October 24, 2014

Project Origin – Cup of Excellence, Colombia

This year Cup of Excellence was held in the Huila region of Neiva in Colombia. 

Most coffee in Colombia, approximately 95% is grown by small producers and in most regions these small producers pick, process and sun dry their own coffee. They then sell it to the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) and other exporting companies.

Small producers are guaranteed to get paid on the same day that they deliver their coffee. This is the only country where producers can take their COE lots to competition and get paid straight away, and those that make it through to auction get paid extra. 70% of the bidding price goes to the producer, the other 40% goes  for milling, packing and administration fees.

Coffee in Colombia is mostly graded by size, which is not always relevant to cup quality.

– Smaller beans 14 plus are called Excelso
– Larger beans 16 + are Supremo and there is also Supremo 18+.

Several days before the Cup of Excellence I took the opportunity to visit the Cauca, Antioquia and Huila regions and had several cupping sessions with different exporters and producers. Quite a few times I actually tasted better quality coffee from the Excelso preparation than the Supremo even though the Excelso is cheaper.

Some exporting companies have an excellent system where they separate coffee as follows,

– A: 80 – 82 pts
– AA: 84 to 86 pts
– AAA: 86 + pts

Colombia is a country where coffee is picked every single month of the year with 6 growing regions and also 2 pickings per year in most of these regions. This is one of the reasons why COE in Colombia changes every year, to give fair chance to all regions equally.

This year in Huila over 850 coffees entered and the national jury have selected for us 59  coffees. After two days of cupping we selected the top 29 that scored 85+. While cupping these coffees we could clearly tell that there were some exotic, versatile and unique profiles on table.

My favourite profiles were,

Narinjo: beautiful silky body , floral notes tropical sweetness,  citric.
Tolima: panela sweetness with caramel notes medium body and mandarin acidity.
Cauca: distinct big body chocolate,  grape acidity.
Antioquia: this was a surprise for me with distinct blackcurrant notes, big body, chocolate, grapes juicy and long vanilla finish.

This year Carmen Cecilia Montoya Patiño from Antioquia won with 91.31 points with notes of blackcurrant, plum grapes, cacao, complex body, phosphoric acidity, brown sugar sweetness and long vanilla finish.

Project Origin managed to purchase some really unique coffees from the COE Colombia Auction, with unique and distinct profiles.

We found a distinct mint flavour, which we’ve never tasted in coffee before. Only two coffees had this distinct characteristic.

Interested in buying? Box  price is 15.90 per kg
Please contact Sasa Sestic at [email protected] for more details.






MPM Advertisment


Cafe Review – Queen of Leads

Queen of Leeds 114 Oxford Street Leederville, WA This May 2018 the team behind Felix and Co. Specialty Coffee opened a sister café in Leederville called “Queen of Leeds”. Felix & Co.’s long-time Manager Anisa Hirte h...
by Cafe Culture Mag


What is PR?

Recently on an interstate trip I was reading Virgin’s inflight magazine and came across an interesting article on the benefits of public relations in our new business world. It inspired me to seek out its author – PR an...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Innovative Product – Smartpay

No Eftpos fees. Ka-ching! Want to add a surcharge to your Eftpos transactions but worried about keeping ACCC compliant? Smartpay can help. Their SmartCharge solution automatically calculates an appropriate surcharge for each tr...
by Cafe Culture Mag



Specialty Tea Shines in Melbourne Fine Food Expo

Taking out the title of the nation’s best tea maker during the hotly contested Australian leg of the World Tea Brewers Cup (WTBC), Danny will now travel to Shanghai to compete in the China WTBC finals. The WTBC  – ran for ...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Innovative Products – Halo Wipes

The BEST performing professional wet wipes. Halo Wipes are a new product that take the unique Halo formula and transform it into a hygienic, convenient wet wipe. Designed for on-the-spot and single use cleaning, Halo Wipes wipe...
by Cafe Culture Mag



Meningitis Centre Australia is looking for a café supporter

Meningitis Centre Australia is a not for profit organisation that raises awareness and educates people about meningococcal disease. The Centre is looking for a café supporter Australia wide that can help them generate interest...
by Cafe Culture Mag



The world’s leading almond milk brand, Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, has teamed up with one of Australia’s leading athletes, professional surfer Sally Fitzgibbons, encouraging Australians to live a healthier, happier and more...
by Cafe Culture Mag



Browse and purchase past and current issues of Cafe Culture Magazine

Do you like to have an actual magazine in your hand ? Do you need to keep up to date with the Cafe Industry? Do you have to have something worthy of reading with your morning coffee? We have the answer to all your concerns… P...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Innovative Products – MACADAMIA MILK

e: [email protected] t: (02) 6628 5111 w: Milkadamia is macadamia milk, innocently made from raw {not roasted} macadamias, yielding a smooth, creamy taste. Grown on our Jindilli family farm, nestled ...
by Cafe Culture Mag


Annual Print Bumper Issue – Now Online

The Cafe Culture annual bumper edition is available now online. Featuring; Top 10 series, Australian Cafe Supplier Directory, Innovative products, Cafes in focus plus a whole lot more. Our printed version will be ready very soo...
by Cafe Culture Mag