At the end of each year, it is time to take a look back and look ahead to start next year, both clean and loaded with the best of the past – as a fuel to help us get even farther and climb even further, high. And in our case – to find even more amazingly delicious coffees to serve in your glass.

Over the past 12 months, several events have happened that fill us with joy, pride, and confidence that our efforts to bring you a better cup of coffee every day, day after day, are worth it.

1. For the third time, Jordan Dabov was among the privileged jurors from the international jury in Cup of Excellence Brazil. And not only that. His sharp eye was quick to see the qualities of the coffee that won the first place in the Pulped Natural category – Brazil Paraiso, and in the disputed auction after the competition we succeeded in making the winning bid. The coffee will be soon in Bulgaria and you are already able to order it on presale.

2. Our coffee hunter was invited to be part of the jury in Cup of Excellence Nicaragua. He came back with the wonderful Nicaragua La Virgen COE #6 2018, which have won the prestigious 6th place in the competition.

3. Jordan Dabov was the only juror from Europe in Best of Panama, where predominantly Queen of Arabica coffees, Geisha, are evaluated. We are proud that we succeeded in securing from the auction Dona Elvira Geisha Washed #16 BOP 2018, which was ranked number 16 among world’s most exclusive coffees.

4. Our founder was invited to participate as a juror in the regional specialty coffee competition in Honduras – Oro de Santa Barbara. Thanks to his insight and successful participation in the auction, now we are offering two coffees – Honduras Finca Valentina – two lots with Obata variety, which won 4th and 15th place from the competition and Honduras Ventura – which won 17th place from the competition.

5. This year, we welcomed in our office dear guests from the specialty coffee world. In November, Paul Starry visited us, and his coffee Guatemala San Gerardo is part of our black label catalog. In August, we shared thoughts with Honduras farmers Marysabel Caballero and Moises Herrera and Yunson Lee, one of South Corea’s Q-Graders, Alliance for Coffee Excellence board member and South Korean Terarosa Café coffee hunter.

6. DABOV Specialty Coffee was included in the Сup of Еxcellence Year in Review with a special member profile.

7. We have organized again a Charity Christmas Bazaar and succeeded in gathering 2120 lv. A great part of this sum is from the Christmas cards that DABOV’s employees’ children have created. We thank to all of you who participated in the bazaar and helped is gather money for the treatment of Vivian Kostova, 6 y.o., from Sofia and Tania Andonova, 4 y.o., from Sliven. We know that we can count on your support for an event like that and this makes us extremely happy.

8. On October 1st, DABOV Specialty Coffee celebrated its 10th anniversary. You can read more about our history in our Specialty Coffee and Tea Journal in Bulgarian only and in the interview with our founder.

9. In June, Jordan Dabov visited Fazenda Aliança in Mogiana region of Brazil, so that he could check on the harvest gathering. You are already enjoying the new crop in Brazil Alianca, which right now is coffee of the month and could be ordered with a 15% discount.   

10. In December, Jordan Dabov flew to Ethiopia – the birthplace of coffee. He visited Heleanna Georgalis’ farm Moplako where the harvest was also being gathered. Now our coffee hunter already has a very good idea what coffee we will be able to offer to you from there and in the meantime, you can try our Ethiopia Yirgacheffe and Ethiopia Kambata.  

11. This year, Jordan Dabov visited personally the farm Ninety Plus and negotiated with its owner, Joseph Brodsky, to buy one of their best coffees, Ninety Plus Panama Geisha Lycello. And from the exclusive partnership between the two Panama Geisha by Dabov was born which is a must try!

12. Our founder Jordan Dabov was invited to participate in Kapital’s special project “The lessons – 13 business leaders talk about success“.

As we bid good bye to 2018 with gratitude, and welcome 2019 with hope, we would like to thank all of you – our clients and partners, for the extraordinary year that we had. We hope we will continue enjoying your support and bringing to your cup unique coffees.

We would like to thank all for appreciating our coffee – to those who buy it to enjoy it at home and to those who serve it to their customers. With this choice, you make our non-stop efforts in finding and securing exceptional specialty coffees worth all the hard work, sweat, and tears!

We wish you all the best in the new year and we hope we could share this year with you!

Thanks to DABOV Specialty Coffee Number One Brazilian specialty coffee comes to the Bulgarian market for the first time  

The highest ranked specialty coffees from the Pulped Natural category of Cup of Excellence Brazil 2018 garnered on 5 Dec. more than $ 303 084 in an online auction but what is more important – we have succeeded in winning Fazenda Paraíso’s lot 1. In October, farmer Ismael José de Andrade’s farm from Carmo do Paranaíba, MG, won the first place in the Pulped Natural category of Cup of Excellence Brazil.

As you already know, for the second year in a row and for a third time, Jordan Dabov was part of the international jury.

While he was cupping coffees from both categories in the world’s most disputed specialty coffee competition in the country which is the biggest world coffee producer, our coffee hunter was amazed by Fazenda Paraíso’s coffee and noted that in his diary. The coffee garnered 94 points in a highly competitive company – each of the first eight coffees with the highest rank garnered more than 90 points.

This was a strong motivating factor for Jordan to enter the auction. Well aware of the serious bidding game of the main players from countries like Germany, Japan, South Corea, our coffee hunter chose the winning strategy – DABOV Specialty Coffee joined efforts with Maruyama Coffee, Sarutahiko Coffee and GoodBoyBob Coffee for a team bid.

We are extremely happy that we will be able to offer to you the extraordinary result of the third generation farmer Ismael José de Andrade and his workers! Soon we will present to you this special farm, Fazenda Paraíso, which is among the founders of BSCA – Brazil Specialty Coffee Association from 1991 onwards.

Jordan Dabov reminiscents about the long road he had to walk in the first 10 years of his labor of love, DABOV Specialty Coffee.

Jordan Dabov is someone who always has a broad smile on his face and radiates friendly energy. Why, then, he is so surprisingly serious and uncompromising when it comes to the coffee he offers to his clients? It is because he believes that handling the most special coffees in the world requires focus, dedication, and clear thought. He is proud that DABOV Specialty Coffee is a coffee company in all senses of the word – they not only begin and end their day with the idea of acquiring better coffee but also plan ahead, harvest after harvest. 10 years after they offered their first specialty coffee on the Bulgarian market, he and his team continue with the philosophy that the only compromise they can afford is not to compromise with any detail on the overall appearance (flavor, flavor, flavor) and image of their products. What was your idea for a business when you entered the Bulgarian market 10 years ago? Why have you chosen to sell Specialty Coffees when coffees with affordable prices could have brought you quicker and continuous profit? Jordan Dabov: We do not sell coffee because we are interested in faster or bigger sells and profits. I like a cup of good coffee as much as I would like to have one at hand whenever I feel like drinking one. Over the years, I have realized that many of my customers crave the same. I believe that my clients shouldn’t spend much time thinking about their coffee, and I keep on telling them this. However, someone must think about their coffee. And me, I think about coffee all the time! So, let me do that on behalf of my clients! Over the years we have realized that this involves great responsibility – when we entered deep into the world of coffee farms, coffee buyers, and even the company that is built the way we believe it should be build and we roast coffees the way we want them to be roasted. Responsibilities grow though, and when we approach them with responsibility, they will bring profits. For us, profits mean more coffee! We turn every profit into one more acquired coffee. The bigger the profits, the more opportunities to invest in the farmers we would like to be partners with – partners for life. Some coffees which unfortunately are rare, have very specific flavor. Today I call this ‘coffee flavor’ but it is totally different from what the industry calls ‘coffee flavor’, and after the industry, the coffee drinkers as well. Let me explain what I mean. Let’s just say that you like ordering espresso in a certain café where they have an espresso machine. When they serve it to you, you stir it, sometimes you add a little sugar. Although you expect a slightly bitter taste that will assure you that your espresso is of good quality and strong, sometimes you are caught by surprise by a stronger flavor. In the flavor I have in mind, there is a balance between sweetness and acidity, and there is no acute bitterness. Brewing emulsion. It runs down heavily on your palate and seals itself under your temple – forever. Have you adopted some specific rules for a successful business in these 10 years? Jordan Dabov: No 🙂 First and foremost, respect your supplier!!!!! Our suppliers are not the coffee buyers, coffee brokers or someone else in the chain. Our suppliers are the farmers who grow some of the world’s best coffees. These people are very important to us because we buy our coffee from them – they sell it to us (but in this process, a lot of emotions and other specific things are involved). Textbooks usually teach us to follow the opposite road – but this is wrong and simply doesn’t work. Our suppliers sell us with the coffee that we need. If we do not respect them, if we don’t understand their problems, if we do not cooperate with them and motivate them, everything that we do will be short lived. I don’t say that it wouldn’t work – but to us with Vesela (my wife who is also the CEO of our company), as people, this type of approach is unthinkable. We try to work in a similar way with our espresso machines suppliers. What is the most important thing that you have learned from the Bulgarian market and Bulgarian consumer? Jordan Dabov: When we returned to Bulgaria in the distant 2008, and we started ‘preaching the word of coffee’, the market was completely unprepared for this. There wasn’t Specialty Coffee on it, nor understanding of the nature of it, nor modern technologies to prepare it, nor milieu where to enjoy it. There have been probably few people who were able to buy some specialty coffee and enjoy a cup or two at home in the mornings, or in the evenings, just like my wife and I were doing. In 2009, I became friends with the now ex-executive of a distributor of hi-tech espresso machines. He invited me to their showroom because he had a client for their expensive machine, but he had no coffee for it. I went there with some coffee from a micro lot in Ethiopia. We drank all of it – everyone about 10 cups of espresso. The man went crazy about the coffee. Next day I went to his office with a kilo of the same coffee. We drank it with his clients. They bought the machine and started buying coffee from us. At that time, we still were not roasting our coffees, neither we negotiated with the farmers to buy directly from them. We were distributors of an American company for specialty coffee and they roasted them in Prague. Our clients were paying 90 leva for a kilo of Ethiopian coffee and they were preparing it on an extremely good espresso machine. Things started moving. Bulgaria had to walk a long road in order to reach the current situation of the specialty coffee market in the country. In my opinion, the situation is between good and very good. Of course, we can always look from a different side and lament our low consumption per capita. Perhaps, it is because of it that our sales are lower as well, but let me say that Bulgarian consumers are demanding, intelligent, sensitive and thoughtful. At least, DABOV Specialty Coffee clients are to 100%! What is the most important thing that you have thought Bulgarian consumers? Jordan Dabov: Bulgarian consumers should reply to this question. DABOV Specialty Coffee sell its products outside Bulgaria as well. How did this happen? Jordan Dabov: Our decision to sell outside Bulgaria was born not because we wanted to gain more profit but because I am extremely selfish, and I also hate everyone who hates or let us be kinder – looks condescendingly or full of doubts towards everything or everyone who comes from Bulgaria. In 2013, I started traveling to different farms to ‘learn the ropes’, and I also became a judge on Cup of Excellence (COE). Everyone I met – other fellow jurors, farmers, coffee buyers, changed the tone of their voices after they learned where I was from. ‘Oh, Bulgaria!’, The UK or German jurors would say. ‘Do you really know anything about coffee? Is there a market for it in Bulgaria?’ And coffee buyers and farmers would say, ‘That’s really nice – until today, not one Bulgarian company has ever requested an information or samples for our specialty coffee.’ I was very sad as I shared those conversations or sometimes even just attempts for conversations with my wife. I doubted that I would be classified as a juror for another championship even though I could pass the test. In other words, I was angry! Today, I have 8 COE contests behind my back as a juror and in some of them, I was the only European! But the most important thing is that it is almost impossible to come across a top farmer from Central America or Brazil who hasn’t heard our name, DABOV. We have a lot of work to do still but we have laid the foundations. Now, our goal is to show to Europe as well that Bulgaria can have company or, hopefully, companies that are synonymous to high-quality coffee products – starting from the raw material and finishing with the end product. According to you, coffee is a highly synergistic drink. Having this idea in mind, let us talk about your team. What kind of people do you like surrounding yourself with? Jordan Dabov: The core of our company hasn’t changed and is very stimulating for us. Here are the people I talk about: Jordan (10 years in the company) – coffee! Vesela (10 years in the company) – without her, there is no coffee! There is no company either. Teddy (9 years in the company) – without her, our coffee can’t reach our clients. Anita (8 years in the company) – she’s Vesela’s right hand. She does so many things! Sometimes I even don’t know exactly what. Ivo (5 years in the company) – he is Jordan’s right hand. Someone has to explain to our clients how to make their coffee. Our packaging is also more stylish thanks to him. Svetoslav (4 years in the company) – in order to have tasty coffee, our machines should work perfectly. By 2019, our team will exceed 15 people. Everybody in our team is a key team member and everybody inspires us and motivates us. Those who were different, are no longer with us. What have you accomplished in 10 years? Jordan Dabov: We have warmed up! Our job, or rather, what we do, is circular and infinite. We hunt for coffee, we find out the one that we need (and what we need is ultimately better and better coffees), we start negotiating, organizing the transportation, buying an insurance, thinking of eventual consolidation, preparing the warehouse, printing the labels for the packages, we start experimenting in order to find the appropriate roasting profile… year after year. What haven’t you accomplished in 10 years? Jordan Dabov: We still haven’t learned how to sell our coffees! We will have to work on that, find a way and build a team who will make it happen. Which one is your favorite coffee? Jordan Dabov: Probably the one I haven’t tasted yet!

He again won the privilege to participate in Cup of Excellence Brazil as a representative from Bulgaria in the international jury

Right after celebrating the 10th birthday of DABOV Specialty Coffee, Jordan Dabov left for Brazil to take part in this year’s Cup of Excellence in the country of coffee. It takes place from 15 to 21 October in Guaxupé, Minas Gerais.

Cup of Excellence Brazil has a rich tradition

The world’s most prestigious specialty coffee competition was launched in 1999 in Brazil with the first edition of it, followed by the auction Best of Brazil. The Latin American country is the largest coffee producers in the world, but two decades ago it used to be notorious as the country that exported coffees with the worst quality. In order to show the world that high-quality coffee is also grown in Brazil, and also to properly evaluate the work of the farmers dealing with this difficult task, a group of enthusiasts and coffee connoisseurs have organized the first contest. After its success, other coffee nations started organizing Cup of Excellence for their own specialty coffees.

Cup of Excellence Brazil is the most difficult competition for the jurors

This year, 936 samples of specialty coffee from Brazilian farms were sent to Cup of Excellence. Of these, 150 were selected in the Natural and Pulped Natural categories for the second stage of the selection. After that, only 40 coffees per category will be cupped by the international jury. It is these two categories that make the competition the most difficult for the jurors because in the other countries there is only one category.

It is very difficult to differentiate one coffee from another because of their common characteristics, and only highly experienced professionals can truly assess them so that they do not ruin a farmer’s hard work for a year. That is why this competition’s jury is also extremely carefully selected. Jordan Dabov does not participate in it for the first time, which speaks enough. In fact, he was part of COE Brazil last year as well as a juror. Together with his 28 colleagues from around the world, he has already begun the exhausting cupping sessions – there are 4 in each category divided into two rounds within 5 days.

Full concentration and cupping, cupping, cupping

Here’s what Jordan shared directly from Brazil: ” Sometimes every one must be very focused. This week I will be 100% focused because I am part of the greatest coffee event in Brazil in 2018! I must say that preselected coffees are very very good. So happy to be part of Cup of Excellence, such an amazing event! Strong professionals from Brasil and all over the world. This is indeed a “coffee world cup” with the best of Brazil in 2018. And I am part of this event. So I am 100% concentrated.”

We look forward to more impressions of our coffee hunter, even more so that among the finalists in Naturals is our partner from Sitio do Boné, which last year ranked in the prestigious 7th place. If you still haven’t tasted this extraordinary coffee, order it while we still have it in stock!

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