Sofinel Báez Santos, the contestant from the Dominican Republic, was crowned International Colombian Coffee Queen January 10th, this was the 40th year the pageant was held in Manizales, Colombia.
It is the third time that a Dominican Republic contestant is crowned queen; Milagros Germán was queen in 1981, and Cándida Lara became the second in 1996. This distinction is considered an honor in Latin America where coffee production is the source of enormous pride and revenue. Colombians have long been proud of their coffee production roots and considers it the best in the world. So are they pissed they lost out, especially when Miss Colombia came in third place.
Miss Venezuela, Angela Julieta Ruiz Pérez was crowned first runner up. Second, third and fourth runner up awards were given to Miss Colombia, Miss Spain and Miss Bolivia, in that order.
The Reinado del Café started in 1952, as one of the main attractions of the Manizales Fair, which feature a great variety of events including concerts, parades and much more.
Unlike other competitions where the contestants are judged solely on stage performance, the international Queen of Coffee must possess knowledge of the origins of coffee, the different kinds there are, the preparation and distribution in her country and all other pertinent facts about cafe.
“I didn’t expect it. I’m very happy to be the ambassador of Colombian Coffee to the world,” said the 20 year old queen.