue the best quality of coffee. A symposium took place in the morning, followed by a formal gala at the United Nations that evening.

Illycaffè chairman Andrea Illy spoke at the morning seminar, along with Illycaffè CEO Massimiliano and Pogliani Albert Scalla of INTL FCStone. The three speakers discussed the outlook of coffee through the lenses of changing climate and market volatility, outlining steps for protecting the future of arabica coffee.

illyaward_andreailly
Andrea Illy, Illycaffè chairman. (Photos: Illycaffè.)

Illy said it was the first time by design the company was able to gather so many growers together in one place. “Growers dream to be in direct contact with consumers,” he said, “and consumers dream to know growers because of the narrative and the discovery. So, let’s make it happen.”

Illy described New York as the ideal place for the event to take place—in addition to being a hub of consumer attention, it also is the home of the stock exchange for coffee and the United Nations.

Competing countries were Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, India, and Nicaragua. Prior to the event, three finalists were selected from each country by the Illy Quality Lab, then a representative from each country was chosen by an internal jury. The day of the awards gala, an international independent jury tasted different preparations made by each of the nine country winners to choose the “best of the best” coffee of the 2015-2016 season’s crops.

illyaward_winnerahmedlegesse
Winner Ahmed Legesse from Ethiopia.

After the jury tastings, Ethiopia’s Ahmed Legesse was awarded with the Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award. The jury described the coffee as having an intense, yet delicate flavor. Its unique, high-intensity floral and jasmine notes, mixed with a slight hint of citrus and fresh fruit, set it apart from the competitors. An honorable special mention went to Juan Angel Milla of Honduras.

Share This Article

Ellie Bradley

Join 7,000+ coffee pros and get top stories, deals, and other industry goodies in your inbox each week.

Other Articles You May Like

Let’s Talk About Coffee Certifications

B-corp, organic, fair trade: what do all the certifications gracing the shelves of coffee shops and grocery stores mean? We take a closer look.
by Anne Mercer | February 3, 2023

Sweet Companions: Creating The Perfect Coffee and Cheese Pairing

Its high fat content and overall creaminess makes cheese ideal for balancing coffee’s acidity.
by Madeleine Coghlan | January 24, 2023

Coffee Waste or Product Potential?

Thanks to innovative minds across the globe, coffee cherry excess is being repurposed in food products, merchandise production, and even as biofuel.
by Anna Brones | January 19, 2023

Grinding for a Purpose: Everything You Need To Know To Pick The Right Grinder

While espresso machines get most of the attention, grinders are the real workhorses of a café.
by Michael Butterworth | January 17, 2023