Volcafe’s Genuine Origin Coffee Project is holding what may be the first in a series of roasting competitions, offering the winner an all-expense-paid trip to origin, among other prizes.
The group is asking participating roasters in the initial “Roast and Go” competition to buy one 65-pound GrainPro-lined box (at $3.45 per pound with samples available through the Genuine Origin website) of its Guama Danta coffee, a combination of Villa Sarchi, Catimor and Lempira varieties sourced from approximately 120,000 smallholder farmers at between 1,500 and 1,700 meters above sea level in Honduras.
Roasters will then ship a minimum of two 8-ounce bags of their competition roast by Dec. 14, and on the following day they will be evaluated anonymously using the SCAA’s experimental Roasted Coffee evaluation form. The top eight roasts will be further evaluated at the competition’s culminating event on Dec. 16, at Rise Coffee in St. Louis, with the grand prize for the winning roaster being an all-expense-paid visit to the communities that produced the Guama Danta.
The event is being hosted by Anthony Auger, the former head roaster at Kaldi’s Coffee before joining the Genuine Origin project team in August. Auger told Daily Coffee News that the judging panels for the competition are still being assembled, but noted that they will be composed of trained coffee tasters and that all participating roasters will be notified of scoring results via email and will receive detailed evaluation forms.
“Three trained coffee tasters will judge the remaining eight coffees in a head-to-head, bracket-style competition,” Auger said of the roasting competition’s final round at Rise. “During each round of blind tasting, the judges will evaluate two coffees and select one to advance. They will not be required to use an evaluation form but they will, at minimum, take notes. As in a Latte Art Throwdown, the judges will point to their favorite coffee of the pair. The winning roast will be determined in a final head-to-head round.”
In addition to the origin trip, the winning roaster will receive a separate box of Genuine Origin microlot green coffee and sponsor prizes. Rise Coffee will also purchase and feature the winning roast, while second- and third-place finishers will receive invitations to the origin trip.
Along with Roast and Go, the Dec. 16 final event will include a secondary competition called Taste and Go, in which Rise will host a triangulation cupping contest, where competitors will race to correctly identify coffees. The winner of that contest will also be granted a mostly-expense-paid trip to origin, minus airfare.