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First days in Colombia

The first round of tasting is over in Colombia, and after 44 coffees spread over 6 cupping sessions for 2 days I am relieved that we have found some great coffees on the table.

My personal favourite coffee was on the last table today and I really think that this coffee will win the 2008 Colombia Cup of Excellence if it is as good tomorrow.

Tomorrow (Thursday) we will taste all the coffees we have given 84 points or more again and all the coffees that still gets 84 points and more after tomorrows round will be auctioned out on the internet in just a few weeks. On Friday we will cup taste the ranking 10 best coffees and rank them in order.

It is very comforting to know that the coffees are being tested so many times as we have allready seen quite a few coffees that have had defects in the first round.

Tonight I will get statistics on how I have been scoring the coffees compared to the other jurors. I am really looking forward to see how that turns out. I have felt much more comfortable cupping this time and feel I have focused more than I ever have on a cupping like this. The cupping sessions have been extremely well organized which has given the jurors the perfect conditions to consentrate when scoring the coffees. Not to mention the beautiful cupping facilities.

Yesterday we all went to a farm in Caldas after the cuppings.
The farm was very beautiful and located on a steep hill with a beautiful view over the valleys in Caldas. The farmer showed us both his roasting facilities(he was roasting his own coffee to sell to the locals.) and his wet mill and of course his plantation.

I even got to pick my first coffee ever. Although this is not harvest season, the farmer showed us a couple of trees that had some ripe cherries on them.
Picking coffee really opened my mind and reminded me once again of how much work is behind each cup of coffee. I picked for about 10 minutes and probably got enough cherries to make 2 espressos. In adittion, the hills where the trees were planted were so steep I had to hold on to the tree in order not to fall down the hill. I can’t even imagine how tough this job must be during the main harvest.
And some people still think coffee is expensive! Those people should be forced to work on a coffee plantation for a day or two…

Right now I am resting after all the cupping and waiting to go to another farm.
I will write more from Colombia during the week and for those of you who miss our La Lomita coffee, I am proud to announce that I will be visiting the Lomita farm on Sunday…

Here are some more pictures from Colombia:
Shade Grown coffee. The trees have been cut down to improve yield.

Sun drying coffee. Look at the steep hills in the background.

Discussing the coffees and checking score statistics after a cupping round is a good learning experience and quite fun too.

There are more pictures in our new flickr account

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