This inviting coffee from producer Jose Martinez offers dense aromas of pear, raspberry, and tea florals on the nose. In the cup, cooked berries, black tea, and a mango-like sweetness are accompanied by a sparkling lemon and hibiscus acidity that make for a long and mouth watering finish.
This competition winning pink bourbon separation comes from second generation coffee producer, Jose Elcias Martinez. His farm, like many of the best coffees we tasted at this year’s Copa de Oro competition, represents yet another fine example of the outstanding cup profile to be found in the southern regions of Huila in Colombia.
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.
This coffee, from producer Jose Elcias Martinez, was awarded third place in the ‘Southern’ region of the Copa de Oro. Jose Martinez’s farm is located in the municipality of Palestina, about 2 hours drive to the southwest of Suaza, where our friends and partners of the Divino Niño producer group are located. While Jose also produces gesha and caturra varieties on his farm, the present selection, like many of the winning entries to this year’s competition, is 100% pink bourbon. Jose credits much of his knowledge as a coffee farmer to his father who was a coffee producer himself before selling the family farm to Jose some years ago. Currently, Jose dedicates about half of his 10 hectare farm to coffee production and continues to invest in larger drying patios and overall farm infrastructure.