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We brag about the quality of our coffee a lot. Speciality grade, high-scoring, world-class… those words all start to blur into the background. So we wanted to remind you just how good our coffee is. How it’s internationally recognised, worthy of accolade, and usually under 70p per cup. And to do that, we’ve got just the coffee…

Zaroca, Cup of Excellence Winner - grown by Gilberto Basilio

As of today, Zaroca is back on our Select line. We think that’s a pretty big deal, as that means we’re offering an international Cup Of Excellence winner from £7.95 a bag. Roughly 66p a cup for a coffee that’s been recognised worldwide as utterly excellent.

Not that we’re surprised. Zaroca floods your mouth with rich dark chocolate notes, creamy on the tongue, with intense cocoa nibs punching through. There’s a sticky toffee sweetness, offset by a mellow apple-like acidity. Now that’s award-worthy coffee!

Drying beds on Fazenda Zaroca

What is the Cup of Excellence?

Cup of Excellence is the competition for speciality coffee. Thousands of coffees are entered every year, and the winning lots get sold at very high prices - the profits rightfully going to the farmers themselves. For an industry that leaves a lot of farming families struggling, it’s an incredible tool for recognising and rewarding quality.

All the lots are judged blind, in multiple stages. After submitting your coffee, there’s a pre-selection stage where the potentials are picked out. Then there’s two rounds of national judging panels, filled with coffee pros, and then two international stages - where around 20 accomplished industry experts from across the globe review the coffees. After the scores are in, the international auction begins - and the top-scorers can pull in quite the price.

Phew. After all that, and picked out from literally thousands of coffee, Zaroca came 19th internationally - officially one of the very best coffees in Brazil. So, yeah - that’s good coffee.

A view of Fazenda Zaroca

About Gilberto Basilio and Fazenda Zaroca

In the Três Pontas region of Brazil sits Fazenda Zaroca - made known to us by Gabriel, a Brazilian exporter we work very closely with.

Zaroca is a family-run farm - and Gilberto’s been in charge for about 14 years, renting his siblings’ shares from them. That means there’s a lot of space to grow quality coffee, which is great - as we’re buying a LOT of it! Zaroca makes up part of our Bourbon Cream Blend, but features as a single origin on our Select range too. So there’s more ways than one to enjoy those delicious dark chocolate flavours!

It’s taken a lot of hard work to achieve this level of quality. With the encouragement of exporter Gabriel and old friend/local agronomist Marcelo Gouvea, Gilberto began his foray into speciality coffee growing around three years ago.

From making changes like ripping out unfruitful trees, rearranging his planting patterns, and introducing higher quality varieties, he’s now quite literally reaping the benefits.

Not just that - Gilberto is giving back too. He’s reforested massive areas, previously stripped to grow sugar cane, to replenish the land and promote healthy biodiversity. All round, we think he deserves his successes. Try it today!