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Rwanda Cup of Excellence 2008

I was very excited to be on the jury for the first-ever Rwanda Cup of Excellence coffee competition in late August 2008. In fact, it is the first Cup of Excellence in Africa, and I hope the message about quality and price comes through loud and clear. In the promotion of great coffee, CoE is unparalleled. But recent auctions have had extremely high bids on the top lots, and erratic bidding. I worry this sets up the farmers and mills with unrealistic expecations about the relationship between quality coffee and great prices. We all want the high prices to be a message to the farmers, and a model to increase cup quality and better the lives of farmers. I hope it all works out, and if there was country that could pull it off, it would be Rwanda. There are so many good minds here, so many initiatives to improve lives and seek out an economic forumla that works in a land traumatized by genocide, where the land is overused, and there's just not enough of it. I am betting the CoE will help, and that this competition will continue sucessfully in Rwanda for the future. -Tom

PS: There's just too many great photos and not enough time to caption them all. With our without descriptions, I wanted to share them anyway.

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Paul thinks, Robert (Kaffa, Oslo) makes spitty face
Paul thinks, Robert (Kaffa, Oslo) makes spitty face
Christy from Alegro, George from Terroir
Christy from Alegro, George from Terroir
Shinje from Wataru
Shinje from Wataru
Regine from Rwanda
Regine from Rwanda
Simon from Craven Coffee
Simon from Craven Coffee
Flori from Merkanta, UK
Flori from Merkanta, UK
Geoff Watts, Intelligentsia
Geoff Watts, Intelligentsia
Filip from Brennart, Sweden
Filip from Brennart, Sweden
Andreas from Solberg & Hansen
Andreas from Solberg & Hansen
Joe from Orsir, Taiwan
Joe from Orsir, Taiwan
Eduardo from Anacafe, Guatemala, Claire from Rwanda
Eduardo from Anacafe, Guatemala, Claire from Rwanda
Yoshi from Ito Coffee
Yoshi from Ito Coffee
Gerard -foreground- from Cafe Meo, Belgium
Gerard -foreground- from Cafe Meo, Belgium
Lindsay from Green Mountain
Lindsay from Green Mountain
Jeremy Torz, Union Hand-Roasted, UK
Jeremy Torz, Union Hand-Roasted, UK
The coffee training center in Butare Rwanda
The coffee training center in Butare Rwanda
Jean Claude (aka Roj) from SPREAD Project
Jean Claude (aka Roj) from SPREAD Project
A pre-cupping taste test ... mmm
A pre-cupping taste test ... mmm
Rwanda Bourbon Coffee Cherry
Rwanda Bourbon Coffee Cherry
Rwanda Bourbon Coffee Cherry
Rwanda Bourbon Coffee Cherry
Rwanda Bourbon Coffee Cherry
Rwanda Bourbon Coffee Cherry
Coffee Cherry that will never ripen
Coffee Cherry that will never ripen
Leafless-yet-loaded with coffee
Leafless-yet-loaded with coffee
Flori Marin and Gerard (Cafe Meo)
Flori Marin and Gerard (Cafe Meo)
Amateur Bowlers Tour - Rwanda?
Amateur Bowlers Tour - Rwanda?
KILL store
KILL store
Rubber Hand Salon (Saloon)
Rubber Hand Salon (Saloon)
The hottest look - the Dubai look
The hottest look - the Dubai look
St. Annibale Saloon, Huye Butare
St. Annibale Saloon, Huye Butare
Super Cyber
Super Cyber

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