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Thread: Brazil Cup of Excellence Lot # 5 Norival Favaro -- Sao Marcos

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    Brazil Cup of Excellence Lot # 5 Norival Favaro -- Sao Marcos

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    Today I bought the coffee mentioned in the subject line from The Coffee Barun. The coffee was marked as "Ultra Premium" (never saw this category before), and sold for $25 per 250 g. The taste was bland and very non-descriptive.

    I got on the Interenet, and found out that this coffee was top in competition in Brazil (hence the name "Cup of Excellence"). There was only 46 sacks (2756 kg) produced last year. It was purchased by Gloria Jeans, and was offered for resale at $16.95 for 200 g starting in August 2011 until sold out. If you make a search on the Internet, you will get lots of references, as the said retailer obviously made a promotion out of it.

    Well, the taste is supposed to be great, and yet it was below their (i.e. Baruns) regular and Premium types of coffee, in my opinion. I cannot believe that they botched the roasting process (it was roasted 3 days ago).

    Or, am I missing something ?


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    Senior Member dski's Avatar
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    Re: Brazil Cup of Excellence Lot # 5 Norival Favaro -- Sao Marcos

    Did you try a cup at the coffee shop as well? I find it interesting to compare the flavours I can get out of a bean with the shops extraction.

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    Re: Brazil Cup of Excellence Lot # 5 Norival Favaro -- Sao Marcos

    Just because it is labeled COE doesnt automatically make it a blow you away coffee. You should look at the judging criteria for the COE program. I think you also might find that GJs :P brought a different lot of Brazilian COE (the numbering sequence is the key).

    COE score sheet is here for a look http://www.cupofexcellence.org/WhatisCOE/CompetitionProtocols/CuppingForm/tabid/186/Default.aspx you will notice only a part of the total is based on flavor for example. It is a lot more about the lack of defects than kick to the head aromas etc.

    Second thing was it roasted for Brew or Espresso?
    If it is for Espresso then possibly some additional days rest is in order. The current bag of Yemen I have was soso at 4 days but getting much better at 7 today, so it may be to fresh to get the best from the given roast.
    If for roasted for brewed and your trying espresso or even having it over milk then quite possibly your covering or masking anything it has to give some more again.

    If you have an old plunger or some other manual brew gear then wind the grinder out and give it a whirl. :)

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    Re: Brazil Cup of Excellence Lot # 5 Norival Favaro -- Sao Marcos

    Good question.

    While it is very interesting (and very useful from a professional point of view) to cup straight off the roaster and over a period of days if you have the quantity of coffee to allow that) I wouldnt have cupped it so soon after roasting as I like a coffee to develop more over a period especially if there is only a small quantity to try.

    Also, where do you as an individual "rate" as a coffee cupper (not a facetious question at all) and is it possible you have missed the point with this coffee and

    How many people do you know that would taste a grange hermitage and say its a "mind blower" compared to other very good reds that cost a fraction of the price? (I had an $80.00 special / limited release red last week that was really really good, but you need to have the right kind of palate and training to think about the differences between something like that and a "lesser" wine).

    Its all relative* ;)

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    Re: Brazil Cup of Excellence Lot # 5 Norival Favaro -- Sao Marcos

    Quote Originally Posted by 45424649414B5E4E4940270 link=1341140567/2#2 date=1341194773
    I think you also might find that GJs* :P brought a different lot of Brazilian COE (the numbering sequence is the key).
    Hm... Gloria Jeans and Coffee Barun have (had) been selling the same lot of this coffee, namely Lot #5.

    Gee, I never knew one had to wait for several days for the freshly-roasted coffee to "develop" the aroma. I presume 1 week might be enough...

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    Member VimFuego's Avatar
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    It's a tough call, last time I was in the US I had two wonderful coffee's at Intelligentsia, on the last day there I went and purchased 250g of the same beans they had going in the shop, they were a two day old roast. So by the time I got them home they were only 4 days old. But I just could not get the same flavours as they did in the shop, if anything it was really disappointing coffee, but I have to assume it was me, not them as I was the only difference between the great in house coffee and what I made back home.

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    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    I have roasted several Brazil COE 2012 crop samples recently for cupping sessions--they have been clean and sweet with subtle delicate flavours some of the samples have been fairly bland when compared to Costa Rican, El Salvador, Rwandan and Kenyan coffees on the cupping table. I attended a cupping of the 2012 Nicaraguan COE offerings--there were some standouts but out of 20 offerings sixty percent were just good coffees with a couple that were very ordinary. I prefer COE lightly roasted and as a brewed coffee to explore the layers and nuances that these beans offer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by beanflying View Post
    Just because it is labeled COE doesnt automatically make it a blow you away coffee.
    Yesterday I bought Rwanda Cup of Excellence 2010 Lot#13, Abakundakawa Minazi/ MISOZI. It does not have "blast in your brain" flavour either. So you are right.

    I am trying to learn what are they good for, the good coffees.

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    I know atleast one very prominent green bean broker that will tell you openly not everything with a COE label is great coffee or more to the point, there are other coffees that are just as good or better at a fraction of the cost (because they are not saddled with the label).

    Problem is the marketing of such. If you plug that you have a COE, some clients will pay the ransom and try. Most wont (because of the price). If you try and tell a client that you dont have a COE because you actually have a better (and much better priced) coffee, some will try because of your recommendation, and others will not because they are suspicious that you just told them a porkie because you dont have any COE for them.

    Bottom line, COE has a very limited market and does not make any roasters instant millionaires. Its just another product you may have in your aresenal that may bring people to you, like FT Movement coffee and other such stuff.

    And as mentioned above in the grange hermitage example, the appreciatiuon of such can be a very individual thing. One mans treasure is another mans poison.

    Another bottom line then: COE label is not a guarantee of mind blowing experiences, as you have found.

    In terms of "Coffee Appreciation" per se, there is no substitute for lining up a small number of whatever (blends, brands or SO's or whatever) coffees and cupping them off in a session, blind, scoring them in a simple way, then going to the list of coffees used and seeing how you scored them, liked and didnt like out of the sample of cuppings. That's a mind blowing experience as it shows you what your palate actually thinks in comparison to what your mind thought you should think according to the names / origins / brands / labels etc.

    Hope that helps.

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Another thing to keep in mind is that CoE is a competition held among a country's coffee growers "that selects the very best coffee produced in that country for that particular year" to quote the CoE website. So if it hasn't been a good season, then the 'very best' may not be of a standard that one would consider deserves that distinction.

    Still, they need to be above a certain score (84 points). I see the judges spend a day of calibration but are the scores relative to the standard of the beans submitted for cupping or are they relative to an international benchmark? If one bean that scores a 92 in one country's CoE comp be of exactly the same standard as another bean that scored 92 in its own local CoE comp.

    It appears only 11 countries participate in the CoE programme (out of over 40 coffee exporting nations) with Rwanda and Burundi the only non-American countries. How would Ethiopia or Yemen or Kenya or PNG measure up? Is CoE a legitimate label of quality if only a 1/4 of nations participate?
    Last edited by flynnaus; 4th August 2012 at 03:06 PM. Reason: grammar

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    CoffeeSnobs are no stranger to CoE coffees, in fact one of the earliest references to Cup of Excellence coffees on the internet is here http://coffeesnobs.com.au/knock-box/...-24-50-kg.html
    It was the Brazil 2004 CoE coffee (landed in Oz 2005) and we have had quite a few since.

    Firstly I have to say that the CoE concept is great. It creates a competition environment that encourages farmers to try and produce something better than average and in return then get paid a premium for it.

    ...but like everything there are some gotchas...

    Like all auctions, often the price paid is silly and driven by ego to secure the top lot.
    ...and that price is then made higher when you have to freight small shipments around the planet and then pay clearance and customs costs.

    The first level of judging is done by trained locals in the host country. The final group is often judged by a mostly American group who are looking for great brewed coffee (not espresso coffees).

    In the last few years they have done a much better job of packaging the winning coffees so they are landing here in much better condition than previously.

    The problem with the US based score sheets (CoE + SCAA) is that traditionally dry process or wet hulled coffees get slammed in points with too many funky flavours and the winners are mostly very clean, very balanced and in espresso often bland. SCAA are moving to correcting that but the judges that have scored dry process beans low for years will always carry some bias. A well known coffee personality from stateside once said "I have never had a dry process coffee I rated" and he was the diving force behind the score sheets!

    You only have to look around CoffeeSnobs to see just how wrong he was, some of the most memorable and fun coffees we have ever had are dry processed and explode with fruit and ferment flavours that score low on those sheets.

    Punchline?
    When we find a stand out CoE we buy it and take the (very large) risk that we will get stuck with wildly expensive coffee but really, Cup of Excellence coffees are mostly clean, rounded and balanced and they do that well.

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    When we find a stand out CoE we buy it and take the (very large) risk that we will get stuck with wildly expensive coffee but really, Cup of Excellence coffees are mostly clean, rounded and balanced and they do that well.
    I bought the 2007 CoE 6-pack lots you were selling in 2008 and nearly all were excellent. The Nicaraguan CoEs you've had in BeanBay have been great too. But I don't think I've rated them that much better than some of the other non-CoE beans especially the Ethiopians and (of course) the Yemenis. Kuza: now there's an Ethiopian I'd love t see make a return.

    To bring it back a bit more on-topic I've only tried a couple of Brazilian CoEs and none had the wow factor. In fact, the only Brasilian I have ever rated as better than 'nice' was a Peaberry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    ... really, Cup of Excellence coffees are mostly clean, rounded and balanced and they do that well.
    That's what I got from reading the Internet about Cup of Excellence coffees. I also read that the people used brewing methods "to bring up the full gamut of subleties and nuances of the flavour". They used a syphon pot. I thought I should try it as well. (I am using a stovetop moka pot.) However, the procedure and the syphon pot seemed to be a bit cumbersome and pricey, respectively. I have realised the plunger should do equally a good job. (I have a couple of dusty plungers in a far corner.)

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    Gee, yesterday I bought Brasil Daterra coffee. It has the strong taste I liked. But now, it seemed to me to be rough. That's after the CoE coffees. It appears I already got used to them !

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    Quote Originally Posted by flynnaus View Post
    Kuza: now there's an Ethiopian I'd love t see make a return.
    Me too! Loved the Kuza.

    As to CoE. I have only tried the CoE Nicaraguan offered on beanbay previously, and it was very good. However, I agree that I have had better Ethiopians and Yemenis for my taste buds.



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