It is with a great deal of sadness and disappointment that I have to announce that we wont be selling this years cup of excellence lot from the Honduras competition. We were successful in obtaining lot 26 Los Agapantos – Rafael De Jesus Chinchilla Chinchilla. Take a look at our cupping notes here on how wonderful the coffee was.
“Was” are the words I have to use as during the milling/bagging process we found there has been a taint passed to it that makes it taste of jute and musty. There were times the cup was as wonderful as we remembered but most of the time it was not. We made a decision over two weeks ago this coffee was not going to make it to the range. But then we had to decide and feedback the problems we were having. We found we were not the only ones to find this problem and other lots have also shown this fault. We also didn’t want to do anything that was rash or damaging to the program, and we wanted to see how the coffee developed. We removed it from the bags into bulk bags to see if it would improve. It didn’t and some tough decisions had to be made.
Our importers Mercanta have been awesome. Buying these kinds of coffees is the pointy end of the business. We are dealing with VERY expensive coffees that are incredibly rare and we don’t have the same kind of safe guards of normal spot coffee. If things go wrong then it can be disastrous for us financially and professionally. Our importer partners handle bringing most of our coffee and normally if it doesn’t arrive in perfect condition then it’s their problem. But cup of excellence is slightly different, when I commit to buy a lot then there is a shift in responsibility legally. But luckily for us, morally our partners see it a different way and due to their professionalism they are insured for such things and have taken up an insurance claim against this damage. I’m grateful for their help support and diligence, the good guys of the coffee market. I also want to thank Susie Spindler of the cup of excellence who flew into London for a meeting with the importers to try and sort the problems out. She works tirelessly for the COE and does a great job.
I’m devastated you are not able to share with us this beautiful coffee, one we were proud to chase and win. I hope Sr. Rafael De Jesus Chinchilla Chinchilla is able to repeat his fantastic work again next year and we maybe get a chance to try to show you that with a little love, hard work and care Honduras can produce beautiful coffee that is up there with the rest of the worlds finest offerings.