Earlier this month I got to do something I’ve wanted to do ever since I started my career in specialty coffee. Go to a coffee producing country.
I participated in a program called Cup of Excellence, which serves to reward coffee quality in each country program the CoE administers. Currently there are 11 countries active in the competitions every year. Each country has its own competition, where the top coffees are ranked through multiple rounds of national jury and finally an international jury. I was invited to Guatemala’s 2012 Cup of Excellence competition as an observer, which means I cupped and scored coffees alongside the international jury, but my scores would not be counted toward the rankings.
It was a delicious experience, cupping for a few hours each day that week, tasting the best of what Guatemala has to offer. These farms were all single farms, though it is not unheard of for a cooperative to enter their coffee.
I invite you to take a look at my blog ( http://lauraperr.tumblr.com ) for more detailed notes on the competition. There was a wonderful bonus cupping at the end of the week, taking a look at some new hybrid varieties. It was quite interesting.
The hospitality of those at Anacafé (Guatemala’s coffee association, where the competition was taking place) was second to none!
http://flic.kr/s/aHsjzhJCy7 – flickr stream of the Cup of Excellence Guatemala 2012
https://picasaweb.google.com/102699137701882777365/GuatemalaCoE2012?authuser=0&feat=directlink – Some photos from the trip