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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. You can also view this photoset on our Coffee Image Gallery Pages

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Bourbon coffee, our first stop
Bourbon coffee, our first stop
Roaster at Bourbon Coffee
Roaster at Bourbon Coffee
Typical Kigali Neighborhood
Typical Kigali Neighborhood
Video Poker Machine
Video Poker Machine
Saloon = Salon
Saloon = Salon
Cup of Excellence Billboard
Cup of Excellence Billboard
Amazing Rwanda Skies (with gas station)
Amazing Rwanda Skies (with gas station)
Amazing Rwanda Skies
Amazing Rwanda Skies
Amazing Rwanda Skies
Amazing Rwanda Skies
Kigame Blows By
Kigame Blows By
Google or Googie?
Google or Googie?
Hotel Ibis
Hotel Ibis
The sample room / auditors desk
The sample room / auditors desk
Coffee trees with ground cover
Coffee trees with ground cover
Coffee dry mill across from the lab
Coffee dry mill across from the lab
National Lab in Butare
National Lab in Butare
The Rwanda COE Jury 2008 - camera crazy
The Rwanda COE Jury 2008 - camera crazy
Paul Songer does Brando
Paul Songer does Brando
Susie and Tim Schilling
Susie and Tim Schilling
Tire dealer in Butare
Tire dealer in Butare
Bourbon Coffee Tree
Bourbon Coffee Tree
Rwanda CoE Jury list
Rwanda CoE Jury list
IMG_5113.JPG
IMG_5113.JPG
Aleco, Jean Claude, Eric
Aleco, Jean Claude, Eric
The Perfect Pour
The Perfect Pour
Bruce from CBI, Portland
Bruce from CBI, Portland
Jasper from The Coffee Co., Netherlands
Jasper from The Coffee Co., Netherlands
Kentaro from Maruyama Coffee
Kentaro from Maruyama Coffee
A. Chigounis from Stumptown
A. Chigounis from Stumptown
Jeremy and Stephen, Brits
Jeremy and Stephen, Brits

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