Bidders 6923 and 7955 are bidding on multiple lots. ... 2 mins to go ...
Fellow amazing coffee and auction enthusiasts, this is a heads up that the Bolivian Cup Of Excellence auction starts in about three hours.
Seven lots scored over 90!
The top lot scored nearly as high as the mouthwatering brazil fazenda kaquend that I hope some of you got to try. Will Mr Maruyama snap it up? Will Fortnum and Mason come out of nowhere? Will the Aussies have a go now that our dollar is worth something? Stay tuned ...
Bidders 6923 and 7955 are bidding on multiple lots. ... 2 mins to go ...
Auction results are up here: http://www.cupofexcellence.org/CountryPrograms/Bolivia/2009Program/AuctionResults/tabid/652/Default.aspx
There was a typically strong showing from Japan, with lot #1 going to Mr Maruyama, lot#4 to UCC and a strong showing from Mr Wataru, who snapped up four lots. Nippon Coffee Trading Co bought three lots, but two were for Doi Coffee.
There was an impressive showing from the Aussie contingent, too, with Mecca Espresso buying the 90+ lot #7. Interestingly, that lot is a mix of the popular caturra cultivar and criollo, which I understand is a species of cocoa, but wasnt aware is a coffee cultivar. Congratulations to, the Source, who took what I believe is their first step into COE auctions, buying up lot #11 with Aussie COE veterans Seven Seeds and Supreme. Finally, Melbourne Coffee Merchants picked up lot #8, so Im sure well see that around. I cant wait until these coffees land and we get a chance to get stuck into them!
I also never noticed that ACE displays the commissions charged to the winning farmers. Its great to see this level of transparency.
You said it all Luca. Im certainly looking forward to these coffees in the upcoming future.
Its interesting to see the descriptors given to the coffees by the judges; in particular Lot #1 (Mauricio Ramiro Diez de Medina) described simply as perfume. *Now thats intense.
The descriptors are interesting; I dont think that you will get everything that the judges get; rather, I think that the multitude of descriptors is reflective of the difficulty of trying to put tastes into words. I like to work backwards and group the tastes into more general families to get an idea of what is going on. So, for example, the descriptors for lot 1 are:Originally Posted by 6A7A76190 link=1258629942/3#3 date=1258810663
From that, Id maybe break it down like this:aroma/flavor - perfume, jasmine, violet, honeysuckle, spices, pineapple, melon, orange, black tea, cherry, rose, almond, peach, red wine, passionfruit acidity - brisk, citric, tartaric, intense, floral, transparent, multi-dimensional other - semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla, well-balanced, jammy, complete, clove, long-lasting, consistent
Fleeting, low molecular weight aromatics:
Acid driven fruit flavours:
-pineapple (unless were talking a really sweet tropical pineapple ... which we might well be)
Rounded, sweet fruit flavours:
Descriptors that suggest body:
So whilst I wouldnt expect to experience each of the descriptors, Id certainly be looking for the four areas above. The descriptors arent as detailed as we have seen in other COE competitions. We dont have the number of jurors that gave a particular description in brackets after the descriptor. I remember that for one ... perhaps el salvador ... they actually put the entire flavour profile up; ie. acidity, body, etc on a numerical scale for each coffee.
All of that aside, with an honest score of 93+, we can expect that lot #1 ticks all of the boxes and probably delivers a little something extra! It might be worthwhile ordering some from Orsir. Id expect that it will lose some aromatics in shipping, but it should still be interesting and delicious.
Every time these lots become available I am amazed by the descriptors provided. I imagine that a vast amount of time and effort is invested to roast these coffees so that they achieve their optimum flavour profiles.
And then theyre sold.
The roaster then uses his/her skills in an endeavour to replicate what makes these coffees so desirable in the first place. Sometimes they do and sometimes they dont. Either way it seems a bit of a shame that as this process takes place, a number of these beans will not be deemed fit to forward to the consumer.
I understand that Roasters guard their intellectual property, and do so for good reason. Nothwithstanding the fact that one persons roasting equipment is different and behaves differently to another, is there any merit in the idea for the successful bidder to receive the corresponding roast profile for the lot purchased, and if this practice were adopted, could these coffees not command an even higher price?
Good post and perhaps Im not the one to address all the issues that you have raised, but Ill do what I can and will be happy to be corrected by someone with better information than I have ...
I imagine that a vast amount of time and effort is invested to roast these coffees so that they achieve their optimum flavour profiles.No, I dont think thats correct. *The international jury might start off with several hundred samples, which might be screened down to fifty that the international jury taste. *Logistically, it wouldnt be possible to experiment with a bunch of different roast profiles for each sample. *Instead, my understanding is that all samples are roasted to a cupping roast level. *This is much lighter than for espresso; the standardised roast level brings out the flavours of the green coffee without going far enough that you are experiencing roast flavours rather than flavours inherent in the coffee. *Nothwithstanding the fact that one persons roasting equipment is different and behaves differently to another, is there any merit in the idea for the successful bidder to receive the corresponding roast profile for the lot purchased, and if this practice were adopted, could these coffees not command an even higher price?
A standardised roast level is really the only fair way to do it, and it makes sense. *If you have a very acidic coffee, for example, sure, you can roast it darker or longer to mute the acidity. *For this reason, coffees are cupped at similar and light roast levels. *Roasters can buy these coffees based on their experience of how coffees roasted at this level translate to other brewing methods. *When I look at COE auction results, I always make a mental note of which coffees would be suitable for espresso. *The best coffees for espresso are not necessarily the coffees with the highest lot numbers. *It is down to the skill and experience of roasters to buy sensibly, with their desired results in mind.
From memory, the SCAAs cupping protocols and a description of its standard cupping roast profile is available on its web site. *Its fairly fast and light. *Im not sure if this is the same as the roast profile used for COE samples, but I imagine it wouldnt be too much different. *This information is freely available to all roasters.
I hope that kind of answers that question.
The thing to remember is that the descriptors provided are usually a collection of all descriptors from all jury members. *Any individual jury member will not claim to taste all of the descriptors, nor should any buyer of a COE coffee expect to taste everything that is described. *For example, lot #1 has the descriptors perfume, jasmine, honeysuckle, floral, vanilla. *All of these words might well be descriptions of the same floral aroma and flavour experienced by each of the different jurors. *This is why roasters are able to buy the samples to roast and taste for themselves before the auction.Every time these lots become available I am amazed by the descriptors provided.
Im not sure what youre referring to here. *Either way it seems a bit of a shame that as this process takes place, a number of these beans will not be deemed fit to forward to the consumer.
As far as I know, anyone can enter their coffee into the competition, even if they are utterly awful.
The coffees that do not make it to the auction are not deemed unfit for consumers. *Rather, they are deemed not to meet the standards of the competition. *The quality standards against which the coffees are assessed are basically the value in buying COE coffee. *I imagine that it must be greatly reassuring to roasters to know that the coffees that proceed to auction have each been cupped four or five times by the national and the international juries and that at no stage has any juror picked up a defect. *
Its true that some good coffee misses out in proceeding to auction and there are opportunities for people who are active at origin to seek out these coffees and buy them.
The COE isnt a guarantee that the roaster is any good, just in the same way as reading on a menu that a particularly nice steak is being served is no guarantee that it will be cooked well. *Consumers should appreciate that roasters can do a bad job roasting COE coffees. *Likewise, roasters can do a poor job buying COE coffees by buying coffees that dont have the characteristics that their market wants. And, yes, I have tasted COE coffees from overseas roasters that have been reduced to charcoal, unfortunately.The roaster then uses his/her skills in an endeavour to replicate what makes these coffees so desirable in the first place. *Sometimes they do and sometimes they dont.
Yes Luca, and this is exactly what I was referring to when I said "not be deemed fit to forward to the consumer."Originally Posted by 3F263032530 link=1258629942/6#6 date=1258875405
And thanks for the information youve added here. Its very refreshing to read and think about a thread of this nature.
Cheers again! :)
Well put Luca,
the roasting protocol for CoE is fairly basic, designed so that roast doesnt influence the cup and is more transparent. So quick (under 12min) lighter roast. All samples are set out to see any differences in roast level.
All CoE coffees must rate over 84 points on the CoE cupping scale. A specialty coffee is 80 plus. Descriptors are added with the whole jury present so you will get a lot of quotes. I do find that at this level there is a lot of complexity in the cup and that if a descriptor is classed as a dream it will be kicked out, so those quotes should be in there somewhere. CoE is a great vehicle for finding great coffees at the farm level, it has changed the face of coffee in the last 10 years.
See BeanBay:Originally Posted by 223B2D2F4E0 link=1258629942/2#2 date=1258787039
Raw Cocao Beans - Mexico Soconusco
"...forest picked, premium Criollo variety"
MD, Always a pleasure to see you posting. Cant wait to get stuck into your Bolivian COE stuff when it lands. Also looking forward to hear what your experience on the jury of the 10th Brazil COE was like.
Theres an AASCA Bolivian COE cupping tonight; cant wait!
I did a chocolate workshop with a guy called Ramon Morato as part of the melbourne food and wine masterclass this year. One of the tidbits in the workshop was that there are three commercially produced species of cocoa. Criollo is considered to be the best, but it accounts for only 1% of world production. Compare this with coffee, where arabica is considered to be the best species and accounts for the bulk of world production.Originally Posted by 0A252F324B0 link=1258629942/9#9 date=1259063703
So I had some great fun cupping the Bolivian COE lots at the AASCA cupping tonight. Nolan generously volunteered Proud Mary to host and Bruno from C4 roasted up something like 24 samples; a huge effort. It was also nice to see a lot of familiar faces from interstate, many of whom flew over for the AASCA Tony Marsh event on Friday. Unfortunately Im going to be interstate and will miss that one.
In this photo, there are a bunch of bowls lined up to do the dry aroma. From these bowls, it was actually possible to smell the difference between the top twelve or so lots and the rest; they were simply livelier and more fruity.
In this photo, some dudes started going for the break. We had something like 24 samples to go through, which is a lot to do in one pass. When youre doing this many, something like the portolab software on palm pilot really helps to get the data entry down. Seeing as this was a fun thing for me, rather than a serious exercise in deciding which lot Im going to drop $10k on, I let my hair down and didnt take notes.
If you havent done a cupping before, its worth noting that theres a bit of a timeline to it. First you smell the dry aroma, then you add hot water and wait four minutes. At that point, you "break the crust" of coffee that floats to the top with the back of a spoon and evaluate the wet aroma. Breaking the crust knocks some coffee down to the bottom, then you get a bit of coffee floating at the top, together with some coffee foam. The stuff that floats to the top is then skimmed off and discarded. (Its interesting to note that foam is reviled in cupping, whearas crema is often prized in espresso.) By the time you have done that on a few bowls, you get to about 10 minutes from pouring the water. Some like to start slurping at 10 minutes; some, including me, tend to prefer waiting for 12 for it to cool down. So if you think that you might want to spend 30 seconds slurping each sample and that there were probably 15 or 20 people cupping, you can see that logistically it gets to be a bit of an operation ... particularly when you consider that you need to grind something like 72 bowls worth! You also usually want to take a second pass at all of the coffees after they have cooled a bit and maybe even a third pass if time allows, as certain defects emerge more as the cup cools and some flavour traits seem to lag at the middle and bottom of the cup. All of this meant that there wasnt really time to muck around and it is always a real privilege and joy to be able to cup with a bunch of people who are capable of pulling all of that off. Given that it was a fairly casual cupping, the usual rule of silence during cuppings was set aside and it was interesting to hear what everyones favourites were.
The cups themselves were, of course, fascinating. The dry aroma proved to be a good indicator of what was in store in the cups; I did think that the top dozen or so tasted a bit fruitier than those that placed lower down. All of the cups were quite sweet and I didnt really bother using my spittoon with so much delicious coffee on the table. One of the interesting traits that I felt cropped up in a number of the coffees was a nice orange or tangerine type flavour. My favourite on the table was lot #4, which was really clean, juicy, sweet and had a very clear tangerine type flavour to it. It was easy to see why the top 3 lots beat it out, though; lot #4 was lacking in body compared with the other seven 90+ rated coffees. All of this, of course, underscores the importance of roasters actually tasting the samples before buying. The top lots also mostly had quite a chocolatey wet aroma and a fair bit of body and, indeed, lot #7 (Meccas lot) was one that I felt was particularly good for a good balance of body and chocolate, amongst other things. BTW, lot #4 went to Japans Ueshima Coffee Co, so if anyone sees it pop up for sale, please do let me know.
Moving down the table, there were a few suprises. Lot #12 had a fair bit of ferment to it, but it was consistent across the cups. This is the sort of thing that lovers of ferment in coffees like Harrar would dream of ... restrained ferment compared with something like a Harrar, but a much cleaner cup and presumably much less risk of inconsistency. Aussie coffee lovers seem to be fairly receptive to natural process type flavours and hopefully the meticulous experiments with natural and similar processing from growers in central and south america will yield interesting results for us in years to come. Lot #11, bound for 7 Seeds/Source/Supreme, had some nice creaminess and a good long aftertaste. One of the lots around 17 or so had an odd drying quality that I wasnt a fan of. Lot #24 had a very strong green pea flavour and a few of the roasters thought that it could benefit from resting a little.
Thats just the tip of the iceberg in terms of describing what went on, but thats about all Im going to get to off the top of my head like that. Certainly the thing that really tied all of the coffees together was that they were sweet. In contrast with many cuppings, none of the coffees stood out as overly acidic or anemic, though that was in no doubt due to some skilful roasting on Brunos part. In fact, the heaviness of body of some of the coffees was a rare treat. If anyone has gotten stuck into the Bolivian Colonia San Juan 8 Estrellas this year, its worth noting that a number of the lots had a similar level of body, sweetness and cleanliness ... COEs that will taste great in milk!
Anyway, when all was said and done it was time for pizza and beer ...