Sensory Education Training (SET) VC is a global calibration event that will be led by Cup of Excellence (CoE) Head Judge Scott Conary in April 2023. Students around the globe will cup and score coffee sourced from award winning CoE farmers and
renowned green-coffee importers. This unique event will allow students to evaluate their cupping scores in comparison with those of a global community of coffee professionals.
Prior to the event start date, SET VC students will receive a box containing roasted samples for three cuppings, CoE score sheets, an official CoE cupping spoon, and other goodies from our sponsors. SET VC will kick off with a special presentation by Head Judge Scott Conary. Scott will teach students how to cup and score using the CoE score sheet, and explain what makes CoE award-winning coffees so special. At this time, students will learn how to set up the event cuppings in the comfort of their homes or cupping labs.
In April, students should cup the coffees mailed to them, score the coffees, and return their completed score sheets to the event coordinators.
During these 10 days, students will have access to special video sessions lead by CoE staff along with Scott himself, and have the opportunity to have their questions answered. Students may also communicate directly with their fellow participants via this event’s What’sApp group.
After submitting their score sheets, students will receive individualized evaluations of their work and reports compiled by Scott. These reports will be based off the same data CoE uses to select cuppers for their National Juries. The report will provide insight regarding students’ cupping skills and their assessments of the coffees that were evaluated.
At the end of the month, students will join Scott for a virtual presentation of the data collected from all participants, and will answer questions about the coffees’ attributes, the cupping data, and more.
Participation in the SET VC session will give students the following opportunities:
- Learn how to cup and score coffee using the CoE score sheet
- Cup and score award-winning and unique coffee
- Compare cupping scores within a global coffee community
- Gain understanding into what high-scoring specialty coffee is
- Develop and further their own cupper confidence and accuracy
What’s included in the class fee:
- 2 instructional webinars
- Office hour access
- Coffee kit
- Access to class WhatsApp group
- Certificate upon completion of class
This natural processed Gesha from our friend Jose ‘Pocho’ Gallardo and his family’s farm in Panama, Finca Nuguo, is a rare jewel of a coffee.
It is literally rare, as there is so little harvested and available to share, as well as being a rare experience in coffee profiles. The delightful sparkling mouthfeel coupled with the amazingly complex ripe & juicy fruits it shares is truly unique.
Jose was kind enough to share 3 kilograms of this gem of a coffee, so it won’t be around for long…be sure to get yours quick! Order online HERE
For the last several years Jose has painstakingly produced these small volume gems that have received much acclaim! This year a similar coffee from his farm in the Renacimiento region of Panama was sold for over $2,500 per pound for green, unroasted coffee! This broke records, even for Panama coffees, which are already some of the most prized & costly coffees in the world.
I have been fortunate to work with Jose for a couple of years as he volunteered to judge the Panama Barista & Brewers Cup National Competitions in Panama City, and it was there he first shared his small lot of coffee with me. I was astounded at its quality & uniqueness – and the world was soon to make the same discovery as myself when he scored so highly in the Best of Panama competition the following years.
Panama has become known for world class Gesha varietals, but even among these, this coffee stands out!
The Jurutungo region where Finca Nuguo is nestled in nature, is the largest natural rain forest reserve in Central America – La Amistad International Park. This location’s environment can be challenging for coffee plants , with its low temperatures at night and high winds and humidity, as well as intense rainfalls. Extreme care must be taken to maintain quality in the face of these obstacles.
Relationship Building Spans Generations for Carrboro Coffee Roasters and Finca Jazmin in Marcala, Honduras
After many years for working directly with farmers in coffee growing countries, Owner Scott celebrated the first ever Origin of Denomination seal awarded to the coffee grown in Marcala, Honduras (think Napa branding for wine from that region) at the cultural fair put on for that honor. During this period, and in talks with an all-women coffee growing Co-Op (COMUCAP), he arranged with one of the organizers to have one of the young members come to the CCR Roastery in Carrboro and be trained in all things coffee/retail.
2006 COMUCAP Visit
It was then, Over 12 years ago, that Nancy Hernandez left her country for the first time and was sponsored by Carrboro Coffee Roasters to learn her trade; beyond coffee growing. She wanted to learn all she could in the 10 days she was in USA about coffee roasting, espresso preparation and coffee brewing, and any other retail experience she could take home to Marcala in order to open her very own Cafe. Soft spoken but knowledgeable Nancy (who spoke no English) also shared her viewpoint with area residents and staff so they could put the pieces together for what really needs to happen in the farming/processing side of coffee, before it gets to us as green coffee to roast.
10 years later, she has 5 coffee shops and is actively selling an amazing high quality coffee from her farm, derived form years of hard work, to select roasters around the world. While we stayed in touch over the years and I have visited her in Honduras; 2016 marked the first time she could return to visit CCR again, the starting place of her retail coffee education! Even more amazing was to be visited along with her daughter Angelica, who at 12 was already starting to be an amazing coffee professional herself!
For CCR, this is but one example of the supportive work we have done over the past several decades, but a quintessential one, as it clearly shows our larger goals of creating a broad economic base for all of our Farmer Partners that allow for greater long term, and truly sustainable, relationships for them, their families and their communities. This isn’t just about buying a coffee once or even twice ( though we do value delicious, unique, high quality coffee…), but about safeguarding the future in all forms. For us this started as an investment with a young Nancy, and now extends to her daughter, their family and their community at large.
Now, in 2021, we have had the honor of a return trip by Nancy and her brother, along with Angelica her daughter. This time it is Angelica who will stay to work with us for 3 weeks to absorb all the details we can supply, so that best practices and a new level of skill & knowledge can be brought back to their town of Marcala, and shared with the people of Honduras.
Our tag line is ‘Coffee Unites the World’ and we strive every day to make that true. Sometimes the effect is immediate and observable, and sometimes, like coffee, it too is a seed that is planted for future hope.
Since 2015 we have been working with Nancy to offer her own farms’ coffee – Finca Jazmin. This coffee is amazingly balanced. The care that went into it’s growth and processing, that we tease out with careful and expert roasting, shows in its amazing tropical fruit sweetness and lovely floral and brown sugar qualities. While we have many more examples of our hard-earned Farmer Direct Relationship coffees available, this one has an amazing, full circle quality that really epitomizes all the years of effort, travel, and actual blood, sweat & tears invested in what we lovingly call ‘work’.
This is a special relationship that we strive to share with all of our partners, to have the unique qualities that are exhibited in this program put at the forefront of our company ideals and mission statement. We are willing to go to the lengths necessary to fulfill them & provide hope and a path for the future.
This year, Taiwan Coffee Laboratory, on behalf of the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan R.O.C. (Taiwan) and Taiwan Coffee Association, is enlisting the help of Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE) to host the first ever Private Collection Auction (PCA) of Taiwanese specialty coffee.
“With a diversity of coffee varieties, and the many thoughtfully detailed processing steps found in these different farms, we found a wide range of flavor profiles and experiences when cupping the samples,” said Scott Conary, head judge at ACE. According to Scott, such flavors included everything from tropical fruits & Dark brown sugar to savory umami and spice notes.
Taiwanese farmers have been growing coffee for more than a hundred years. Since Taiwan Coffee Laboratory started working with the central and local governments to organize national coffee evaluations and regional competitions, they have witnessed a significant increase in the cup qualities of locally grown specialty coffee. This auction will honor the incredible work of the local Taiwanese coffee farmers and share their prize coffees with the rest of the world.
“Taiwan is probably the most saturated place in the world in terms of specialty coffee culture. The booming consumer market and the close proximity of coffee farms and urban centers motivate local baristas, roasters, and coffee traders to visit and connect with the producers. In the past, we used to think that consumers or retailers in big cities and the coffee farmers who produce the coffee exist in two non-overlapping spheres. That is no longer true in Taiwan; the ever more regular interactions and philosophical exchanges between the consumer market and the farms now allow both to more clearly explore cup qualities for all.” – Krude Lin, president and founder of Taiwan Coffee Laboratory
By pinpointing exceptional producers with the Private Collection program, ACE will curate auctions with organizations and farmers who best exemplify ACE’s standards & its Cup of Excellence programming, and hopes to expand its reach with these curated auctions.