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March 2016 Archives

Huila Best Cup 2016

Huila Best Cup 2016 from Cafe Imports on Vimeo.

This past February, we teamed up with Banexport Specialty in Pitalito, Colombia, to host our first "Huila Best Cup" event. Based on the success of the similar cup-competition events Café Imports initiated in the Cauca region, we decided to expand the reach of this opportunity for producers in Huila. Together with a group of roasters and green buyers from around the world, we cupped the top 30 coffees from an unprecedented pool of 750 submissions over the course of three days. The final day, we re-cupped the top 12 coffees, ranked them, and hosted a live auction where the roasters bid on their favorite coffees while surrounded by a very encouraging crowd of the producers, and their friends and families. 

 

The top coffee, from producer Simón Chacón of Acevedo, sold for an astounding $31.50 a pound.  

 

These events have been an effort to give extremely skilled producers an opportunity to showcase their crops, receive an award-value wage, and earn the recognition and respect they deserve. At the same time, we as importers and roasters get the opportunity to meet these farmers face-to-face, directly purchase their coffees, and hopefully develop long-lasting relationships with these professionals of origin; not to mention the constant discovery of amazing Colombian coffees, year after year.

 

The coffees from this auction are currently on the way to our warehouses.  Explore these limited Huila Best Cup offerings here and drop us a line to inquire even further. 


Gran Galope: The Colombian Workhorse

 

Café Imports is pleased to announce the arrival of our first container of Gran Galope;  another Big Stride for us in the direction of supporting small farmers and sourcing exceptional Colombian Coffee. These are full containers of coffees changing the game of what "standard" Colombian coffees are; a new "workhorse" coffee from Colombia.

 In an effort to be a better partner to our coffee-farming friends in the South of Colombia by buying more of their fine coffee and paying a premium better than they can find in the local market, we are strengthening our relationships while simultaneously introducing a product to Specialty Coffee roasters that is solid, flexible and relatively inexpensive. This is a win-win for producers and roasters. Our goal is always to find more good homes for more of the crop from our partners.

The average coffee farmer in Cauca and Huila has about 1.5 hectares of coffee land and will produce about 50 bags of coffee per harvest.  During the few months of harvest season, he or she will bring to town on a Saturday 10 or so bags of Pergamino to sell. We pay a premium based on cup scores; higher score equals higher premium. 90 points is over $4.00. Above 88 points means a micro-lot premium and 86 points equals our Regional Select premium.

Before Gran Galope, the other coffees, anything below 86 (that's where most of the coffee lies), recieved the FNC price or the posted street price. In today's market of about $1.20, this standard price is simply an unfortunate break-even price for an entire year's-worth of what we all know is hard, committed, and disciplined work.

 So today we are pulling out the top lots from those still-solid but lesser cupping coffees (think 84-85 points), paying a premium to the farmer and bulking them together to make full containers of delicious, rich chocolatey Colombian coffee.

 

Enjoy Gran Galope, and gallop proudly in front of the herd my friends!