A post from Rwanda

Well, we finished the judging of the 2008 Rwanda Cup of Excellence, the first COE ever held in Africa. We did all the judging in Huye, Butare, near many coffee farms and mills. I always prefer to have the cuppings in the coffee areas, as opposed to the big city (I guess it is a stretch to call the capital, Kigali, a big city). Nobody has posted results yet, but here are the top 5: 1. MIG Buremera 2. Facko Rulindo 3. MIG Buremera 4. SDL Minazi 5. SDL Muyongwe 6. Kabuye Maraba 7. Bufcafe Remera 8. Coopac Kabirizi 9. MIG Buremera 10. Horizon Nyamyumba Ok ... what the heck? These are the names of washing stations, i.e. wet mills. The first is the name of the mill group, and the second is the area. In Rwanda, farmers tend to have around 300 trees. Trees! That makes them some of the smallest farms in any coffee producing area. Each winning lot, about 15 bags (60 kg) of green, are the work of anywhere from 60 to 250 farmers! There is going to be a huge effort to distribute the auction proceeds to all these little farmers. (The auction is in October). You might notice the name Bufcafe, because we have offered this coffee several times, including the one we won #2 at in the SCAA Roasters Choice competition. There were also some amazing lots that were kicked out due to one defect cup ... one cup of over 100 tested. So we are going to bid on those too, because they would have been top 10 coffees otherwise. Here's a picture of a local business in Huye. I uploaded more to flickr too ... but I am off to Harar region of Ethiopia now, so the full trip report for this historic COE event will not be uploaded for a week or more... Tom (from Novotel Hotel, Kigali Rwanda) Smart Saloon, Cyber Cafe, Huye

Some are rejected due to

Some are rejected due to potato defect appearing in one cup. It's not fair really, nice this is a defect that doesn't spread, and if you make enough cups of Rwanda, Burundi etc eventually you will get one potato cup, nomatter. So we had to eliminate some very good coffees due to this. But they were offered in silent bid auction as "National Winners" and we bought 4 lots this way (2 are split with Stumptown). Potato tastes like sprouted raw earthy potato, and is caused by a microbe endemic to the Lake Kivu area, after there has been some physical damage to the coffee that allows it to enter the seed. It's not a health risk, or a bad mold ...

Tom What's your opinion on

What's your opinion on what mostly went wrong with the lots that don't make the cut? Is it care during growing,sorting, weather, processing, storage, other.

[...] Excellence competition

[...] Excellence competition held outside of Latin America. Some reports of how the competition went by Sweet Maria’s and Has Bean, home roasters have something to look forward to soon. In Rwanda, farmers tend to have [...]