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Nicaragua Cup of Excellence Granada 2006
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Diomedes (the cupper at ecom/atlantic coffee) and Carmen (soppexa cooperative) evaluate the aroma on the crusts.
vitus from lithuania. this is the first judge from lithuania, and since we are all unsure about the state of specialty coffee there, he may be the only. come back again, vitus.
stephen vick from stumptown. stephen was a barrista at zoka before going to stumptown, and is in charge of all training there.
kentaro maruyama from japan, the perpetual coffee judge, even though he refuses to make coffee comments of behalf of "the japanese market" as did his compatriot, sr. hayashi.
KC from jungle-tech in peru, who stopped by for cupping the final round. that's my shirt, KC!
a really scarey pose from EJ Dawson (intelligentsia)
joost (holland), becky (canada-timothy's) and yours truly.
erwin and the crew grinding the samples.
each cup is batched out (12 grams) as whole bean, ground, then reweighed to assure accuracy.
taking the cups from the grinding room to the cupping room for the final round
we took a little trip after cupping to volcan ???mochambo??? in the area of granada. it rises to about 1000 meters, and is intensely . as we rose from sea level (granada) the air was refreshingly cool and the plant life became lush.
to view the cratar, one passes through an amazin, natural "trench"
this trench is coated with plantlife that seem more marine than terrestial.
at the first cratar (there are 3), the fog and wind play almost mystical tricks on the visitors, totally obscuring the far rim at one moment, then ebbing, then swirling in again from a different direction. it's like being an ant in a big mysterious toilet bowl ...well, sorta like that.
we visited the farm at the entrance to the volcano park, where some unique child modeling contest was occurring.
then we decended to another coffee farm at a whopping 250 meters altitude, where more whacky hijinx where to take place.
this included a lot of ecstatic dancing by young nicaraguans to show the color and passion of musica tipica de los nicuaraguenses...
... which was really facinating up until the point that is seemed like something straight outta "it's a small world" at disneyland.
but i fins something to like in everything, like this bigheaded dude with an almost simpson-esque cranium.
he looked pretty great from the front too.
and (don't tell maria) but i had a pretty hot date for the night myself!
the farm hosue for this dancin' prancin' event was very beautiful, with amazing plants and artwork. I guess the macarena was more than a '90s dance craze.
my favorite little dudes, who played shy for a while until curiousity got the best of them. basically, start showing the kids the digital pictures of the as you take them, and they are hooked.
soon, shameless mugging for the camera ensues, and they get the idea that you are not out to steal souls or anything,
amazingly, this low-altittude farm had some ornimental robusta plants, the first i have ever seen in c. america
you can see robusta right away because it is tall, has large leaves and the flower buds occur along the branch in a very symetrical way.
but i did get a littl confused trying to track my way back to the robusta i saw when we drove in. here is the large robusta coffee leaf ...
and here is the vaguely familiar leaf of a plant i soon realised was cacao. i have always wanted to see cacao and never had the chance since coffee and chocolate do not usually coexist.
here are the cacao pods which, like papaya, are produced directly on the tree trunk.
out on the coffee drying patios, i even found some cacao nibs laid out to dry.


One more page to go, bucko ... and the last page has the list of winning farms too.

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