cupped out

Ugh! It's not the quantity of coffee samples you cup each day ... sometimes it's all about the way you cup them. When coffee is really good, it demands your full concentration. I started this morning at 9 AM, but by 4 PM (with no breakfast or lunch, just some fruit and bread between rounds) I am flat out finished. In the early cuppings, I noticed the bowls were about half empty by the time the 4 cuppers were finished (Francisco Mena, the exporter with Exclusive Coffees; Tim O'Brien of Cafetin San Martin, one of the best farmer groups here, Myself, and Mary of Electric City coffee, from the hometown of Michael Scott). Anyway, by the time the last round came around, the bowls look barely touched. Everyone was "conserving their slurps". I have cupped way more samples than this in a day, but not with the intensity we all brought to this cupping. It's such a physical feat, and somewhat exploitative to use your palate this way. It becomes like a tool, like a hammer you are pounding all day until your wrist is sore. But the coffees this season are so good from Costa Rica, well, the boutique little micro-lots specifically. The crop volume is down, but some of these coffees are just spectacular. It could be the cumulative affect, but I think I scored more cups over 90 day than any I can remember. To keep it real, I will take green samples home and recup them in the comfort of my own lab, to make sure I wasn't suffering from traveler's euphoria (or caffeine-induced exuberance). On the flip side, it is great to be excited about CR again. To put it in perspective, this is an origin that had industrialized it's production, all coffees sold under generic mill marks, so much land planted in the awful super-productive Costa Rica 95 Catimor cultivar, that I had given up hope a few years ago. Anyway, be prepared for us to through a bazilion amazing Costa Rica micro-lots at you again this year, my apologies in advance. Helsar Del Zarcero Micro Mill: