Ethiopian coffee `Yirgacheffe` ( verkrijgbaar bij Hararcoffee) receives the “2016 world`s Best of the Best coffee award” at the first Ernesto Illy international coffee Award 2016

Ahmed Legesse from Ethiopia
Recognized as ’Best of the Best’ at the
Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award 2016
NEW YORK, November 2, 2016 – On November 1st, illycaffè, the Trieste based family-owned
Italian roaster, leading brand in top quality coffee, presented the 1st Annual Ernesto Illy
International Coffee Award at the Delegates Dining Room of the United Nations. With this
award, illycaffè wants to recognize the coffee growers’ commitment to quality and
sustainability, emphasizing the importance of working hand-in-hand with them, while also
pursuing the company’s dream to offer the greatest coffee to the world.
The illy Quality Lab in Italy identified, among the 2015-16 season’s crops, the 3 best coffee lots
from the 9 most representative coffee producing countries of the unique illy blend. This year
the competing countries are Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala,
Honduras, India and Nicaragua. Then, an internal jury selected the one that, among those 3,
represents the best of each country.
Hosted by the Illy Family and featuring Master of Ceremonies Gordon Elliott, the award gala
honored and recognized all of the 27 finalists, who nurture the best quality beans in the world
for illycaffè. The coffee producers involved in the event traveled to New York with the support
of United Airlines, which now proudly serves the illy blend on all domestic and international
flights and lounges.
“Exactly 25 years ago, my father Ernesto Illy created the Brazilian Quality Award, which
triggered the transformation of Brazil into a high quality coffee producer – said Andrea Illy,
Chairman of illycaffè – Today we celebrate this important milestone by extending this prestigious
award to all the major producing countries of the unique illy blend, with the aim of building the
future of coffee by bringing together growers & coffee lovers”.
The 9 country winner coffees were tasted yesterday by an international independent jury in
different preparations, to choose the ‘best of the best’ coffee of the 2015-16 season’s crops.
The jury – mentored by author Mark Pendergrast and illy Quality director David Brussa, and
composed by Peter Giuliano (SCAA Director), Kerri Goodman (publisher), Corby Kummer
(journalist), Grace Hightower (philantrophist), Suvir Saran, Viki Geunes and Luigi Taglienti
(Michelin starred chefs), Maria Loi (chef, restaurateur, Greek food ambassador), Adolfo
Henrique Vieira Ferreira (Chairman of the Brazil Specialty Coffee Association) – awarded Ahmed
Legesse from Ethiopia with the Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award.
“This is an Ethiopian coffee with an intense and delicate flavor. Its unique high intensity floral
jasmine notes are mixed with a slight hint of citrus and fresh fruit. Coffee is believed to have
originated in the forests of Ethiopia, and the coffee plant still grows here in the wild, amid the
shady vegetation. It is picked by hand in the plantations and even in domestic gardens, where
coffee ripens alongside the other crops – the jury’s spokesperson declared about the winning
coffee – A special coffee with a mild, delicate aroma and a unique perfume with distinctive floral
notes of jasmine and a hint of citrus fruit”.
An honorable special mention went to Honduras, which took second place obtaining an equal
Global Quality Score, but was surpassed by the Ethiopian coffee in the judging category
evaluation of Aroma Intensity of Espresso.
During the event, Andrea Illy recalled the 3 virtues of coffee – pleasure, health and
sustainability – and the virtuous circle between the well-being generated by the consumer
response and the economic value benefiting the producing countries. This virtuous circle must
be nurtured and accelerated by increasing product value with quality, differentiation and
1. Juliana Tytko Armelin
2. Daniella Romano Pelosini
3. Arabela Pereira Lima
1. Carlos Arturo López Guarnizo
2. Ovalle Duarte
3. Eliecer Torres
Costa Rica
1. Mauricio Barrantes
2. Warner Quesada Elizondo
3. Johnny Marin Badilla
El Salvador
1. Jose Antonio Salaverria Jr.
2. Leopoldo Muyshondt
3. Miguel Angel Caceres
1. Ahmed Legesse
2. Seada Shifa
3. Yismashewa Seyoum
1. Jorge Bolaños
2. Jose D. Guerra
3. Edward Andres Esteve
1. Juan Angel Milla
2. Dario Enamorado
3. Omar Acosta
1. Mohamed Suhaib
2. Tanveer Jabbar
3. Anand. J . Mathais
1. Jose Arauz
2. Carlos Alberto Cruz Lopez
3. Victor Hugo Castillo
More information about illy and its products can be found at and
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Adam Paige –
illycaffè is an Italian family business, founded in Trieste in 1933 and committed to offer the greatest coffee to the world. illy is
the world’s most global coffee brand, producing the unique illy 100% Arabica blend made of 9 of the world best Arabica, served
in more than 7 million cups in over 140 countries in the finest cafés, restaurants and hotels. As a leader in the science and
technology of coffee – with three radical innovations – illy is the forerunner of espresso. With the first Brazilian award for the
best coffee quality for espresso in 1991, illy also pioneered direct sourcing, sharing know-how and paying a premium price for
the best quality, based on partnerships underpinned by the principles of sustainable development. The company also set up and
runs the University of Coffee with the aim to foster and spread its culture, providing comprehensive academic and hands-on
training for coffee growers, baristas and coffee lovers to cover every aspect of the product. Everything ‘made in illy’ is enhanced
by beauty & art, which represent founding values of the brand, starting from its logo – designed by an artist, James Rosenquist –
and including the renowned illy Art Collection, comprised of over 100 cups designed by international artists. In 2015 the
company was employing 1,177 people, and posted consolidated revenues of €437 million. The stores and mono-brand illy shops
are about 230 in 43 Countries.

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