This year’s International Jury competition for the Colombia Cup of Excellence took place in the town of Pereira in the Risaralda region from 9th to 13th of March.
The tables were set and ready for the 24 members of the International Jury to embark on the pleasure of cupping the efforts of the Colombian producers in a year where yields have been affected by bad weather conditions.
By the end of an intensive week of cupping, 27 lots from 6 regions made it to the final auction (Huila, Meta, Tolima, Caldas, Quindío y Risaralda). The coffees were very complex and diverse with cups bursting with bright citrus acidity, elegant floral and bergamot notes and juicy mouthfeel to coffees with velvety and creamy textures, caramel and sugar cane hints and lingering aftertastes. We also enjoyed coffees with pronounced tropical fruit notes such as papaya, pineapple, mango and passion fruit.
It was very tough to score all these different characteristics but what a pleasure it was to get the chance to appreciate the range of qualities that a country such as Colombia has to offer.
Huila presented a high percentage of lots from Pitalito, Bruselas and Palestina, areas. These areas are revered in Colombia’s specialty coffee world in the same way as Margaux, Pauillac and Pomerol are in the Bourdeaux wine region in France. Huila has long been at the top of Colombian specialty coffee.
The surprise in the 2009 Colombia Cup of Excellence was that the winner Don Alejandro Flores from Finca El Porvenir came from the Meta region, located in the eastern Andes mountains on the border of Colombia and Venezuela. This region has suffered in the past from difficult access to transportation and had been affected by internal conflicts. Don Alejandro’s coffee this year has great clarity, with a perfect balance between sweetness and acidity, a very smooth mouthfeel, notes of honeycomb and orange peel, long aftertaste and great overall quality.
We wish the growers of these 27 lots every success in the forthcoming internet auction on April 23rd.