Cupping sessions will begin on February 26th across the USA and around the world to preview the 2014 Cup of Excellence Brazil Late Harvest winning coffees that will sold at auction on March 6th. As you’ve read in my prior post about the event, I was impressed by the contest, its many participants, dozens of volunteers and, of course, the resulting coffees. The fact that a woman farmer won the contest in an otherwise mostly male industry was icing on the figurative cake.

What I did not mention before is that all the winning coffees were extraordinary in both range of flavor profile and objective quality. Those who cupped the tables would agree that starting in the semi-final round of competition, it became increasingly difficult to choose a favorite. That’s not a complaint, it’s a compliment: there were so many technically good coffees representing such a wide range of flavor profiles on the table that it was nearly impossible to anticipate the order once scores were tallied.

In an industry where dry natural processing is perceived as being inferior in quality to fully washed or other processes in-between, these coffees are poised to make coffee professionals think once again about old assumptions and prejudices. Washing technology was invented and favored only relatively recently in the long history of the ancient crop. Dry natural processing is the original method of coffee processing and is today well-positioned to make a comeback among artisanal producers.

Skilled producers can now apply new science and technology to achieve far better results from dry naturals than their farming predecessors ever considered possible. Intensity, complexity and consistency. Yes, everything old is new again. As Ken Davids commented in his recent article about the coffees of Ethiopia and Yemen, we’re seeing a “Rise of the New Naturals,” which although small is “attract[ing] a passionate following in North America.” As my good friend and industry legend Sherri Johns at the Alliance for Coffee Excellence always says, “proof is in the cup.” We hope that you’ll join us to try for yourself:

Wednesday, Feb. 26: Los Angeles
Farmer Brothers Laboratory
1:00pm – 3:00pm
20333 S. Normandie Ave.
Torrance, CA

Contact Me to RSVP

Wednesday, Feb. 26: Portland
Alliance for Coffee Excellence
10:00am – 12:00 Noon
3115 NE Sandy Blvd., Suite 224, Portland, OR
RSVP to: (503) 208-2872 or [email protected]

Friday, Feb. 28: Minneapolis
Cafe Imports
9:30am – 11:00am
2617 East Hennepin, Minneapolis, MN
RSVP to: (651) 209-6102 or [email protected]

Friday, Feb 28: Santa Cruz
Verve Coffee Roasters
10:00am – Noon
104 Bronson St., Suite 19
Santa Cruz, CA

Contact Me to RSVP

** NEW LOCATION ** Tuesday, Mar. 4: Philadelphia
La Colombe Torrefaction
10:00am – 12:00 Noon
Urban Outfitters Headquarters
5000 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA

Contact Me to RSVP

JUST ADDED: Tuesday, Mar. 4: Seattle
10:00 am – 12:00 Noon
Zoka Coffee Roasters
1220 West Nickerson St.
Seattle, WA

RSVP to: (503) 208-2872 or [email protected]

I’ll be at the Farmer Brothers, Verve and La Colombe sessions in person and look forward to seeing you there.