Missoula MT. (September 21, 2006) – Amid much excitement and celebration, Edith Encisco Yasso walked away with Colombia’s first place trophy for the Cup of Excellence competition. Women owned farms in Colombia have placed in the competition and even been presidential winners, but have never taken the top place.

“I am so very happy, I just can not believe that I have won! I was #25 in the second competition in Medellín in 2005, and after that I was doing every single step in the right way to produce a better coffee, now I know that all my effort is awarded,” exclaimed Edith Yasso after receiving the Cup of Excellence trophy.

Edith Enciso Yasso, from the Tolima department, not only received first place but also the presidential award for obtaining 93.37 out of a possible 100 points during the competition. The two other presidential awards, those coffees scoring above 90 points, went to Libardo Chávez in second place and Cesar Julio Muñoz Calderon in third place with a score of 92.38. The remaining 27 winning farms were located across other departments in Colombia including Nariõ, Hulia and Cauca.

The coffees were selected during the competition that is the most stringent in the coffee industry today. A coffee has to pass through three different phases and is cupped five different times. The top ten coffees are cupped a sixth and final time to rank their order.

Roasters from across the globe have already signed up for samples in anticipation of the upcoming action on October 26, 2006. This will be Colombia’s fourth auction as they hold two separate competitions each year. Lot sizes range from 15-75 bags, allowing for roasters of any size to own one of these valuable coffees.

“Industry support for Colombia’s top coffees is rising every program,” explained Susie Spindler, the Executive Director of the program. “More roasters have asked for winning samples from this competition more than any other of the three previous competitions. We expect this to grow as Colombian farmers continue to produce top coffees that win the Cup of Excellence,” she continued.

This is the 28th competition for the Cup of Excellence® program which is dedicated to the appreciation of exemplary coffee worldwide. It is managed by the US based non-profit Alliance for Coffee Excellence Inc., in partnership with coffee producing countries. For more information about the program, for a complete list winning farms, to find out how to get involved with the program, and to receive winning samples, log on to www.cupofexcellence.org.