Colombia specialty coffee

CCS Acevedo Cup 2019

Wednesday January 16 to Monday January 21st, 2019.

Join us in Huila, Colombia, for the third annual CCS Acevedo Cup, with our partners, Fairfield Trading.

The CCS Acevedo Cup is an annual quality competition that brings together the entire community of specialty producers in the micro-region of Acevedo. Five action-packed days of cupping and farm visits culminate in an awards ceremony with the entire community in attendance. The top twenty coffees are announced, along with the winners of the price premiums offered for each category.

CCS invites roasters, green coffee buyers and QC managers to join us in Acevedo, Huila, as judges of the CCS Acevedo Cup 2019.

Register to attend the CCS Acevedo Cup 2019

Name *
Name
Role
Sign me up for the CCS Newsletter

Why attend the CCS Acevedo Cup

The CCS Acevedo Cup is the perfect way to get to know an entire community of coffee producers in a condensed period of time. Through five intense days of cupping and farm visits, plus the awards ceremony which is a major event on producers’ calendars, roasters can cup and meet the producers behind scores of unique and delicious coffees. It is an opportunity to forge a long-term relationship with an individual producer, like Parlor Coffee in Brooklyn, NY, who are now exclusively buying the entire specialty grade production of producer Maria Bercelia Martinez.

This event is a fixture in the harvest in Acevedo, attracting hundreds of entries from the entire coffee growing community. The feedback provided by international judges is invaluable to producers, and placing in this competition is a great honor for any grower. As an international guest, you will be treated with great respect, and you will enjoy heartfelt hospitality from all of the producers and their families.

Price premiums per carga of parchment (125kg)

The price paid by Fairfield in recent months for coffee that passes their strict quality assessment was, on average, between 900,000 and 1,100,000 COP per carga. Prices that will be paid to the top twenty lots in the CCS Acevedo Cup 2019 are:

1st place - $2.200,000 COP
2nd place - $2,000,000 COP
3rd to 5th place - $1,800,000 COP
6th to 10th place - $1,500,000 COP
11th to 15th place - $1,300,000 COP
16th to 20th place - $1,200,000 COP


LOGISTICS

We will fly from Bogota to Pitalito early morning on Wednesday January 16th, and return to Bogota from Neiva in the evening of Monday January 21st. Judges must arrange their own international flights, and we will send you the details of the domestic flights. Ground transport and hotels in Huila will all be arranged by Fairfield Trading.

Each day we will cup in the morning, and visit producers in the afternoon.

We will cup three tables per day, 50 to 70 lots in total that have been screened and preselected by the well trained quality management team at Fairfield Trading. The last two days will be spent cupping and placing the top twenty coffees.

On Sunday the producers are invited to the award ceremony in Acevedo Town. The top twenty place getters are announced, followed by a Colombian-style celebration where you can meet the producers of these exceptional coffees.


Why Acevedo?

Acevedo is a municipality located in the south-easternmost corner of the Huila department of Colombia, wedged in the fork between the central and eastern cordilleras (mountain ranges) where the Colombian Andes split into three distinct mountain ranges (the western, central and eastern cordilleras). Just beyond the central and eastern cordillera convergence is jungle and thus, moist, cool air. This cool air simulates increased elevation, and creates many different microclimates with diverse humidity, temperature and rainfalls, leading to varying and ideal coffee-growing conditions. 

The variety found in the cup profiles coming from Acevedo reflect its array of microclimates. Altitude ranges from 1200 to 1800 meters above sea level (masl) with many of the farms we buy from lying within the 1400 to 1800-meter range. Coffees produced at higher elevations are typically denser and are therefore appreciated more by specialty coffee professionals. An increase of elevation usually results in an increase in perceived acidity in the cup. This is potentially in part due to an increase in exposure to UV radiation, but mostly caused by the larger diurnal swings that happen at higher elevations. The cooler nights that occur at higher elevations lead to slower cherry maturation, which leads to sweeter, more complex cups. 

Elsewhere in Colombia, altitudes of around 1400 masl can produce uninteresting, flat coffees. But Acevedo coffees are the exception to that rule. Whether they’re grown at the higher or lower part of the elevation range, they are incredibly sweet, complex and fruited cups. When you visit Acevedo, it is easy to understand why. Mornings and evenings are cool, even in Acevedo town which is only 1300 masl. Daily showers are extremely refreshing, or brutally cold, depending on your attitude, as hot water does not pour from taps in this part of Colombia. On many farms you can see literally watch the billowing, moist clouds roll in from the jungle to envelop the farms. This moist air makes drying the coffee difficult, so farmers use raised, covered beds, which adds to the fruited complexity of these beautiful lots. 

San Diego Cupping

San Diego Cupping sm.jpg

Friends in SoCal, Colleen is coming your way for a series of cuppings. She’ll be in San Diego on November 1st for a cupping of stellar Colombian, Kenyan and Guatemalan coffees with our friends from Manzanita Roasting Company.

The roastery is located at the south entrance of the Bernardo Winery. (Stick around for a wine tasting if you’re so inclined.)

Spaces are limited, so email Colleen to reserve yours.

Colombia Origin Trip Update

The “best flavor profile” is, obviously, highly subjective. Mine changes by the hour. I often look for something smooth and chocolatey in the mornings. In the afternoon, give me something lively and exciting.

Whatever your profile, it’s likely you can find it in Colombia.

The CCS team has been all over Colombia in the last few months. On this trip we visited Nariño, Huila and Tolima as guests of our export partners, Fairfield Trading. I split this trip with Colleen, and met the team in Acevedo. We immediately packed ourselves into one of FFT’s safari-style off-road vehicles and set off for the first farm visit.

Finca Los Angeles

We soon arrived at Finca Los Angeles, home of the much-lauded Maria Bercelia Martinez. We spent time touring the farm and discussing the many upgrades and additions she has implemented since our last visit. Success, of course, does not come without hard work and innovation, and Maria is a leader in both. In addition to refining the infrastructure (drying beds, fermentation tanks, and her super-impressive custom patio), Maria is experimenting with new varietals and processing methods.

Maria and her beds.jpg

San Agustin

From Finca Los Angeles, we made our way west to San Augustin. Fairfield Trading, one of our partners in Colombia, recently purchased and renovated a storefront to become a new purchasing point. This will act as a satellite location for buying coffee, sample roasting and other quality assurance measures, and general business practices. When I say recently, I mean the last coat of paint was drying the night before we arrived! To be among the first to see the beautiful new facility was a spectacular honor. You could see how proud the FFT team was of what they accomplished, and they were so very excited to share it with us. Like their coffee, their hard work on the facility was evident, and they should be proud of the result. Best of luck, Alejandro, Sascha, Ana Beatriz, Eduardo and the rest of the team!

Welcome, clients and producers! The inauguration of the Fairfield Trading purchasing point, San Agustin, Huila, Colombia. From left to right, Stephanie and Dillon from Parlor Coffee, Alejandro of Fairfield Trading, Robert William Thoresen of CCS, and producer Maria Bercelia Martinez.

Welcome, clients and producers! The inauguration of the Fairfield Trading purchasing point, San Agustin, Huila, Colombia. From left to right, Stephanie and Dillon from Parlor Coffee, Alejandro of Fairfield Trading, Robert William Thoresen of CCS, and producer Maria Bercelia Martinez.

Bring on the coffees!

With a fresh boost of inspiration from the unveiling, it was time for the guest of honor – the coffee! We spent the next three days at the old purchasing point in San Augustin, cupping just under one hundred lots. Our group was a big one, with CCS customers from all over the globe including Parlor Coffee from Brooklyn, NY, Sey Coffee from Brooklyn, NY, Behind The Cup from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Reveille Coffee from San Francisco, CA. The space was tight, but with the masterful sample roasting of Esnaider Ortega and direction of Eduardo Urquina, the operation was fantastically smooth. On the table were coffees from Huila including Acevedo (Tarqui, Baralla, and San Augustin), Valle de Cauca (Caicedonia), and Tolima (Planadas, San Antonio and Ibague). The scope of flavor profiles was impressive! The coffees ranged from soft subtle florals, to big bright citric fruits, and even super sweet chocolate/caramel.

Cupping lab.jpg

See you in Acevedo

My time in Colombia was short, but as always, very impactful. I came away from the trip as I normally do: feeling blessed to have the opportunity to spend time and learn from some of the best coffee minds and hardest working individuals in the industry. We are all eager for these delicious coffees to make their way to your hands, and I am already dreaming of my next trip to Colombia. Luckily, the Acevedo Cup is right around the corner! Stay tuned for details.