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Coffee legend wishes Taiwanese contestants well

TAIPEI--The woman who coined the term “specialty coffee” said in Taipei yesterday that she hoped Taiwanese contestants set to attend an industry competition in Italy in June will do well there and bring recognition to coffee grown in Taiwan.

Norwegian-born Erna Knutsen met with Berg Wu, Lai Yu-chuan and Wei Ju-ying, who will attend separate contests during the World of Coffee show in Rimini, Italy from June 10-12, which is organized by the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe.

Knutsen, who created the term “specialty coffee” — distinctive coffee grown in special and ideal climates — in a 1974 article, tasted coffee prepared by Wei with beans grown on Taiwan's Alishan and praised it for still tasting good even when it's cold.

Wei will compete in the World Brewers Cup event, while Wu and Lai will take part in the World Barista Championship and World Coffee Roasting Championship, respectively.

Knutsen hoped the three contestants perform well in Italy so that more people in the world will know about Taiwan's coffee.

Knutsen founded her own green coffee bean company in 1985 and was the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Specialty Coffee Association of America in 1991.

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Erna Knutsen, front, poses with three Taiwanese competing in the World Coffee Events (WCE) in Taipei, yesterday. Knutsen, the founder of the Specialty Coffee Association of America and known as the “Mother of Coffee,” tried out a competitor's coffee and praised it highly. (CNA)

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