“Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well,” as the saying goes. That certainly applies to this year’s Cup of Excellence® coffees.
Serving on the distinguished panel of Cup of Excellence® judges is not for the faint of heart. Slurping and spitting 96 times an hour holds you true to your craft. It was an honor to join this international jury again this year. COE is a non-profit organization founded by a small group of dedicated coffee experts who, in partnership with source countries, conduct a competition and auction as a way to discover phenomenal coffees and financially reward the coffee farmer. We have chosen one of this year’s winners just for you.
Origin: Cup of Excellence®, Costa Rica La Pira
Winning Farmer: Carlos Urena Ceciliano, La Pira Finca
Region: Los Santos, Tarrazu
Flavor Profile: Exceptional, sparkle, bright lingering aftertaste, maple-y and almond-y at the finish.
All Cup of Excellence® coffees must be free of defects and taints while exhibiting the most desirable characteristics of the country of origin. As your specialty coffee roaster, our collective objective at Cravens Coffee was to secure the highest ranked coffee available to the United States. After a long and demanding bidding process, we were thrilled to secure the #3 coffee from the competition — #1 and #2 went to Japan and Korea. You will find no better Costa Rica, at least not in this corner of the world!
This coffee is rare and does not come easy. Commanding a premium price at $15.00 per 12 oz bag this coffee will only be available directly from Cravens Coffee, for a limited time. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website store to place an order.
A special item you may consider for the coffee lovers on your holiday gift list.
Learn more about COE as we share the coffee insider’s ACE Report. Check out page 2 for coffee roasters supporting this important work by the farmer.
Learn more about COE by viewing this fantastic video produced by friends and fellow COE judges at Toby’s Estate in Australia.
Learn more (or maybe just for fun!) enjoy a short (very short!) Photo Album of the Costa Rica Cup of Excellence journey. Clearly, I am better with a coffee cupping spoon than a camera. =
It is a pleasure serving you,
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With your help we did it again, 3 years in a row! Thank you for enjoying Cravens Coffee as much as we enjoy bringing it to you. Cheers!
Just like in the movies. Harry and Sally, Rhett and Scarlett, Butch and Sundance, Riggs and Murtough, Simon and Becky. Well, maybe not always in the movies but you get the idea.
As for Cravens Coffee, Becky and I have always said, “you are only as good as the people who surround you.” This certainly applies to our friends in coffee farming. We work with dedicated farmers who recognize the value of a long term relationship. We have worked loyally with one friend in green coffee for 17 years! At Cravens Coffee we look at each and every crop today with a view to supporting the farmer tomorrow.
As we all know, successful relationships require commitment. Buying the best coffee from reputable and traceable sources requires a consistent financial commitment. At Cravens Coffee this means a multi-year contract when the coffee quality exists. Not just a one year “showy” appearance that can leave the source hanging if price fluctuates because of environmental conditions.
Growing, picking and milling coffee is hard work. The people who undertake the work to produce a high quality product should be rewarded by honoring their price. One of the reasons we love the true specialty coffee business is because it’s hard to do well. Thankfully, we have long term relationships you can trust to bring you a truly special cup of coffee. Whether it’s in the movies or not.
NEW CROP COFFEES are HERE!
The first full container of our three Costa Rica Monte Crisol deliveries just arrived and are being roasted as both Vienna and French Roast. We buy this coffee for its unique combination of bright tanginess and vibrant body. At a dark roast, this coffee has a soft landing on the back of the palate – not the usual crash-landing French roast. This is as sweet and complete a French Roast as you will taste. No cream required!
New crop Organic Nicaragua Segovia from Prodecoop was delivered this month. This is a profile coffee from the co-operative, but with a difference. Prodecoop has an extensive cupping lab, which brings small farm coffees together under the Sabor de Segovia (Taste/Flavor of Segovia) banner. This year’s crop is sweet and nicely balanced, working well as both light and dark roast profiles.
Thank you for choosing Cravens Coffee!
Last year’s trip to Guatemala included visiting two farms from which we directly source our origin coffees – Finca Vista Hermosa in HueHuetenango and La Laguna in Fraijanes. After spending time at both farms I was fortunate to be involved in researching farms for sale in other growing regions and a Cup of Excellence project selecting the country’s best coffees for export.
Following on, ‘we’ ventured back to Guatemala this past month to visit with the Zelaya Family in Antigua, along with a freelance foray into Atitlan to look at organic farms.
“Who is ‘we’,” you ask? While many families join in on business trips, they may not include packing hiking boots and pepto bismol. With the amenities being a bit challenging, Becky and our sons Ben and Adam hit the road with me to participate in this coffee sourcing trip to Guatemala.
We visited Finca La Follie, Hacienda Carmona and Finca Bella Vista. The Thompson boys especially liked our time at the end of the day as the ripe, red cherries were being received at the wet mill. A uniquely energetic and colorful scene as Mayan families converge into the receiving area.
We finished our trip with a cupping on the finca, from which we have selected a classic Antigua profile coffee with a tangy, milk chocolaty, full bodied flavor you are sure to enjoy. This coffee should arrive from Guatemala in May. We will keep you posted.
We will continue to search out great coffee for you. In the meantime, visit our home page as you may enjoy the slideshow featuring Guatemala.
New crop Central American coffees have hit the cupping table and they are outstanding.
Our Central American coffee selections are Costa Rica Monte Crisol, Guatemala Finca Vista Hermosa, Nicaragua Dipilto, Organic Nicaragua Segovia, Organic Guatemala La Laguna and Organic Mexico Pluma CEPCO. So far the Costa Rica has been incredibly bright and sweet, while the Nicaragua Dipilto is buttery and chocolate-y, the latter at the darker roast profile (see Northwest Dark Roast).
The Finca Vista Hermosa crop is the best ever. A late season rainfall allowed the cherries to finish ripening with a flourish, which increased the tanginess and spiciness of this Direct from the Farm coffee.
More news as it comes in….
I’ve just returned from Guatemala having spent a lengthy visit with Cravens friend and coffee grower, Edwin Martinez. Edwin’s family farm, Finca Vista Hermosa, is truly special. It is a high elevation farm in the coveted region of San Pedro Necta. We are honored to partner with Edwin to bring you this exceptional coffee.
After a few days at Finca Vista Hermosa I traveled south to Roberto Orantes’ La Laguna farm. I’m not alone in believing this to be one of the best organic farms in the world! They possess unbelievable attention to detail in every phase of the process, while exhibiting a passionate stewardship of the environment. Now roasting this coffee at Cravens.
The end of my trip entailed a stop at the Cup of Excellence where I participated in cupping the top 10 coffees of the competition. We’ll keep you posted as these coffees become available.