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2021 Cup of Excellence Winner: Rank #2
Producer: Diego de la Cerda
Cupping Score: 90.1
Varietal: Gesha
Taste Notes: Pineapple, Floral, Vibrant
Processing Method: Washed

About the Coffee


In 1999, Diego de la Cerda became the 3rd generation owner and operator of Finca El Socorro. Since that time, Diego has placed 1st in the Cup of Excellence auction in 2020 and most recently placed 2nd in the 2021 auction.

"The richness and quality of our coffee are what makes us really proud. We have caused plenty of positive impact on surrounding land where people, are aware of our work ethic and love working with us."

Diego has made countless improvements to the farm included raised drying beds for more even drying and changing the temperature of the water to help improve fermentation.

"Over the last 15 years, our milling process has evolved. Instead of using cold water, we have applied hot water to speed up the fermentation process. In this shorter period of fermentation, the coffee grain keeps its density. It also helps maintain the grain’s components pure and natural ( sugars, oils, etc.). We do take a lot of careful managing our plantations, making sure that the coffee trees receive all the nutrition and pest control needed."

The farm is located at a very high altitude which allows the coffee to have exceptional quality and taste. Traditionally, coffee plants were grown under shade trees. Diego has left the native shade trees of the zone, just to maintain the biodiversity intact. That has been one big factor that has improved the quality and uniqueness of their final product.


This is the highest-scoring coffee we have ever had the pleasure of roasting and for a good reason. The varietal is Gesha which is one of the most, if not the most sought-after varietal of coffee in the world. Gesha coffees are so loved due to their high cupping scores (consistently over 90) and their unique flavor profiles; delightful aromatics, and incredibly fruit-forward.

The Gesha plant was originally favored due to its resistance to certain forms of coffee leaf rust. Coffee lead rust is a crippling disease that affects coffee plants to the point of killing off all their leaves. The fungal spores can quickly drift from one plant to the next and easily devastate an entire farm. Though resistant to forms of coffee leaf rust, the Gesha plant is a very low-yielding coffee tree but one that is prized for its quality, sweetness, and floral notes.


For any curious readers, the competition is rigorous, with cupping evaluations conducted over a three-stage process by industry experts: first by a National Jury of about a dozen qualified jurors from the origin country, and then by an International Jury, comprised of approximately 20-25 experienced jurors from around the world.  A competition with 300 entries yields an average of 9,000 analyzed cups, with each “Top 10” coffee being cupped at least 120 times.

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