Cup of Excellence Diaries: Costa Rica 2013, Part III

San Jose, Costa Rica. Photo by Matt Swenson.

San Jose, Costa Rica. Photo by Matt Swenson.

Matt Swenson, our Director of Coffee, recently headed down to Costa Rica for their annual Cup of Excellence competition. Here is his third postcard home.

DAY THREE

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Dance performance at Cafe de Altura. Photo by Matt Swenson.

The third day got underway and another day of fierce scoring was upon us. After a surprising day of scoring everything below 90 all day yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised in the early hours of the morning and scored three coffees above 90. As I walked down the 5 sets of grueling stairs back to the discussion panel room, I felt really strange, as if I had just cheated on a biology test and scored an artificially high A. After speaking to a Cup of Excellence veteran, I felt at ease and my early morning jitters were quickly put to rest. We had just cupped an insane table of coffees. So it turned out that my jitters-episode wasn’t about scoring doubts, but rather that I had broken through a personal barrier of mine. I had never before had the privilege of tasting and scoring so many amazing coffees on a single table.

As the morning pushed on and the cuppings began to blur together, we finally called it a day and loaded up on a bus to go see Cafe de Altura, which is a member-owned mill, very similar to a co-op. Upon first glance as we pulled up, the massive footprint of this facility was impossible to ignore. Just visiting a small single-family operation the day before, this was the godzilla version of a modest iguana. Everyone at Cafe de Altura was an amazing host. They even treated us to a performance of local culture. Soon, children of the community were surrounding us in a barn, in adorable white dresses and perfectly fitted white and blue suits. They began to treat us to a several song performance that stamped smiles on our faces for the rest of the evening. As if it couldn’t get any better, the daughter of one of the producers came out to discuss the meal that she had prepared for us. She had recently competed in a national cooking challenge and won, so she was weeks away from representing Costa Rica in an international cooking competition. I think I might have stopped eating when my head and palate almost exploded with all the deliciously confusing signals they were receiving. Chocolate on steak? Carmelized Banana on pork? Wait, all of that on a tortilla…WHILE IN A COFFEE MILL?! Woah. It was almost too much to handle for one night. (But I may have enjoyed three plates.)

DAY FOUR

Joe New York's Ed Kaufmann meets a secret Costa Rican Probat. Photo by Matt Swenson.

Joe New York’s Ed Kaufmann meets a secret Costa Rican Probat. Photo by Matt Swenson.

Our cupping on Thursday ended early and we were given the afternoon off to “catch up on emails”. Not content with sitting behind a computer in a foreign place, Ed Kaufmann of New York roaster Joe drew a map on the back of a napkin and headed for a local bus! Armed with the Spanish-speaking skills of a first grader, I sprinted after the first bus I saw and leapt on before realizing Ed was fiercely chasing behind. Both of us jumped on the bus as it was gaining speed to re-enter the fast paced highway. We were off to a safe start.

This was one of those bus trip you always say you want to go on. I think it went something like this: “Let’s just ride until we see something cool,” “Ok, Cool”, “Cool, man”. We ended up getting off in the heart of downtown San Jose and walked around to different shops. We found our way into the central market where we picked up a few souvenirs for our ladies and then stopped to eat like locals. On the way out, we stopped by a coffee shop and noticed an old Toper roaster. The guy behind the counter could not ignore Ed’s massive smile and natural curiosity. By the time it took me to grab my camera out of the bag, Ed was already behind the counter meeting all the employees and taking a closer look at the roaster. After getting a couple cappuccinos and slices of pie, the manager approached us and told us to follow him. Neither of us are fluent, so we both kind of had the gut feeling that we might be lead into a back alley where it could get ugly. We had big smiles and coffee blinders on though, what could go wrong? As he led us out the doors and down the street, we approached a small retail space where to our surprise he showed us an amazing little Probat Roaster. Almost identical to one of the ones we have at Dallis. Well, in spirit. This little roaster was beat up pretty bad and had a good 60 years of roasting on it. But the familiar sight was comforting and seeing the excitement in his eyes as he showed us was truly priceless. In that moment, we all had that brief sense that even though we didn’t speak the same language, we all shared the same excitement for coffee that bonded us.

Where we went wrong. Photo by Matt Swenson.

Where we went wrong. Photo by Matt Swenson.

We headed back to the hotel confidently, as if we had just conquered a territory and in some sense we kind of did…well until that whole “eat like a local” part caught up to us both almost simultaneously. In a matter of minutes, our stories of local adventures to fellow COEers turned into unadulterated sprints to el baño. We may have ignored the rules of Travelling 101, but it was worth it. At least for those first few hours.

Burundi Cup of Excellence Diaries: Part IV

Our esteemed VP of Sales, Marketing, and seemingly everything else, John Moore, flew last week to Burundi’s first-ever Cup of Excellence competition. We at Dallis, and particularly John, have been proud to support and participate in Cup of Excellence competitions across the world, both for the benefit they bring to the industry by recognizing truly great coffees, and — more importantly — for the actual financial benefit this recognition can bring to farms, particularly those in economically troubled countries. Burundi’s first competition, and John’s first trip to Burundi, are momentous to us. We share here his last of four trip diaries.

Traditional dancers at the Burundi Cup of Excellence awards ceremony. Photo by John Moore.


Day Five: Last Day at CoE

The last day at CoE is when we rank the top 10. These are coffees that have already made is as “winners”, and the final day determines where precisely they rank in the eyes of the jury. It is important to note that the number one coffee doesn’t always fetch the highest sum, but that is most often the case. I love the last day because it is less about critiquing, and more about celebrating the coffees.

It was so sad to see two of the final top 10 finalists kicked out for potato defect. It appears as though about 28% – 30% of the samples submitted ended up killed by potato, and I think that these figures will help push the government to help support initiatives to get to the bottom of this scourge.

After the morning of cupping we had some time in small focus groups with Burundian producers. This was incredibly valuable time since we got to ask them questions and then they got to ask us questions as well. It was great to hear directly from producers and washing station managers what they are doing and how they are doing it to continue improving quality.

As is always the case, financing and price conversations filled the air. At one point they were suggesting that roasters finance the coffee before it is picked. Our group was quick to push back to the financial institutions and government agencies within Burundi. The problem is the same everywhere it seems — cash-strapped producers end up selling cherry to middle men as opposed to delivering to a washing station because middle men offer immediate cash. Liquidity matters, and cash is king.

The lead figure from the government agency responsible specifically for this topic happened to be sitting in on our group session, and it was extremely interesting to watch the exchange between ourselves as international jury members, the producers, the washing station managers, the representative for the collective of producers, and Evereste, the government official. If he is to be believed, they are working towards solutions, but these are complicated and take time.

Then it was off to the awards ceremony. This is always a mixture of song, dance, expression of local culture, a seemingly endless stream of speeches, and then at last producers get their certificates and awards. It is at that moment people find out whether or not their lots made it as Cup of Excellence winners, and further still whether or not they made it into the even further elite top 10.

I have to say, this competition the speeches really had a sense of urgency to them. The representative for Burundi Coffee Growers Confederation was the first to take the mic, and he wasted little time in rattling off a list of programs that he and his constituents clearly wanted the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock to hear. When asking for a more appropriate allocation of funds for fertilizer he said, “the yield of the cow depends on the food for the cow”. He was quick to point out just how much “food” went to the producers in Kenya versus what they have received in Burundi.

We also heard from Adrien Sibomana who had spent quite a bit of time with us over the week. Adrien is a phenomenal individual, and was the prime minister of Burundi from 1988 until 1993. He was the first ethnic Hutu appointed to a high government post following the civil war, and previously had been governor of Muramvya Province. He said “Most important thing is the quality of the coffee. Quality has improved, so hopefully the price will improve. Nevertheless, we still have a lot of work to do”. It seems the Burundians understand very well that they will never be a big quantity producer, but they have a tremendous opportunity to be a big quality producer. In an effort to illustrate what quality means Adrien is coordinating a cupping of the all the CoE winners that will be open to anyone that wants to attend next week. I thought that was a really cool idea since all too often we ask producers to create qualities that they don’t know themselves or understand since they don’t cup their own coffees!

Presidential Award winner. Photo by John Moore.

There was so much commotion around the top 10 this year. There were 3 Presidential Awards given, meaning that the jury gave 3 coffees 90+ scores. This is not typical, especially considering that it was Burundi’s first competition. Also, Paul Songer and Grant both mentioned that our group was not exactly a bunch of push-overs. There were under 20 “winners”, and we were brutally honest with defective coffees and with our allocation of scores in general. When the winners got off the stage it was as if the Beatles were landing at JFK. Everyone swarmed around the 3 Presidential Award winners with cameras — it must have been amazing for these winners!

It was great to hear Grant Rattray summing up some of ACE / CoE’s goals in his closing comments. Last year during the Golden Cup preparatory competition they hit a $4 average for the winning lots. Grant is hopeful that they will push that to $7 on average for this auction. Last year the program generated about $118,000 in revenue, and this year they are hoping to hit to over $400,000. This year they had input from over 30% of the washing stations. Next year Grant is hopeful that they can achieve a “perfect competition” in which all washing stations are represented. Again, imagine what this means to the 650,000 or so producers in Burundi that make an average of $200 per year.

The nice thing about Burundi is that it is so small you can dream big. Cup of Excellence has become an important part of my coffee experience, and I’m proud of the association between Dallis and CoE. Leaving Burundi I have a feeling like we can really create win-win relationships here, where producers that are investing in quality can be rewarded, and we can in turn re-sell top quality coffees to our clients and so on. I left early (now yesterday) and as the sun was coming up I noticed the street kids waking and people bathing in the lake. It struck me how far Burundi has come, how far there is yet to go, and how much we can be a partner in this if we choose to be.

Appropriately enough as we were going through the security gate to the airport (late of course) my taxi completely broke down. There we were — myself, two security guys, a taxi driver, and a porter all pushing this van through the check so that my taxi guy and I could walk the rest of the way to the airport with my stuff. It seemed somehow the perfect way to leave Burundi, and with a big “mwarakozi” (thank you) I was off into the sunrise.

Burundi Cup of Excellence Diaries: Part II

Our esteemed VP of Sales, Marketing, and seemingly everything else, John Moore, flew last week to Burundi’s first-ever Cup of Excellence competition. We at Dallis, and particularly John, have been proud to support and participate in Cup of Excellence competitions across the world, both for the benefit they bring to the industry by recognizing truly great coffees, and — more importantly — for the actual financial benefit this recognition can bring to farms, particularly those in economically troubled countries. Burundi’s first competition, and John’s first trip to Burundi, are momentous to us. We share here his second of several trip diaries.

Cupping at the first ever Burundi Cup of Excellence competition. Photo by John Moore.

Day 3

Holy Potato! Attack of the killer potatoes… attack of the killer potatoes!

Potato defect ran amuck in the first round of the Cup of Excellence here in Burundi this morning. During the first flight 4 of the 10 coffees were disqualified, and an additional cup was DQ’d for phenol. Paul said it was the first DQ for phenol he had seen in years. Imagine that 60 cups of each of these coffees have already gone through the national selection without incident. It was really something. Later flights were not as dramatic, but we did DQ multiple samples in every flight.

Fortunately many of the coffees left standing were really stellar coffees. I don’t know if it was Paul’s calibration or what, but the complexity and range of acidity types has been quite a surprise. All of the coffees here, as it was in Rwanda, are bourbon. The very first coffee we hit was a classic example of quinic acidity mixed with various fruit acidity, types and enough sweetness to make for an incredibly interesting cup. It was like a gooseberry kumquat martini made with Hendrick’s gin (juniper, cucumber essence, rose-petal essence, and botanicals) — but NOT the dry version. This one had a crazy bitter but sweet, floral, and structured thing happening that was intriguing as hell. Yum.

We are all learning that things here in Burundi can take a bit more time than they might in other places. In between rounds, Grant Rattray filled in some time with a meaningful explanation of how CoE is hoping to work in Burundi. Evidently this is actually still being finalized as we speak.

As I mentioned earlier, Burundi is a land of very small coffee farms. All CoE lots need to be 15 – 50 x 60 kg (132 lbs) bags. All growers will be specifically named, and paid according to the precise proportion of coffee contributed. It is up to the washing stations to submit what they consider to be their best lots, and each can enter up to 4 samples for competition. They have 68 of 175 washing stations in Burundi involved this year — over 30% of all the country’s facilities contributing over 300 samples total! This is pretty impressive considering it is the first year of the program. Their goal is to get all involved.

“How is the money going to get to the farmer?” you are probably asking yourselves at this point. The washing station managers are keeping very careful records of which coffees are in which lots submitted, and even what percentage per specific farm’s coffee. Right now it looks like CoE is planning on emulating the breakdown typcial for the industry here:: ~72% to the grower pool, ~16% to wet mill, ~5% to dry mill, rest to promotion, taxes, fees, etc. CoE / Alliance for Coffee Excellence is hoping that they might be able to get about 85% of the money to the growers, and I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about this soon, certainly before the
auction.

We had two more rounds of cupping once everything got back on track. Each of those rounds saw two samples eliminated for potato. In every cupping today we found potato on our table, and it is a very complicated issue.

So what is potato defect? The chemical is actually closer to snap peas than potato from the “Le Nez Du Cafe” aroma kit many of us calibrate with. The current dominant theory is that it is caused by the antestia insect. Microorganisms that infect the coffee fruit and seed, due to skin damage. This skin damage can happen in a variety of ways, but it is commonly thought that the distinct “potato defect” (which is common also in neighboring Rwanda and also occurs in Tanzania, Zambia, and Kenya) is due to damage from an insect
called Antestia.

It’s very difficult to sort out the “potato” defect, as it is largely invisible. Flotation of cherry before pulping helps, as does densimetric sorting of finished coffee. I am always amazed by the power of the internet, and within seconds I found this via Google and
Wikipedia:


“Antestiopsis is a genus of shield bug, commonly known as antestia and the variegated coffee bug. Several species in eastern Africa are pests of coffee plants, giving the coffee beans a distinctive ‘potato taste’, which is thought to be caused indirectly by bacteria entering through wounds created by the insects, leading to an increase in the
concentration of isopropyl methoxy pyrazine. They feed on flowers, berries and growing tips, injecting a toxic saliva that often contains the spores of the Ashbya fungus, and then suck juices out.”

I especially love that last bit — nice little critter eh?

The fact that Kenya has seen a few cases is extremely alarming, but might just be the kick in the butt that the whole region needs to take the issue seriously. Again, the results of this process may help to achieve that as well.

What to do? Kill the bugs would be my obvious answer. Easier said than done, obviously — just ask Byron!

In speaking with people here there seem to be a few measures that could be taken:

1. Attentive picking – looking for signs of insect damage, holes, or split skins

2. Attentive wet milling and sorting. You have all seen how we sort at our mill, and the somewhat damaged or deformed seeds will often end up notably less dense than fully matured and healthy seeds. As a result they float. If you skim the floaters you may remove a bunch of the possibly infected seeds.

3. Densimetric sorting — using the density differential we just talked about again after the wet mill process to further reduce the chances of potato showing up.

4. As Byron always says, healthy coffee trees produce better tasting coffee. I had a long chat with Benjamin Lentz who is the Director of the USAID Burundi agricultural initiatives, and it was interesting to see how much progress they have made in just a couple of years. They are investing a lot in creating model plots and have seen potato
numbers shrink from 30% to minimal amounts just by getting the right inputs into the soil.

5. Infrared light / UV light. Here I heard both terms thrown around but I believe it happens to be one or the other, not both. Today an old story I heard a few years back was confirmed. It seems Burundi had two color sorting machines like we have in Brazil outfitted with the appropriate light (UV or Infrared) and this would help them to
detect the potato. They were able to make significant gains vs. the potato, but then one broke down and someone simply decided not to use the other… alas, I am learning that this is sorta how things work here.

More on all of this tomorrow. A big day!

Burundi Cup of Excellence Diaries: Part I

Our esteemed VP of Sales, Marketing, and seemingly everything else, John Moore, flew last week to Burundi’s first-ever Cup of Excellence competition. We at Dallis, and particularly John, have been proud to support and participate in Cup of Excellence competitions across the world, both for the benefit they bring to the industry by recognizing truly great coffees, and — more importantly — for the actual financial benefit this recognition can bring to farms, particularly those in economically troubled countries. Burundi’s first competition, and John’s first trip to Burundi, are momentous to us. We share here his first of several trip diaries.

Bujumbura rooftops. Photo by John Moore.

DAY 1

Landed safe and sound in Bujumbura, Burundi this afternoon after a few hours in Johannesburg. The approach was really something out of a film — Jurassic Park or some Arthurian legend. About 45 minutes before approaching Bujumbura we hit thick cloud cover and it was impossible to see through. After a rather interesting warning from the pilot we descended aggressively and managed to get just beneath the thick canopy of clouds.

Although beneath the billowy blanket above us a thick misty fog still clung to the air which made visibility minimal at best. In the last ten minutes or so it was as if we stepped out of a steam bath and into clear air. The fog parted and it was as if Burundi miraculously appeared right beneath us from a dream. We followed the Ruzuzi River valley as the ancient waterway connecting Lake Kivu and Tangyanika seemed to lazily wind and snake its way toward Bujumbura.

The first thing that struck me was just how different but similar the landscape seemed from its northern neighbor Rwanda. In Rwanda there was a meticulously executed land reform after the genocide that distributed plots more equitably between the Tutsi minority (formerly the aristocracy defined by in part by cattle and land) and the Hutu majority. Rwanda and Burundi are the two most densely populated countries on the African continent, and in Rwanda it often seemed like the whole country was a patchwork quilt of small farms. Some of the land that appeared to have wild flora or fauna I learned later was all carefully managed by specific owners.

In Burundi it would appear as though reform came about in a somewhat different manner. Yes, there are some areas that are clearly delineated farms, but much of the land that we flew over and that I’ve seen so far appears to be actually wild. Also, it would appear by what I saw that there are fewer paved roads and other contemporary conveniences than I saw in Rwanda. Burundi also remains one of the world’s most impoverished nations, regularly ranking in the top 3 poorest countries on earth, so that could explain the roads. Or lack thereof.

Also, although I knew Bujumbura was near Lake Tangyanika, I didn’t realize that the city
is literally on the lake. It was interesting in Rwanda to see just how profound an influence Lake Kivu had on the local coffee production. I don’t think it was a coincidence that I had to take a boat across the lake to visit the winning farm from Cup of Excellence when I was there. I’m curious to learn more about which coffees prove themselves on the table this week and where they come from. I also hope to learn more about work going on right now to better define regions both in Burundi and neighboring Rwanda.

A not-that-common paved road. Photo by John Moore.

The topography of Burundi is defined by tectonic and volcanic activity. This is the Albertine Rift and East African Rift. In flying over the mountains of Burundi I was instantly reminded of the blondish to brownish khaki soil coloration that I saw in Rwanda. I must have consumed a half lung’s worth of the stuff when driving the dirt roads with open windows on my farm trips and it looked familiar. The bad news is that if it is the same stuff I’ll be sneezing and coughing it up for a while. The good news is that it can produce great coffee!

At the airport I was quickly reminded of the not-too-distant conflicts here in Burundi. I
stopped to grab a quick photo of the airport as I was getting off the plane, to celebrate the fact that terra firma was once again under my feet. Unfortunately the security guy with the AK47 didn’t think it was such a funny idea, and immediately started busting my chops. Fortunately he quickly lost interest and after muttering something in French directed me to get off the tarmac and into the customs area.

DAY 2

The last rebel group didn’t sign a peace agreement here until 2009.There are some astonishing post-war stats: average life expectancy is 46, and 50% of the population is under 15 years old. 50%! The population of the entire country is about that of NYC, at about 8.5 million people. Almost 10% of that —- 800,000 —- live in Bujumbura.

The economy is devoted to agriculture; 90% of the population is dependent on subsistence farming for survival. The economic growth of Burundi is reliant on the development of the coffee and tea sectors, and 90% of the foreign exchange earnings are derived from coffee and tea exports! 90%! For many years the Tutsi minority dominated the coffee trade, and it was essentially controlled by the government. In 2005 the government liberalized and privatized the sector, and this has lead to investments by many private investors both Tutsi and Hutu.

Imagine the impact that a program like Cup of Excellence can have in this environment and
in this place. The average annual income here in the agricultural sector is about $200.00
per year. It will be amazing to see the kind of good that CoE can do for a farmer or collective of farmers that will suddenly see CoE auction earnings. The average coffee farm here is only about 150 trees, so CoE $/lb ratios could really make a difference.

Cup of Excellence Burundi begins! Photo by John Moore.

About that — today was Day 1. Our head judge here is Paul Songer, and this is my second time with Paul as a head judge, and third time that he has been involved in a competition that I’ve been part of. Paul’s Day 1 calibration sessions are the stuff of legend. He loves his statistics, his presentations, and his scientific experiments in coffee. He happens to be one of the foremost minds in coffee when it comes to sensory experience, in particular in the chemistry of coffee and how that is perceived by us humans. Paul didn’t disappoint, and it was actually very nice to see that he is constantly tweaking his intro and experiments with us as his guinea pigs.

After an intensive acid calibration (not what it sounds like), we jumped into the coffee calibration. Paul picked the coffee that was supposed to be the best, the middle, and the dud. This time around was kind of funny. Within seconds the ‘best’ was lost to potato defect, although the other two samples were what they were supposed to be. After these were revealed, we cupped a flight of coffees with these standards identified and sitting in the middle of the table as benchmarks to use as reference. Then we all cupped and compared our notes.

It was interesting to see how the ugly potato defect showed up so immediately and with such impact. Still, it was perhaps more interesting to see how vibrant the acidity is in some of these coffees, and how diverse the flavor profiles can be. Looking forward to getting this thing going for real tomorrow!

El Salvador Los Planes

From an unprecedented number of jury-approved coffees at the 2011 El Salvador Cup of Excellence competition comes this graceful coffee full of huge notes of tropical fruit and sultry spice. A stunning cup, it’s no surprise this coffee placed 6th out of the best in the nation.

Sergio Ticas’ farm in Chaletenango is no small plot of land. His 70 hectare coffee field employs 10 full-time workers and more than 70 seasonal workers. Ticas is currently converting his father’s existing crops from the Typica variety of coffee to Bourbon and Pacamara (this award-winning lot is Bourbon.) At the community level, Ticas has donated land for a water tank, allowed workers to farm cash crops on his land, and kept wages competitive. Additionally, he maintains a cypress forest and a natural lagoon for local wildlife.

This year at the Cup of Excellence El Salvador, there were an unprecedented number of coffees that scored well and were accepted as winners by the International Jury. At Dallis Bros Coffee we stay very connected to the Cup of Excellence program because of the coffee quality that is highlighted from the competition, and the way it helps encourage regions and growers. This coffee placed sixth in the competition, out of more than 40 coffees to score high enough (84) for the Cup of Excellence award, and 165 total samples submitted.

Why so many great coffees this year? One theory centers on the eruption of Ilamatepec in the Santa Ana region five years ago. The eruption killed several people and evacuated thousands from the area. Yet the volcanic ash which covered the entire area can be an interesting fertilizer. Its mineral components are absorbed slowly into the soil over time, and coffee trees producing fruit years later may be only now seeing the benefits.

Finca Andalucía

The 2011 El Salvador Cup of Excellence competition brought forward more incredible coffees than ever before, this complex, fruity and candy-sweet coffee from Finca Andalucía one of them. This organically certified coffee balances tangy acidity and smooth chocolate finish, and we’re honored to be able to showcase it.

The Lima y Hermanos family farm known as Finca Andalucía is long known for its quality production of organic coffees. From Bourbon to Pacamara to new varieties, the farm has grown coffee conscientiously for around 70 years, earning the Mayacert organic certification and working locally to conserve natural rainforest lands and animal habitats. Its altitude, volcanic soil and carefully shaded growing areas are just some of the factors that contribute to the success of this great coffee.

This year at the Cup of Excellence El Salvador, there were an unprecedented number of coffees that scored well and were accepted as winners by the International Jury. At Dallis Bros Coffee we stay very connected to the Cup of Excellence program because of the coffee quality that is highlighted from the competition, and the way it helps encourage regions and growers. This coffee placed 34th in the competition, out of more than 40 coffees to score high enough (84) for the Cup of Excellence award, and 165 total samples submitted.

Why so many great coffees this year? One theory centers on the eruption of Ilamatepec in the Santa Ana region five years ago. The eruption killed several people and evacuated thousands from the area. Yet the volcanic ash which covered the entire area can be an interesting fertilizer. Its mineral components are absorbed slowly into the soil over time, and coffee trees producing fruit years later may be only now seeing the benefits.

An Introduction to 5th Bar Cafe

5th Bar Cafe is the exclusively Dallis Bros-branded cafe located in the entrance to the event.  All coffees are brewed in either a slow-brew method or on a beautifully-crafted Victoria Arduino lever espresso machine from Nuova Simonelli.  Come by and grab one of our gorgeous Cup of Excellence coffees or grab a signature espresso from our very own barista competitor, Philip Search!

Cup of Excellence Coffees available!

We are very proud to introduce a variety of Cup of Excellence coffees!  Now available in 12 oz bags and roasted fresh each Monday.  We have an array of delicious options to choose from, featuring theEl Salvador Lot#: 11 Luis Alonso Araujo Padilla – La Pinera, Honduras Lot#: 8 Ezri Moisés Herrera Urizar – Las Amazonas, Nicaragua Lot#: 8 Gonzalo Adán Castillo Moreno – Las Flores, and Rwanda Lot#: 5 Nzabonimpa Damascene – Kopakama.

For a taste of these remarkable coffees along with Susie Spindler, Executive Director with the Alliance for Coffee Excellence / Cup of Excellence program, stop by Berkli Parc this Thursday at 1:00.

Craftbar and Dallis Bros Coffee present a night of Cup of Excellence Coffees and Cuisine!

We will host a joint dinner with Tom Colicchio’s Craftbar next Thursday, January 20, featuring select Cup of Excellence coffees.  The menu, put together by Chef de Cuisine Lauren M. Hirschberg with help from our very own Teresa von Fuchs offers up a number of exotic coffee inspired delights.

The menu for the evening:

Dallis Bros. Coffee Dinner
Coffee Cured Hamachi, Apricot, Sorrel
Las Amazonas-La Paz, Honduras

Soft-Cooked Farm Egg, Fontina, Coffee-Braised Black Truffle
Las Flores-Esteli, Nicaruaga

Roasted & Braised Squab, Beets, Tuscan Kale, Coffee Jus
Liquidambar-Intibuca, Honduras

“Chocolate & Cherries”, La Pinera-Ciudad Barrios, El Salvador

$75
($25 optional beverage pairing)
* tax and gratuity not included

For reservations, contact
tsperduto@craftbarnyc.com or call (212) 254:2056 ext 11

Cup of Excellence Cupping at Berkli Parc!

Come join us as we cup some beautiful Cup of Excellence award winning coffees at one of NYC’s best new coffee bars, Berkli Parc. We’ll be featuring La Pinera of El Salvador (Lot# 11), Las Amazonas of Honduras (Lot #8), Las Flores of Nicaragua (Lot #8), and the Kopakama Cooperative coffee of Rwanda (Lot# 5). We will be joined by our special guest Susie Spindler, Executive Director of the Alliance for Coffee Excellence / Cup of Excellence program! Come one, come all.