Finally the coffee we've been waiting for has arrived! We purchased this 5th place lot out of 750 submissions (twice as many as Cup of Excellence) at the live auction back in September. The coffee comes from accomplished producer, Alesandro Alves Hervaz, from his small farm Fazenda Fortaleza. This is quite possibly the most delicious coffee I have ever had!
Carmo Best Cup 2017 was organized by our friends at Cafe Imports and their Brazilian export partner Carmo Coffees. Similar to the Best of Huila in Colombia, the purpose of the competition is to find the best specialty coffee producers in the region and reward them for their quality and dedication at great prices. I believe we succeeded in this quest, and we were happy to reward this dedicated family with prices we had never even considered for coffees out of Brazil (typically thought of as lower end "blender" coffees). We simply didn't realize the complexity and quality could be so high out of this region!
I was fortunate to be in such great company on this trip! 20 of the top roasters and coffee buyers from around the world made the treck to Carmo de Minas to take part in this competition. As the international jury, our job was to take the top 36 (out of an initial 750 submissions) and narrow them down to the top 15. At the end of the week, a live auction was held with the winning producers, their families and community. We frantically bid against each other in the competition. Considering the enthusiasm and frantic bidding from my coffee colleagues, I'm still amazed that we secured the 5th place lot!!
The farms and landscapes in Carmo were absolutely stunning!