Hi Paul - The El Salv competition was immediately after the Nica one.
Some judges were doing both. But for many it meant going to the SCAA
conference in Boston, then going straight to Nica ... thats enough
cupping as is.
The cupping was very interesting, but perhaps a little troubling for
me (I havent done my customary report on it for the web page yet -I
did do one for the Panama trip). Cup of Excellence works: it does
help bring great small farm coffees into the spotlight. But the
process also weeds out some very interesting cups, ones with what I
call really "distinct character", in favor of more refined, clean,
bright, but possibly less unique cup profiles. That's because a
really complex, intriguing cup is going to be controversial -a few
people will love it, some will be confused about it and score it in
the middle, some will think it stinks. These coffees can make it into
the auction, but they wont be in the top 10. So when thinking about
COE auctions, I feel like its best not to consider the top 10 as
necessarily the best -the real gems might be lurking in the lower
I managed to get a really really neat UNIQUE coffee in the Costa Rica
auction on Thursday called El Legendario. It was the #8 coffee but we
had some fierce competition early on to get it. I hate to mention it
because it will take quite a while to get it up here from Costa Rica.
If I knew how, I would probably pay the extra bucks to air freight it
here, because as it stands, I have to call around and find someone
who is shipping a container, and is willing to add this lot to theirs
"Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting - Tom & Maria
1455 64th Street Emeryville CA 94608