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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.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Finals Feedback and Farmers

Once judges were finished with each round of cupping they met in a conference room with head judge Silvio Leite to give their scores and talk about the coffees. Often, when the discussion about a particular aroma or flavor becomes animated, Silvio has provided insight into why the trait exists. In some cases it's related to post-harvest techniques-when the cherries are picked, how much fermentation if any, how the cherries are dried if they're naturals, etc. While discussing a high scoring natural coffee, Silvio noted that the coffee could score even higher with a few changes in production techniques.

And this is the crux of the Fair Trade Certified Cupping Competition. By looking at how the coffees scored and relating that back to how they were produced will enable the Responsible Sourcing Project lift up the level of Brazilian Fair Trade Certified coffees. Feedback on individual farmers' coffees provided be expert roasters, green buyers, and academics enables the technical trainings to become more fine-tuned.

On to Belo Horizonte for the awards ceremony and auction. Stay tuned!

Silvio Leite leading the charge for Brazilian Fair Trade Certified coffees.

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