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TransFair USA is excited to announce the first ever Fair Trade Certified Cupping Competition and Auction. All ten Brazilian Fair Trade Certified Arabica producing cooperatives will be submitting samples to be judged in the competition. The goal of the event is to showcase high quality Fair Trade Certified coffee produced in Brazil and provide Fair Trade Certified licensees access to the best coffees at origin. Buyers will have the opportunity to sample, meet producers, and bid on the winning coffees through a closed auction. In addition, TransFair USA is organizing a four day excursion following the auction for those who wish to visit coffee producing cooperatives in Minas Gerais. The international jury will be grading coffees from October 20th to October 24th. We will hold a tasting, auction and awards ceremony in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais on Friday, October 24th. This event provides an opportunity to meet with producers and producer organizations, sample the award-winning coffees and place bids on your favorites.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Today marks the start of the first ever Fair Trade Cupping Competition in Brazil. The judges are all well rested and ready to go after a proper night's rest. Our panel started out this morning from the Hotel Colinas in the heart of downtown Machado after a tasty Brazilian breakfast which included one of my favorites, Pao de Queijo with bacon. The judges, of course, we're only allowed a slice of white bread and some water so as to not upset their delicate palates (no I didn't see David Hermann eat chocolate cookies and jello for breakfast.)

About 15 minutes outside hilly Machado the Centro de Excellencia do Cafe, Sul de Minas sits on a small plateau overlooking lush farmland. It was built last year through federal and municipal funds in order to serve as an educational and technical training center.

Every cupping competition begins with a calibration in order to align the panel around standards and terms. Silvio Leite, a veteran cupper who's directed too many Cups of Excellence to count, led off the morning by going over the most recent edition of the SCAA cupping form and protocols. Then it was off to the laboratory across the courtyard to start cupping.

Reference samples

Andrew Miller of Cafe Imports and Darrin Daniel of Allegro Coffee discuss the merits of by-the-kilo roadside churrascurias.

Volunteers from the local agrarian school.
After the first run-through, the judges will break for lunch. The afternoon session will involve more cupping and a final alignment meeting to conclude the calibration.
Stay tuned for more!
-Demian Luper, TransFair USA

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