In the heart of São Paulo, an important event unfolded that has once again spotlighted Brazil’s significant contributions to the global coffee industry. The 33rd edition of the Prêmio Ernesto Illy de Qualidade Sustentável do Café para Espresso, organised by the renowned Italian coffee company illycaffè, was a celebration of exquisite quality and sustainable practices within the world of espresso coffee production. This year, the coveted awards went to three exceptional Brazilian coffee growers, all hailing from the acclaimed coffee-growing state of Minas Gerais.

The trio of winners, Décio Bruxel from Cerrado of Minas, Matheus Lopes Sanglard from Matas of Minas, and Flávio da Costa Figueredo from the South of Minas, have distinguished themselves from among more than 670 top-grade Arabica coffee samples submitted for evaluation. Their achievement speaks volumes about the consistent quality and dedication to sustainability that defines Brazilian coffee production, particularly in Minas Gerais. Each of these growers was rewarded with a prize of R$10,000, acknowledging their outstanding contributions to the coffee industry.

Selected by a panel of national and international illycaffè specialists, these winners will now prepare to represent Brazil at the prestigious 9th Ernesto Illy International Coffee Awards. Here, they will compete for the “Best of the Best” accolade, a recognition that celebrates the apex of coffee excellence on a global scale. This step is part of illycaffè’s wider efforts to highlight and reward the vital role of coffee producers in fostering sustainable quality coffee production across the globe.

The Prêmio Ernesto Illy de Qualidade Sustentável do Café para Espresso is more than just an award; it is a testament to illycaffè’s commitment to sustainability and quality in coffee production. The ceremony also recognized the essential contributions of classifiers, with a special award, the Classifier of the Year Award, celebrating individuals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to maintain the high standards of quality that the industry demands.

Brazil’s journey in the coffee industry is a story of transformation, driven by a quest for quality and sustainability. Since the late 1980s, illycaffè has been at the forefront of this journey, establishing direct collaborations with Brazilian coffee farmers and launching the annual coffee harvest award in 1991. This initiative has not only improved the living conditions of coffee producers but has also elevated Brazilian coffee to a prestigious position in the international market. Gone are the days when Brazil was known just for the quantity of its coffee production; today, it is celebrated for its quality, too.

illycaffè’s vision goes beyond its award. Founded in Trieste in 1933 by the Illy family, the company has always been driven by the mission to offer the best coffee to the world. Selecting only the finest Arabica beans, illycaffè serves millions of cups of coffee daily across the globe. The company has woven sustainability into its fabric, becoming the first Italian coffee company to achieve B Corp certification and continuously earning its place among the World’s Most Ethical Companies.

As the winners of the 33rd Prêmio Ernesto Illy de Qualidade Sustentável do Café para Espresso prepare to represent Brazil on the international stage, they not only carry with them their exceptional beans but also the rich history and bright future of Brazilian coffee culture. Through them, Minas Gerais is once again celebrated as a beacon of excellence in the coffee world, illustrating the profound connection between quality, sustainability, and the enduring spirit of collaboration that illycaffè and Brazilian coffee producers share.