The best Arabica lots

Illycaffè has announced the nine countries whose best Arabica lots have been selected as finalists for the 5th edition of the Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award. The winner will be announced in December, in memory of Ernesto Illy, son of the company founder and pioneer of illy’s partnerships with growers that champion the production of sustainable, high-quality coffee.

Beans from the 2019/20 harvest

illycaffè launched the award to select the best coffee varieties, chosen from those grown in the regions that make up illy’s unique blend. To select the finalists, the company’s Quality Labs analysed coffee beans from the 2019/2020 harvest and selected the top 27 lots across 9 countries (three per country). Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Nicaragua, and Rwanda are the nine coffee-growing countries of this year’s award.

On the same day that the winner of the Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award is announced, the winner of ’Coffee Lovers’ Choice’, judged by customers at illy cafés across the globe, will also be announced.

The finalists of the 5th edition of Ernesto Illy International Award are, in alphabetical order:


Fazenda Sequoia Minas

Haroldo Barcelos Veloso

Raimundo Dimas Santana Filho


Ascafé – Spirit of Peace Ex Combatents

Coocentral – Cooperativa Central de Caficultores del Huila

Cooperativa de Caficultores del Norte de Nariño

Costa Rica

Coopeatenas R.L.

CoopeSabalito R.L.

Marespi S.A.


Asma International Business Pvt Ltd Company

Bechu International Trading Pvt Ltd Company

Legesse Sherefa Pvt Ltd Company


Finca El Consuelo

Finca La Providencia

Finca Peña Blanca


Cooperativa Cafetalera San Francisco Cones Limitada – Cocasancol

Cooperativa Cocabel

Finca El Potrero


Kesarki Estate

Pura Estate

Rosewood Estate


Finca Buenos Aires

Proyecto LIFT

San Ramón Estate


Ngamba Coffee Washing Station

Nzahaha Coffee Washing Station

Nyamyumba Coffee Washing Station

The winners will be announced at a digital ceremony on 3rd  December 2020.

The Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award

The Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award is an award given by illycaffè to the best coffees chosen from those grown in the regions that make up illy’s unique blend. After years working side-by-side with Brazilian farmers and in view of the excellent results that have been achieved, illy extends these opportunities to all the growers with whom it works.

The Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award recognises growers who sustainably produce the best beans in coffee regions across the world. Over the past 12 months, the illy Quality Lab in Trieste, Italy has identified 3 different coffee lots representing the best coffees from the 2019-2020 crop from 9 coffee producing countries – Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Nicaragua, and Rwanda

A jury comprised of coffee experts, international chefs and coffee lovers will choose the best coffee from the 27 beans being judged. During the Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award ceremony, which will take place digitally this year, the winner of the award as well as the winner of the ’Coffee lovers’ choice’ will be announced.

The award is a tribute to Ernesto Illy, illycaffè’s late, visionary leader, who believed in scientific research as a way to make advances in human progress and promoting adherence to the highest ethical standards. For the industry he so loved, science gave Dr. Illy the power to sustain and grow coffee culture in every positive aspect.

About illycaffè
  • illycaffè is an Italian family business founded in Trieste in 1933, whose vision and mission has always been to produce and offer the best coffee in the world.
  • illycaffè produces a unique blend of 9 Arabica varieties of the highest quality.
  • Every day 8 million cups of illy 100% Arabica coffee are drunk in over 140 countries: In the best bars, restaurants and hotels, in cafés and illy outlets – and of course at home.
  • Thanks to the innovations led by illycaffè, the company contributes to technological progress in the coffee industry. With the creation of the “Ernesto Illy Prize for Quality Espresso Coffee” in Brazil in 1991, illycaffè has contributed to the exchange of know-how, the recognition of a higher basic price model for the remuneration of top quality coffee farmers and partnerships based on the principles of sustainable development.
  • The company has also founded its ‘Università del Caffè’ with the aim of spreading coffee culture at all levels: Among coffee farmers, baristas and coffee lovers all over the world. The Università del Caffè offers a varied, practical training and covers all aspects of coffee.
  • What makes everything ‘made in illy’ special is the combination of beauty and craftsmanship. This principle is in line with the brand’s core values, which were already integrated into the company when the renowned artist James Rosenquist developed the logo and which still play an important role in everything that illy stands for today. This also applies to the cups of the illy Art Collection – a miniature art collection that was and is designed by over 100 international artists.
  • In 2019, the company had 1,405 employees and generated a consolidated turnover of 520.5 million euros.
  • There are 269 illy shops and monobrand stores in 43 countries worldwide.
  • Find out more about illy at