Intoxicating aromas of blackberry, stone fruit, and vanilla open up this delightfully fruit forward and complex coffee. In the cup, a deep toffee-like sweetness carries through the finish and is complemented by a juicy acidity reminiscent of fresh strawberries, kiwi, and clementine.
Edwin Rodriguez’s farm, Finca Esmeralda, is located in the vereda of Bajo Horizonte, within the municipality of Suaza in southern Huila, Colombia. The present lot, which was awarded 3rd place in the central region of the 2022 Copa de Oro, is a beautifully produced, 100% pink bourbon selection.
Since 2019, Passenger's green buying team has had the privilege of joining the judging panel at a series of Copa Suaceña competitions in southern Huila, Colombia, organized by our sourcing and import partners at Osito Coffee. Each annual edition of the "Suaza Cup" has pursued the goal of identifying and recognizing the highest quality coffees produced by the Divino Niño producer group: a community of farmers that has been one of Passenger's Foundational Partners since 2018. As a result of COVID-related restrictions, it was sadly impossible for us to travel to Colombia in 2020 and 2021, and we continued to support the Copa Suaceña as best we could as remote participants in two decentralized editions of the competition. Given that two-year hiatus, we were especially excited to return to Colombia in December, 2022 to serve as judges at the most ambitious regional cupping event organized by our hosts to date: an expanded competition dubbed the "Copa de Oro”.
In addition to remaining open to submissions from all the familiar names we've come to know and love in Divino Niño, this larger competition expanded its regional scope to welcome entrants from other sub-regions of western, southern, and central Huila that are areas of particular focus for our partners at Osito. Twenty lots from each of these broad geographical regions were screened and pre-selected by Osito's Colombia-based cupping team. The 60 lots that were entered into the competition were rigorously evaluated by an international team of judges (from Colombia, Brazil, Japan, Canada, the Netherlands, England, and the U.S.) across three days of blind cupping. At the end of competition week, the top 20 lots were cupped one final time to determine the ranking for the top 5 coffees from each of the three regions. And when all was said and done, the highest scoring coffee among these regional champions was ultimately recognized as the overall winner of the inaugural Copa de Oro.
After our green buying team had made initial blind selections from the pool of competition lots, we were delighted to learn that a number of these coffees were submitted by legendary producers from Divino Niño that we have been featuring on Passenger's menu for a number of years. One of these producers is Edwin Rodriguez who lives and produces coffee with his wife, Angie Lorena Córdoba, in the vereda of Bajo Horizonte. While Edwin cultivates multiple arabica varieties on his farm including bourbon, colombia, and castillo, his competition submission was a single variety separation of pink bourbon - a variety that has become increasingly favored by quality-focused Colombian growers in recent years. Edwin’s delicious pink bourbon was awarded third place in the central region of the Copa de Oro.
We’re honored to be able to share all of the coffees we selected from this year’s Copa de Oro as beautiful and varied representations of what the Huila region can offer. We’re especially excited, however, to again be featuring producers from the Divino Niño group of producers in Suaza. Divino Niño is the oldest of Passenger’s six Foundational Partnerships, and is in many ways the most fully realized example of the type of partnership our sourcing model strives to build. As with each of the Foundational Partnerships that together make up the core of Passenger's menu, our ongoing goal in Divino Niño remains the same: to try to add value for these producers as reliable, ongoing buyers - intentionally prioritizing the purchase of a broad representation of the coffees and quality grades that they produce each year (i.e. not just the 'cream of the crop'). To that end, we are delighted to share this beautiful lot, one of the finest coffees produced in Divino Niño last year, alongside other fine coffees purchased from Edwin and his neighbors that shine year round in Passenger's Divino Niño Foundational Lot and on the menu of our sister brand Necessary Coffee.