Burundi travel diary #5
Today’s tasting was both inspirational and heartbreaking. Inspirational because I discovered my favourite coffee of the competition and several that came close; but heartbreaking because we had to eliminate ten more coffees (out of thirty in total) due to the potato defect. Hopefully when the farmers see these statistics they will be more motivated to fix the problem.
Burundi travel diary #3
Today is the opening of the Burundi Cup of Excellence competition. We met for a casual breakfast before heading over to the venue down the road. It is a relatively new building compared to what I have seen so far in Burundi, two storeys with tinted blue glass windows. Upstairs we can hear the hustle and bustle of dozens of staff frantically preparing the cupping room while downstairs we are met by numerous delegates from Burundi, East Africa and Japan. After going through the formalities of meeting the right people and shaking hands we were led into a meeting room adjacent to the cupping room. Paul gave us a thorough run through the CoE procedures and Susie officially welcomed us. It is such a great learning experience to see how meticulously everything is done here, from finding the perfect roasting profile to getting the water poured in just the right way at just the right time.
Anyone unfamiliar with the annual Cup of Excellence competition could be forgiven for thinking of it as a simple process. You taste coffee and say which one is the best right? Well…yes…but the level of intricacy, hard work and dedication that goes into its conception is astronomical! Cup of Excellence is something that has quite literally changed the shape of the coffee industry worldwide. Those three little words have challenged the way coffee is perceived both as a beverage and a commodity and has come out on top.
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