The Cup of Excellence is a coffee tasting contest from the Alliance for Coffee Excellence, a global organization that conducts this type of competition in over 12 countries. In Colombia, the event has taken place 13 times since 2005, but it wasn't until the year 2017 that it was differentiated by regions: north and south. The Nariño coffee growers have participated in 7 occasions, in which they obtained the first place in 5 opportunities —2005, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2017—.
In addition, the representatives of the department were among the top 10 positions around 32 times. Last year, the winner of the Cup of Excellence, in partnership with the Colombian Association for Coffee Excellence (ASECC), was Rodrigo Arley Díaz, from the "Mirador El Naranjo" farm, in the Medina Espejo village, in the municipality of Buesaco, with a cup score of 91.28 points. "I am a small coffee grower, I have about 4000 coffee trees. I feel very grateful for the recognition because it allowed my coffee to be in the international market. Just as I had the dream of one day participating in a contest and winning the first place, I want this dream to be enjoyed by all coffee growers in Colombia", says Díaz, who hopes to participate again to show that Buesaco has the best coffee in the world.
In 2012, María Etelvina Díaz, from the Gallinacera and El Bado farms, also obtained the Cup of Excellence. His son, Nilson Luis Lopez, explains that, "the award allowed me to travel to a coffee fair in Boston. It was there I understood that in Buesaco we produce something very desirable worldwide. Sometimes you think that because you are a peasant you have few opportunities, but we want to show the world that we can overcome this. I have spoken with many coffee farmers to change their mind and produce specialty coffee. We have to take advantage of our circumstances. Eight years ago, only 5% of Buesaco's total coffee production was special, while today it's 30%."
Last year Nilson López participated in the Intelligentsia Extraordinary Coffee Competition, an event that selected 60 exclusive producers from the coffee producing countries. The name of Nariño was framed in the highest spheres of special coffees in the world; López's crop ranked first among the coffees produced in America and third worldwide. " This type of recognition drives the Buesaco coffee and helps the rest of the coffee growers, who already receive visits from foreign buyers. I hope to continue working for the guild, to offer our coffee to the world and achieve a fairer trade ", concludes López, who also has a coffee shop in the municipality for visitors and locals to enjoy special coffee.