Competition Coffees

Brazil - leading the fourth wave?

We have written many blog posts this season about our friends and partners, Carmo Coffees, in Brazil. With each and every post, my desire to visit Carmo de Minas grew. When they announced that the World Brewers Cup would be held in Brazil, my heart leapt. It meant I could also visit Santuario Sul. Cupping the first releases from this farm earlier this year, my reaction was like most others at the table: “hey, are you sure this is Brazil?” I couldn’t wait to see the plants and the process in action.


4th coffee wave?

I visited the Santuario Sul farm in early November, a quiet time of the year for this part of Brazil. There was no noise coming from the processing machine, no workers around carrying cherries. Instead the team were preparing land for another season while cupping and reviewing this year’s harvest.

While things might have been chill on the farm, they were very exciting on the table. This year Brazil has surprised us all, importers, roasters and competitors alike. What’s happening in Brazil right now could be called fourth coffee wave. Well-resourced Brazilian producers are harnessing new technology, experimenting with different processing techniques, and planting new varieties. This is to discover new taste profiles, improve the longevity of their coffee, and create replicable systems that ensure quality coffee every harvest.

Carmo Coffees are among those pioneering new fermentation methods and varieties. On their farm, Santuario Sul, they have created a coffee garden with over 25 varieties of coffee. So far, we have tasted Sudan Rume and SL28. We expect to see even more varieties this coming harvest.


Brazil on TOP!

Clean, bright with candy-intense fruitiness, the coffees I cupped on my visit possessed none of the notes I have come to expect from Brazilian coffees. On the table were new varieties: Sudan Rume, Geisha, SL28, Yirgacheffe, Laurina, and Tanzania, featuring new fermentation methods. These profiles have caught the attention of competitors, who presented these beans on the world stage during the World Brewers Cup 2018 with great success. The winning brew, presented by Emi Fukahori from Switzerland, was a Brazilian Laurina, a variety famous for its lower caffeine content.


Looking for competition coffee?

Are you looking for something unique and astounding to present on stage? Something to spice up your offering? As a fellow competitor I have some advice for you! We will receive the very first harvest of SL28, new variety Yirgacheffe and Sudan Rume processed with anaerobic fermentation. Limited quantities are available, exclusive for coffee lovers willing to experiment along with the producers! Interested? Contact me for details, and order your samples now!

CCS Exclusive: Finca Deborah, 2019

The breadth and depth of expertise in the CCS team is astounding. Case in point, Veronika Galova Vesela, one of our sales representatives in Europe, is the reigning Slovakian Brewers Cup champion. Veronika will depart for Brazil next week for the World Brewers Cup championship. This is the fifth time Veronika will be competing on a world coffee stage, representing her home country, and the third time she will be competing using Finca Deborah coffee from producer Jamison Savage in Panama. 

Deborah Geisha Natural and Carbonic Maceration

CCS is thrilled to announce that we will have seven 15kg boxes of Finca Deborah Geisha Natural and seven 15kg boxes of Geisha Carbonic Maceration coffee from the 2019 harvest. 

This coffee will be available in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, with the exception of a few countries*, and will be exclusive to CCS in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. Samples are expected in May-June, with the coffee due to arrive end of August, but the coffee can be booked right now. 

What makes this coffee so special?

Finca Deborah is owned and run by Jamison Savage, originally from the US, and his Panamanian wife Leslie H. Freitag. In 2007 the pair bought land in the mountains of Volcan, Chiriqui at an elevation of 1900 masl. After several years of infrastructure works, including the construction of a 1km road to reach their farm, and a solar energy system to power their processing facility, they began planting trees in 2010. 

The first harvest was in 2014, but much of the coffee was lost to inclement weather. The second harvest reached the market in 2015, and it immediately earned a reputation for being among the world’s best. The following year, Finca Deborah was the coffee used in the winning presentation by the World Barista Champion, Berg Wu. 

Veronika visited Finca Deborah in 2017, a place she describes as heaven on earth. 

“It's such a beautiful farm, it looks more like a jungle, with coffee trees interspersed, providing necessary shade.”

Part of what makes Deborah such an astounding coffee is Jamison’s rigorous approach to cultivation and processing. The Deborah Geisha Natural that Veronika will use in competition is dried on a three-tiered structure of Jamison’s own design. The coffee begins on the top layer, with full sun exposure to kill unwanted bacteria and initiate the fermentation process. The coffee moves to the second layer, with additional shade to develop the sweetness. Finally it is moved to the bottom layer to dry slowly until the moisture content is reduced to 11%. 

Jamison Savage and his three-tiered drying beds, Finca Deborah, Panama

Jamison Savage and his three-tiered drying beds, Finca Deborah, Panama

The other key factor in producing exceptional quality is the unique environment of Finca Deborah. Bordered to the east by Costa Rica, the high elevation of the farm means temperatures can drop to as low as 10 degree celsius at night, causing the trees to push more sugars into their fruit. Combined with an ideal rainfall of 2200 mm per year, a soil rich in minerals, and careful use of organic fertilizer, the result is an intensely sweet cup.

Selecting coffee for competition

The Brewers Cup is sometimes called a “sourcing competition.” Unlike the Barista Championship, where so many points are attributed to service and the innovation and deliciousness of the signature drink, the Brewers Cup competitors are judged almost entirely on the final cup. Veronika’s goal in this year’s international competition is to let this coffee speak for itself. 

“In my brew I am aiming to unlock all the flavors and capture the unique profile of Deborah, its sweetness and complex fruity spectrum.” 

What drives Veronika to compete year after year is also a driving force behind CSS, to tell the stories of these coffees, and the many committed coffee professionals working to realize its full potential.  

“Producer, Roaster and Barista - we all are striving to bring the best possible coffee to the cup. We can achieve it only when working together with the same level of passion and dedication.”  

Veronika Trains for the World Brewers Cup

Watch Veronika’s competition performance

Veronika will be taking the stage for the first round of the World Brewers Cup on Wednesday November 7 at 3.45pm local time (6.45pm GMT). Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for links to the Live Stream of her performance. 

And, of course, contact Nico, Bjørnar or Veronika in Europe, or Julia in Asia, to book this exclusive coffee from Finca Deborah in 2019. It is available to reserve now. Need that unique stunner to wow the judges in an upcoming competition? Check out our full range of Competition Coffees

* Finca Deborah will not be available through CCS in the following countries: France, Germany, UK, Greece, Australia, Malaya Thailand and Korea

How To Buy Coffees for Competitions

We love working with coffee professionals who are competing in local and international competitions. These events are a great showcase for our producing partners, and the skills of talented and dedicated baristas, brewers and roasters. 

To stand out in these competitions, you need a distinctive coffee with a great story, and we have some limited edition coffees, available in Europe, which can give you the edge you need. Just ask Tom Kuyken, Norwegian Brewers Cup champion 2018, and Agnieszka Rojewska, 2018 Polish Barista Champion, who both won with distinctive and fascinating coffees from our partners in Cundinamarca, Colombia, La Palma y El Tucán.

Veronika Galova Vesela is our sales rep in charge of competition coffees. Check out the full selection in our new CCS Competition Coffees store on Cropster Hub, and Veronika can help you find that dream coffee for your upcoming competition. 


Green coffee buying can be somewhat confusing if you haven’t done it before, and it can be expensive to buy a single bag. When searching for that special coffee for your next competition, here are a few things you should know in advance. 

IN EUROPE we can only sell to companies, not individuals

This is for tax reasons. When a coffee arrives in our warehouse in Antwerp or Hamburg, tax is yet to be paid. The amount of tax charged depends on which EU country the coffee is sold to. In order to calculate the tax, and which country receives it, we need an EORI number and a Customs Clearance Contract, which only companies can apply for. If you are competing on behalf of a café or roastery, they can purchase the coffee for you. 

There are costs beyond the cost of coffee

In addition to the price of the coffee, there are some extra costs you need to consider. 

1. Customs Clearance
In Europe, for orders of less than a full pallet (10 bags), there is a Customs Clearance Fee of $120 per order. This fee is waived if you order a full pallet, so if you work with a roastery, you might consider buying a full pallet. You can buy different coffees to fill a pallet. 

2. Palletization
Shipping companies like TNT and DHL will not collect or deliver individual bags of coffee, they must be put on a pallet. Palletization, strapping and wrapping costs $38 USD in Europe, and $25 USD in the US. That’s a flat fee for an entire pallet, whether it contains one bag or ten.  

A Step by Step Guide to Buying Competition Coffee

1. Choose your coffee

We have selected some coffees that are delicious, unique and fascinating, and put them all in a special store on Cropster Hub. Browse our selection and order a sample. 


2. Compile all the necessary documentation

In Europe there are two essential documents you will need. 

EORI Number
If the coffee will be shipped to a country in Europe, we need an EORI for tax purposes or our warehouses can’t release the coffee. Generally it’s not hard to get one, just ask your national tax authority. Customers in Switzerland, Iceland and Norway are exempt from EORI.  

Customs Clearance Certificate
Customers in Europe must complete and sign a Customs Clearance Certificate. You can download it here

3. Calculate the total cost

If you are in Europe and planning to buy just one bag, calculate the full cost of the bag, plus $120 for Customs Clearance and $38 for palletization. 


4. Contact our Sales team

Email Veronika to discuss your vision for your competition. Make sure to let her know the following information:

  • Company name.

  • Billing address.

  • Your delivery address including phone number and delivery contact (this can be different from the billing address).

  • Your EORI number. (Remember, Switzerland, Iceland and Norway are exempt.)  

  • A signed version of our Customs Clearance Contract.

And don’t forget to let us know when and where you’re competing. We will be your social media cheer squad! 

Good luck. 

Tom Kuyken's winning brew at the Norwegian Brewers Cup was a Sidra Natural from La Palma y El Tucán. 

Tom Kuyken's winning brew at the Norwegian Brewers Cup was a Sidra Natural from La Palma y El Tucán. 

Coffee & Tea RusExpo


Robert will be in Moscow for the Coffee & Tea RusExpo this Friday and Saturday! 

Gesha Village and CCS

16 March, 2018, 17:00 - 18:00
Coffee&Tea Lab

Highlighting the unique farm and high-end specialty coffee project of Adam Overton, Gesha Village, located in the Kaffa region of Ethiopia — the true birth place of the Gesha varietal. Robert will explain the various areas of the farm, varietals, harvesting practices, and their meticulous processing craft, plus present a few highlighted lots, including their highest scoring lots of Gesha; washed, honeys, and naturals. The best lots from this farm will be auctioned online in May. 

CCS & Sourcing Coffee for Competition

17 March, 2018, 15:45 - 16:45
Coffee&Tea Lab

Introducing the processes behind sourcing very specific high-end coffee lots for a competition program. Robert will discuss planning according to the harvest seasons, building a conceptual competition program around a varietal and/or processing method, understanding the logistical implications and price challenges, and finally, tasting the potential! He will present samples from a few state-of-the-art coffee producers where CCS source these unique and exceptional coffees. 

See the full program for more details