Cupping for Quality with Balzac Bros. & Rainforest Alliance

Charleston Importer Balzac Bros. Hosts Rainforest Alliance Cupping

Our friends at Balzac Brothers and Company in Charleston, South Carolina, hosted an outstanding Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality event last week. A truly all-star group of cuppers assembled to taste more than 50 coffees from Kenya, Ethiopia, India, Rwanda, and Colombia over the course of two days.

Volunteers from various coffee companies spent two days at Balzac Bros. in Charleston for the bi-annual Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality event, in which they evaluated more than 50 coffees.
Volunteers from various coffee companies spent two days at Balzac Bros. in Charleston for the bi-annual Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality event, in which they evaluated more than 50 coffees.

Rainforest Alliance has been holding the Cupping for Quality events twice annually for 13 years now. “Given the growth in the number of farms that are certified, each farm that has gone through a Rainforest Alliance Certification is invited to submit a sample once every two years,” says Alex Morgan, director of markets transformation for the Rainforest Alliance. “The overall purpose of the event is threefold: to recognize the quality of high-scoring Rainforest Alliance certified farms/coffees, to provide meaningful and productive input to the farmers so they can improve the quality of their coffees on farms and in post-harvest processing, and to connect buyers and sellers (farms) that are working with the certification program to increase the value of the program for both the farmers and the buyers.”

Brian from Caribou surveys the table.
Brian from Caribou surveys the table.

Last week’s cupping event was overseen by lead judge Linda Smithers, and lead roaster/technical guru Marty Curtis. Twelve cuppers from different coffee companies, including roasters and importers, volunteered their time and tongues to this exciting gathering.

Cupping with Marty (right) is always a treat.
Cupping with Marty (right) is always a treat.

Alex told me that Balzac Brothers was, as always, a fantastic host. For more information about future Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality events, stay tuned to the organization’s website.

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