What are cupping competitions?

What are cupping competitions?

And a Best of Trade first prize-winning roast.
by Maciej Kasperowicz | June 08, 2023

Producers from across a region or country bring their very best coffee. That coffee is roasted and then cupped by a group of experts. Winners are declared.

This, quite simply, is a cupping competition, and the coffee we’re bringing you this week comes from the Copa de Oro, a competition organized by exporter Osito Coffee in the fertile coffee growing region of Huila, Colombia.

Diego Hoyos’ lot of Pink Bourbon was chosen by a panel of international judges at #1 best coffee at Cafe de Oro, and between its punchy ripe fruit flavors, its sticky, tropical sweetness, and the bouquet of floral aromas that leapt out of the cup when we tasted it, we’re not surprised. The careful washed processing (and Small Planes’ roasting) gets every bit of fruity complexity out of this amazing variety.

06.07 Drops Blog

Small Planes’ Director of Coffee Daniel Hill was on that judging panel, and he was thrilled to be able to purchase a coffee that he not only loved on the cupping table, but was also from a region he has been getting increasingly excited about:

“In 2022, Small Planes coffee green buying focused deeper in San Augustin specifically. Coffees we have sourced out of San Augustín are coffees produced by a younger generation of producers, which San Augustín has shown to be a hub for. When the opportunity came to be able to purchase Diego’s coffee from the competition, it was not only an effort to share the winning lot with customers in DC, but also to continue to buy-in to the effort, quality, and potential of young producers coming out of this area.”

Buying coffee based on competition and buying coffee based on long-term relationships can seem like complete opposite ways of doing business. But this coffee shows a wonderful way in which these two prongs of the coffee sourcing fork can overlap.

diego hoyos accepting his award Pictured: Diego Hoyos accepting his first prize.

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