Bolivia COE day 4 FOOTBALL DAY (oh and some cupping :) )

The titles a joke by the way of course cupping before football that came afterwards.

Today we had 34 coffees to cup. doesn’t sound a lot but four tables all taking around an hour each with discussions taking around an hour after each its a long day.

The quality of this competition has been great. an improvement on the last one in 2005 that was also fantastic. I’ve found it very tough to knock out and eliminate a lot of them just due to the quality presented. But that’s what you have to do and I’ve given my all.

One thing the competition has reminded me is how much I enjoy cupping. Not cupping samples at home but cupping samples with a panel of international experts and just hearing there thoughts, and there descriptors. Its certainly helped me this week to progress as a cupper.

The cupping ended at around 5 pm and after I arranged a game between the national jury and international jury. This was a bit like a bunch of young fit lads against old men. The game started well and we dominated the young guns, scoring a few in succession (with me getting one of the goals). Then they started to take over a mixture of old age and not being used to the altitude. I dropped back into goal as we started to leak some, this didn’t really help and we ended up losing 9-7 . It as really good fun, everyone agreed a good idea. But I totally owned the crowd getting everyone laughing and we must have had 20-30 spectators.

I love the national jury guys and girls, they are so important to any competition, and things like this just help to bring you closer, and realise were all just doing the same things in our lives just in different places.

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  1. RE: …four tables all taking around an hour each with discussions taking around an hour after each its a long day.

    Now, that’s what I call a job. 🙂

    Can’t wait for the coffee to come in, though.

  2. yeah, “work”, mmmhhhmmm :p Hey Sarah, when’s your turn to “work” 😉

  3. Nice to read about the simularitys rather than the diffrences between nations ……

    On the coffee side it raises a thought and maybe a more complex one than itr first appears.
    The bar seems to be raised yearly if the weather conditions are favourable ? is this down to prices now being paid today as incentive or maybe pride in the efforts of the growers and workers and the reconiton via the prices being paid, also visits to source such as this maybe a factor?
    I ask as you have been in the company of growers, cuppers and buyers and maybe this was discussed?

    if better coffee is grown and as importantly, made ACCESABLE then lets keep it up!!.

  4. I think the growers are better armed for what the consumer wants because of this kind of interaction. I also think it showcases the variety of choices when someone like us visits a growing country.

    I know its a bit of a holiday but its also very important all around to find these gems and then hopefully build on it for the long term. Its also to let farmers know there are alternative routes to market than putting it all in one big heap and selling it to the markets. There are some buyers who will pay for the extra work they put in, they just need to meet each other.

  5. You are the MAN, Steve! What a great series of posts with some very thoughtful comments following. I think this is a huge area just beginning to be explored–that of the coffee farmers working hard to almost “niche” themselves into what such a relatively small sub-subsection of the coffee world is demanding. This is always the way the market works, but it’s fascinating to see it practically on the birthing table (as it were) in specialty coffee, and even more so because consumers (buyers, roasters) are telling producers DIRECTLY what they want and how they want it, not the vague machinations of the market doing so.

    Again, it’s that much more interesting because people like yourself and the rest of us in this boat represent such a tiny segment of the market. Yet here are growers seemingly lining up to work with us–and we with them. Fascinating stuff, Steve. Thanks for chronicling it so well.

    And now…where are your footballing pics???

  6. Pictures coming my camera should be back with me tomorrow, I hope I gave it someone who kindly said they would take pictures of the final day as I had to leave early. Day five coming soon too 🙂

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