Posted by Cecilia Diaz
This March, we held our third annual microlot competition to find out which coffee from the producers from San Miguel Escobar stood out the most. This year seven farmers participated in the competition with the idea of not only winning a fair and friendly competition, but also to have the opportunity to export their coffee at a premium price; Our panel of judges has been the same since the beginning - Rob Hoos from Nossa Familia Coffee, Les Stoneham from Deeper Roots Coffee and David Wilson from Coffeebar. Unfortunately, David could not fly to Guatemala to join us in person but we were able to send him samples so he could be part of this important event.
To everyone's surprise, it turns out that the coffee samples were not properly roasted. This came as a big shock to everyone to find out that the roaster was not working as it should, and the judges could not try the best version of every sample right away. Rob and Les had to take a sample each to the United States to be able to cup the best version of each.
For all of you that have not followed us since this idea was born, this competition started four years ago when Timoteo Minas, the leader of Café Artesanal San Miguel cooperative and an indispensable member of our team, and David Wilson, at the time De la Gente’s program coordinator, brainstormed ideas to promote individual coffee sales. From that brainstorming session, the idea for this amazing competition to give opportunity to each member of the cooperative to promote their coffee as individual microlots rather than cooperative blends was born. You can also read more about last years competition here.
Last Friday, March 22nd we invited the farmers to announce the scores from the judges and also to give them the chance to learn and live a coffee cupping, and have a better understanding of what the buyers look for when searching for coffee. Unfortunately, not all of them could attend due to personal reasons but it was rewarding to see how they enjoyed the experience by asking questions and being curious about which sample was the best on the table.
After a long anticipated wait from the farmers and from the team at De la Gente, we are happy to announce that all the samples have been tasted and the results are as follows:
First Place: Manuel Gutierrez
- Score: 86.15
- Coffee notes: Starchy, Sweet, Chocolate, Melon, Citric Acid, Floral.
Manuel became a coffee farmer after marrying Elvia, a daughter of the Café Artesanal San Miguel coop´s leader. He started working one cuerda of land his wife got from her father and entered the coop in 2012. Since then, the family property expanded significantly. His plots are situated at altitudes between 1800 and 2000 mt.
Second Place: Daniel Gonzáles
- Score: 86.09
- Coffee Notes: Chocolate, Savory, Coconut, Watermelon.
Daniel works in the campo with his wife and sons. His coffee career began with one cuerda of land gifted by his parents. He now owes 16 cuerdas just for coffee cultivation, about half of which he has purchased with De la Gente loan program.
Congratulations to all the seven farmers that decided to be part of this year's competition. Hopefully, next year more farmers will join this experience and we will get to taste more of these amazing coffees.
If you want these very special coffees to be part of your line ups, we will have them available in the United States and Canada so you can get in touch with us to order samples at firstname.lastname@example.org
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