THERE ARE THOSE RARE COFFEES THAT SHOW UP AND MAKE EVERYONE IN THE ROOM SAY…..
“WOW! THAT IS INSANE!”
Most coffee in the world comes from smallhoders. Craftsmen farmers who nurture the soil, their communities and their families with their hands. They traditionally took their coffee to market on Saturday and sold it to a warehouse where it was blended….Jewels disappeared in the soup.
Importer Café Imports asked their producer partners to separate small lots so they could cup them. If they cup well, they will pay premiums to the producers; equivalent to their real worth of time, effort and craft. Essentially, treating like fine wine or great food.
While microlots are traceable lots of coffee that have been around for years, ACES are different in that they universally WOW everyone in the cupping lab enough to say “We should ACE that!” Those coffees that make an impression on you forever; coffees that make you shake your head in disbelief while tasting them and that make people believe in the craft of coffee.
When coffees come across the cupping table that are stunning, gorgeous and near perfect examples of what the origin and process should taste like, they will be put into this program. The promise is that no coffee that isn’t the best will ever be ACED.
The ACE program is put into place to celebrate the farmer, the altitude, the varietal and the sun. The craft and livelihood of people who live from the commerce of coffee and hopefully make their lives richer by bringing the best coffees on the planet to the people who like to drink them.
It’s been a long time since I’ve travelled internationally and so I forgot how….uh…..fun it could be.
Why Costa Rica? Why now? You may ask why….I ask…Why not? But really, this is an opportunity to go along with my bean broker, Cafe Imports, to visit coffee Fincas, experience cuppings, see the harvesting and processing of the cherries and garner a greater understanding of the bean itself.
This is important as a roaster as a greater understanding of the bean, how it’s been grown and processed, means that I can work on roast profiles that try to bring out the best they have to offer.
Side note – pretty cool watching the Super Bowl in a bar in Costa. I’ve been to SB parties in Maryland and Va…..but not Costa!
But back to the fun!