Going Once, Going Twice, Sold on Colombia!
August was a great month! We escaped the intense heat for a week and traveled to Popayan, Colombia, which is located about 12 hours South of Bogota. It was agreat trip full of learning and mucho coffee drinking. Roasters from around the world gathered for a few days to taste freshly harvested coffees from Cauca, a region that is slam–packed with over 90,000 coffee producers.
Approximately 300 of these producers submitted micro–lots (the best of the best) to Banexport (a coffee exporter) for evaluation. Banexport worked hard to roast samples from these 300 producers and narrowed the field down to the top 30 coffees that scored the highest. We spent 2 days cupping (tasting & evaluating) the 30 lots without any knowledge about the coffees other than the region they came from. Roasters from the U.K., Singapore, Germany, Australia, & the U.S. were all present. We collectively gave scores to the 30 coffees and came up with the Top 10. Once the ten coffees were identified, we traveled to a nearby city for a live auction of the Top 10 lots.
The auction was lively, to say the least. Colombia knows how to celebrate. Some of the lots were as small as 3 bags, which is approximately 450 pounds total. Not bringing some of this prized coffee back home to roast was unthinkable. So, we bid our hearts out in a friendly battle against some great roasters. In the end, we were successful in obtaining some coffee that we found pretty darn special. We can’t wait to share it with you and tell you all about the producer, the coffee itself, and our plans to try and get it again next year.
Here’s a few pictures from the trip and the farm where the coffee is coming from. Be on the lookout for a special coffee from Finca La Virgen in the weeks to come. As you anticipate tasting this coffee, know that a lot of pride, energy, and family tradition went into producing this year’s amazing crop. You can also be sure that we’ll take a lot of pride and devote our energy to roasting this fine coffee. In the meantime, we’ll be practicing our dance moves and trumpet playing in hopes of being a part of many more after-auction celebrations.