More Cup of Excellence?

Today I participated in an informal cupping and tasting of the top 3 lots from the 2005 Brazil Cup of Excellence over at chief Coffeegeek, Mark Prince’s place. Present were Elysian’s Jake Moss, Aaron Delazzer and JJ Bean’s Angie Lof. Also around were two local coffeegeeks not in the industry. To anyone unfamiliar with the recent results of the Cup of Excellence auction for Brazil this year, the top lot received the highest score for a CoE coffee and was sold for the highest price ever recorded for a CoE coffee: $49.75 US per pound of green coffee. Estimations thrown around for the price of it per pound roasted have reached $120 CDN. But, the company who purchased it has announced it will be sold for $5 CDN per cup off of their Clover. The other two lots,

I arrived in time for the cupping which involved 3 cups of each of the 3 lots (Fazenda Santa Inês, Fazenda São Benedito and Sitio São José, respectively in the order of their international jury ranking). Angie gave a quick demo and explanation of cupping for the folks who hadn’t done it before, and then we got to breaking the crust. I (unknowingly) broke the crust of the number one first. Huge aroma though I am finding it hard to classify any of these into the proper terms used by cuppers and “poets” as I like to call whoever writes those lavish descriptions of coffees.

Not knowing which coffee was which, we went around slurping and spitting these sought after coffees with the occasional cleansing swirl of Blu Galvanina (or in my case, Borsec) sparkling mineral waters. All of us kept silent (for the most part), adding to an overshadowing thought of what coffee was really the number one. After we were done (and this was a while), we started to talk. Everything from ranking the coffees to the characteristics of particular cups to the overall flavor profiles was discussed.

It turns out I chose the reverse order for the lots. I chose for my number one the number three. But that’s cool. The São José had a very bright acidity and much more comparable to a high grown Central American coffee (as Angie pointed out, my biases will reflect my rankings, and yes, I prefer the centrals). The number two was very mild, huge body and was more typical of a Brazilian coffee. I like it, and I have a bit of the batch used in the cupping as well as some of Andrew Barnett of Ecco Cafe’s roast of it which was couriered to Mark’s door today.

So the number one… it was very good, and I can see why it was chosen as the number one. I’m not embarassed nor disappointed that I chose it last of the three. I don’t have the cupping experience nor the origin experience required to pick out the best of three of the best coffees in the world… oh well. The espresso I had, pulled off of Mark’s LM Linea, was superb, and yes it was the Inês. Very, very good.

I’m really coffeed at the moment, and I need to take a break from this. Probably I’ll try to study physics and then end up watching Family Guy or something. I may post more thoughts on CoE and other coffee news.

I would like to publicly thank Mark for putting this event on. We managed to raise $175 US for Coffee Kids in the process!

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1 Response to “More Cup of Excellence?”


  1. 1 Jason Haeger March 28, 2006 at 11:18 pm

    What a great experience. Everyday I read about some event or shop or news in Vancouver, I’m jealous that I don’t live around there.

    Then again, someone’s got to spread the gospel to West Texas, USA.

    Awesome job on the $175 for CoffeeKids.


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On tap

49th Parallel El Salvador La Montaña
Excellent coffee for everyday drinking. Well expressed acidity and classic El Salvador profile.

Bulleit Bourbon
By far the best bourbon available in BC for the price. $35 for a bottle gets you the highest rye content bourbon on the market. Lots of spice and typical bourbon corn sweetness. Excellent on its own, but also makes a mean Old Fashioned. Better than Knob Creek in my books and pretty close to Woodford Reserve.

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