Gems of Araku – World’s Best Coffee brewed in Araku Valley!


New Delhi/ Mumbai, March 19, 2020: Araku Coffee recently concluded the 12th edition of Gems of Araku in the picturesque Araku Valley, Andhra Pradesh.

Speciality coffee, considered the top most quality of coffee, falls in the outstanding range of 90/100 in International cupping protocols. Coffee of this quality is mostly produced in parts of Ethiopia (Yirgachaffe/Harar) or other African or South American countries in very small lots. To replicate this with thousands of farmers and tonnes of coffee and reach that level of quality, Araku Coffee conceived a festival and competition called Gems of Araku, which invites the world’s top coffee judges to come and score the coffee. Year after year the scores and competition has been getting better and better and now Araku can proudly claim that the company consistently produces one of the world’s best coffees. Through this competition, Araku Coffee was also able to sell the coffee at premium prices and thus create a model that guarantees only profits for the farmers. The prices farmers get for the coffee are solely profits and not income as all the costs from plantation, to compost, to transportation and processing are borne by Araku. As a result, farmers get huge profits every single year and many of them have become lakhpatis or earn 100,000+ profit per acre.

The unique coffee competition hosts eminent experts from across the globe to grade and celebrate the best coffee produced in the region. Jurors go through multiple cupping sessions and local farm visits to select the region’s best coffee. The competition also seeks to reward the best coffee producing village, best farmer and the most improved village in Araku, thereby giving farmers an impetus to continue working unwaveringly in improving the quality of coffee produced and maintaining a sustainable livelihood.

Coffee grading is an important aspect of identifying the quality of the produce, and the results are a reflection of every minute detail that lends itself to the perfect brew.

Typically, the grading is as follows:

Among the 30 lots cupped, all the top ten lots received scores of above 90/100 by the judges. This year Araku Coffee surpassed all its previous records, with one lot scoring a whopping 94.2/100 across all judges. Some coffees were scored as high as 95/100 by individual judges, a feat never achieved by an Indian coffee before.

On the occasion, Sherri Johns, Head Judge and Mentor, Araku Coffee said, “We are very excited to place Araku’s coffee on the global map. This event has brought together some of the world’s most renowned coffee experts. It’s impressive how the jury has dealt with several powerful flavours, spending 2 days in cupping the high-quality coffees. While there have been distinct winners, the panel unanimously agrees that the Araku region produces the finest quality of specialty coffee in India.”

Led by Sherri Johns, Araku Coffee, the panel of jurors comprised:

· Jordan Dabov and Ivo Papalski – Dabov Specialty Coffee, Bulgaria

(Jordan Dabov was on the jury of Cup of Excellence 2019 – prestigious competition and auction for high-quality coffees commonly called the Coffee Oscars)

· Brian Turko – Owner, Milano Coffee, Vancouver, BC, Canada

(Brian Turko, Master Roaster has earned his place as a West Coast coffee pioneer, elevating the premium coffee concept to new heights.)

· Roman Ponomarov – The Ponomarovs Coffee, Ukraine

Commenting on the quality of coffee at the Gems of Araku, 2020, Roman Ponomarov from Ukraine said, “I started working at Cup of Excellence in 2014, and this was my first time in India. Araku Coffee is very similar to famous, high-quality coffee in Panama. I hope our customers in Ukraine have a nose for Indian coffee. It was wonderful being here as it opened my mind to a new quality in the whole coffee world.”

The Gems of Araku maintains the utmost levels of integrity and transparency. Each sample is traceable to the source farm and exact micro lot. Held between 7-12th March, jurors collectively analysed hundreds of cups of coffee, ensuring that only top-quality coffee is selected. Winners of the competition for best farmer family were Tamarla Gundanna & Lakshmi from Kuthangi Thadiput village in Hukumpeta in Araku. They were rewarded with both recognition and financial incentives at a grand event in Araku Valley on the 12th of March.

The coffee lots were also auctioned. The highest bid was won by Jordan Dabov from Dabov Specialty Coffee, Bulgaria in a close fight with Brian Turko from Milano Coffee. The top ten coffees at the Gems will also be available for sale in India as limited edition coffees sold by invitation only.