Miguel Tabora Mears - COE Winning Lot 2021

Miguel Tabora Mears - COE Winning Lot 2021

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    On the nose, we find lime peel, cherry tomato, black tea, and a sweet aroma reminiscent of apple cider. In the cup, look for juicy layers of bright citrus, molasses-like sweetness, and additional fruity notes of cooked pineapple and raspberry that emerge as the coffee cools.

    This delightfully tangy pacamara from Santa Barbara producer Miguel Tabora Mears was awarded 22nd place in the 2021 Honduras Cup of Excellence competition. With a cup profile that reminds us of favorite parainema lots from the past, this delightful coffee is a fitting tribute to Señor Mears’ flawless cherry selection and meticulous processing approaches.

    This coffee was purchased through the Cup of Excellence, a rigorous competition conducted with the goal of selecting and bringing to market the finest coffees from any given country of origin. This is done via a process of blind analysis, first by a National Jury of roughly a dozen people (who themselves are rigorously vetted for the honor of being a Cup of Excellence judge), and then by an International Jury of roughly 20 industry professionals from around the globe. As each lot enters the competition process it is assigned a code known only to the competition auditor. Each lot is cupped (tasted) numerous times. The further along the competition a coffee progresses, the greater the number of times it has been blindly evaluated. A coffee that ultimately makes it to the top 10 of the competition will have been tasted at least 120 times!

    After being assigned a final ranking, the coffees are sold through an online auction which tends to drive prices quite high. Overall, this is a net positive for producers and the industry at large as it incentivizes farmers to carefully produce the best possible coffee to submit to the competition, thus treating the crop as a truly specialty item and further distancing and distinguishing specialty coffee from commodity coffee and commodity-driven approaches to producing and selling coffee. Further, it normalizes high prices for coffee - a necessity if coffee production is to continue into the foreseeable future. Finally, the Cup of Excellence plays an important role in facilitating market access for small coffee producers that might otherwise struggle to connect with specialty buyers who are motivated to pay excellent prices for their coffee. Many producers who enjoy success at the Cup of Excellence find buyers through the competition that they are able to build valuable ongoing partnerships with.

    Miguel Angel Tabora Mears is a coffee producer from Los Naranjos, within the famous coffee producing region of Santa Barbara, Honduras. He chose to enter this unique pacamara from his farm in the 2021 Honduras Cup of Excellence competition and was thrilled to achieve 22nd place as a first-time competitor. When cupping through the COE competition sample set in preparation for the auction, Passenger’s green buying team was immediately intrigued by this lot, with its incredibly bright acidity and unusual flavor profile. It is truly unlike any wet processed pacamara we have ever tasted, indeed, we find it to be more reminiscent of some of the best parainema lots we have tasted from Santa Barbara in years past. Passenger was very pleased to successfully purchase Miguel Mears’ competition lot at auction for a price of $24.10/lb. (not including export, import, and air-freight costs) as a part of a buying group with our friends at Sey Coffee and Swift Cup. We are proud to release our share of this vibrant coffee at the time of writing, and very excited to see what comes next from Señor Mears’ impressive project.

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