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!

Enjoy the harmony of ripe red berries, fresh mandarin and honey sweetness in the aftertaste of Guatemala’s bio coffee from San Miguel region

Have you ever tasted Guatemala San Miguel – Bio? If you are not, let us tell you its fascinating story.

When visiting Guatemala for the first time, our coffee hunter, Jordan Dabov, was curious whether he would share the opinion of industry’s experts from all over the world that the coffee from this Central American country is one of the richest in aroma and variety of flavours. Luckily, his opinion was not only confirmed but also earned specific dimensions after Jordan met Señor Dariusch Echeverria from Finca Santa Rita, San Miguel Region.

Where is Finca Santa Rita

Finca Santa Rita is in the San Miguel region, located on the outskirts of one of the famous coffee growing regions – the Chimaltenango area. The farm is set at 1,800 meters in height, and breeds Arabica Bourbon. Finca Santa Rita boasts a rich history, as Jordan has learned. Founded in the 1860s by Dariush’s great-great-grandfather, who has been President of the country, it has survived glorious and extremely difficult moments, and today it is proud of its Specialty Coffee. And not only of it. Dariush is a fifth-generation coffee farmer. His family speaks the language of coffee first and Spanish comes only second. Just by talking to him, one can learn a lot about growing really good coffee. Although it is situated only a hundred kilometers from the capital of Guatemala, it seems that time has stopped in the eponymous main city of Chimaltenango. This however, is only beneficial for the locals. The sense community is neither lost nor overshadowed by the 21st century alienation, and perhaps it is also one of the important reasons why Darius Echeverria’s farm has developed so successfully.

Tradition and innovation

Dariush is almost as obsessed with high quality as is Jordan. Both share common values – in Santa Rita, they have embraced sustainability and grow coffee with an utmost respect for nature. Unsurprisingly, their coveted coffee Guatemala San Miguel – Bio, has an Organic certificate, Rainforest Alliance certificate and a special Bird Friendly certificate from the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. The farm is afforested with a variety of local tree species, with coffee growing in the shade of bananas. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the name of Guatemala, which comes from the Nahuat language, means “a place with many trees”. There is plenty of fish in the natural water sources in the farm but fishing and hunting are forbidden to preserve local flora and fauna. The coffee is wet processed – the water used for this is subsequently filtered so as not to pollute the rivers, and the pulp of the coffee cherries is used as an organic fertilizer.


Coffee is Guatemala number 1 export commodity

Today, coffee is grown in 20 of Guatemala’s 22 departments, with around 270,000 hectares planted under coffee, almost all of which (98%) is shade grown. In each area, the coffee is grown at a suitable height for the variety, and only varieties suitable for the respective soil and climatic conditions in the region are planted.

What taste you will find in Guatemala San Miguel – Bio

Still, let’s talk about the coffee itself! Because it is precisely the taste of the coffee that attracted the attention of our coffee hunter. Guatemala San Miguel – Bio has an exceptionally balanced taste and the red berries and mandarin notes in the flavor. Rich body honeyed sweetness in the cup, which remains in the aftertaste. For excellent results, you can prepare it in V60, Hemex, and French press. It is suitable also for Espresso lovers who prefer fruity flavor because it is exactly Guatemala San Miguel – Bio that we use for some of our Espresso blends to infuse them with its unique fruity taste.

Do you know that…

Guatemala has been producing coffee since the 19th century thanks to … German immigrant pioneers who first began to cultivate it in the country. Today, almost a quarter of the 12 million population sustain itself by coffee. Guatemala annually produces 3.5 million bags. Coffee from this Central American country is among the best in the world, according to specialists – especially high-growing (over 1300m as mountain areas occupy more than half of Guatemala’s territory) and volcanic soils in its southern part.

DABOV Specialty Coffee’s experienced coffee hunter Jordan Dabov has not chosen by chance the Brazilian pearl – Brazil Alianca from Mogiana for your cup

Already enchanted by the world-famous coffee region in Brazil – Mogiana, Jordan visits it at least once a year since he has discovered Fazenda Aliança where our Brazil Alianca coffee is produced. Although there are many interesting coffee growing farms in the state of São Paulo, it is hard to find another one that stands out like Aliança.

Excellent conditions for growing Specialty Coffee

Owned and run by Renato Ishikawa, a Brazilian of Japanese origin, the farm spreads to 200 hectares, located on an average of 1,000 m above sea level. When visiting Aliança for the first time, Jordan was impressed by the fact that even though the plantation originates from 1882, it was only when Renato-san took the farm in his own hands in 1995 when the farm became synonymous with Specialty Coffee. As a matter of fact, the owner of Aliança initially approached the world of coffee as a hobby because he was already a successful entrepreneur in another area. But he soon realized that his land is blessed by extremely favorable coffee-breeding conditions – something that Jordan also noticed – fertile soils, numerous water sources, hilly terrain, and mild climate. That is why Renato dedicated himself to coffee with all his heart.

Fazenda Aliança is synonymous with sustainable development

Fazenda Aliança’s coffee is grown in line with the rules of sustainable development and social responsibility. What makes it unique, though, is its rich know-how and production practices with which it has become a role model all over Brazil. Natural resources are used rationally, for example, wastewater from the processing of coffee is recycled. Environmental projects are being developed to conserve biodiversity in the region, as well as social initiatives that gradually improve the lives of farm employees.
Renato shared with Jordan that even though he is first and foremost a businessman who should be concerned with the profit from all his endeavors, he cherishes clean air, uncontaminated water, and birds’ songs in the afternoons in Fazenda Aliança. The RFA and UTZ certificates are a proof of the sustainable development of the farm.

Quality coffee mainly exported to Japan

Fazenda Aliança mainly produces Arabica Catuaí, known for the sweetness in its taste. During many of his already habitual visits, Jordan witnesses the harvesting and processing of coffee on the spot – 60% goes through dry processing. All types of coffees that Jordan has tasted have different characteristics but are united by their high quality. It is no surprise that more than 90% of Aliança’s highest quality production is sold every year in Japan. But despite the competition, DABOV Specialty Coffee manages to secure about 10% of this unique coffee. How is this possible?
Jordan_Dabov_Brasil_Alianca_at_Fazenda_Alianca Fazenda_Alianca_Brasil_House Fazenda_Alianca_Brasil

DABOV Specialty Coffee has secured special conditions from Aliança

After numerous visits and talks with Renato-san, Jordan have chosen the variety, the location, the colour of the cherry at the time of picking, the maturing period (our coffee matures much longer than the other and is waiting for a certain moment of maturity), the processing method of coffee and how the coffee to be dried and packed. When such a personal commitment between a manufacturer and a buyer, the client can be sure that he will receive a coffee of superior quality.

What is the taste of the Brazil Alianca’s coffee?

The very first delivery from Fazenda Aliança left everyone in DABOV Specialty Coffee showroom and café pleasantly amazed and delighted. We could only agree with Jordan’s notes in his diary, taken when he first tasted Brazil Alianca: “Very easy drinkable coffee, start and finish – very sweet. I recommend this coffee to coffee lovers with sweet and mild acidity preferences. Easy, daily cup of coffee.”
Then, it was up to our roaster to find the perfect roasting profile to highlight the characteristics of Brazil Alianca coffee without compromising their harmonious integrity in taste. The task was challenging because the notes of the typical Brazilian sugar cane in the taste proved to be difficult to capture and highlight. But at last, perfection has been achieved. We offer you a cup with predominant notes of chocolate, raisins and sugar cane, and a milky aftertaste.

Did you know that…

The name of Renato Ishikawa should not surprise you – yes, he is a Brazilian of Japanese origin. As strange as it may seem, the largest Japanese immigrant community lives in Brazil of all places. The first emigrants from the Land of the Rising Sun landed in Brazil in 1908 precisely to meet the needs of workers in coffee plantations and fleeing hunger in their homeland. Many of them never went back and instead settled in the state of São Paulo.

 Standart Magazine is waiting for you at Dabov Specialty Coffee’s showroom & cafe at the heart of Sofia.


Is there a magazine for the world of specialty coffee?

Yes, there is! It is called Standart magazine and as its logo states, it stands for the art of coffee. Quarterly published and print only, they dedicate more than 130 pages of beautifully designed and carefully curated content to the beauty of specialty coffee.

What is Standart magazine all about?

In their own words, “Specialty coffee and the lifestyle of third wave cafes are knocking at our doors. We would like to show people that our passion is not posh or hipster-good coffee can be the standard for every cup.” And as the team behind the magazine born in Central Europe loves coffee for its ability to foster interesting conversations, chance meetings, and rich experiences, these are some major themes they explore on their pages.

Where can I buy the new issues of Standart magazine?

Standart issue 12 is here, in Dabov Specialty Coffee’s showroom & cafe at the heart of Sofia, bringing you more in-depth coverage of coffee, design, and the people behind it all. You can buy it here or order it online with your next order and browse through its pages over a cup of one of our extraordinary freshly brewed coffees or take it at home and enjoy it along with your afternoon ritual honoring your coffee religion.

What can I read about in Standart magazine?

Standart magazine is all about asking the big questions and trying to find the answers over coffee and its talented host of writers and artists have prepared a fresh batch of articles and stories. As in every issue, they will take you on a trip to several coffee producing countries and some megapolises with quite an intriguing coffee scene. They have a look at the future of sustainable coffee breeding, and what sustainability means for the supply chain. The magazine introduces one more barista to you and gives you for free some of her advice; have an interesting conversation with a world-renowned chef; feel the pulse of the day with an article about the successes of exceptional women in the coffee industry. And there is more – an original short story about coffee! And when you think that it is over, there is a pit stop at an Athenian coffee.

Who recommends Standart magazine?

We from Dabov Specialty Coffee are one of the 300 locations from 52 countries around the world where you can buy Standart magazine because we also love reading it.
Giada Bondi, from our partner La Marzocco, shares that “Standart’s ethos is to bring specialty coffee closer to the consumer while setting trends. We are proud to be a part of their mission.” Dear readers and coffee lovers, order your issues of Standart Magazine, sit back, slow down, and enjoy the beauty of the offline world!

Best of Panama auction 2018 auction has just finished with record prices gathered and Dabov Specialty Coffee has acquired one more great coffee for its catalog!

Lamastus Family Estates that won the two first places on the Best of Panama 2018 auction for Geisha Washed and Natural earned more than $150 000 for 90 kg of coffee. This is an amazing price in the world of Specialty Coffee.
As we have already informed you, Best of Panama is one of the most significant events for the world of specialty coffee. This year the competition was held for the 22 time and gave the world the opportunity to get closer to some of the most exclusive cafes such as the incomparable Geisha. The industry experts confirm their opinion that 2018 was a spectacular year for the specialty coffees tasted and rated in Best of Panama.
The prices went crazy on the Best of Panama 2018 auction after last year’s $601 paid for the best coffee in Panama from Jason Kew – an Australian Chinese coffee hunter.
The Best of Panama 2018 auction lasted for more than 8 hours and finished with record prices. 49 lots of really special coffee varieties were bought by some of the best coffee trading companies in the world and brought the farmers that have cultivated them the deserved payback.

Do you know that Dabov Specialty Coffee was one of them? We succeeded to secure lot №16 from the washed geishas from Agricola Geisha, produced by Dona Elvira. Our coffee hunter Jordan Dabov gave it 92,50 points!

As you remember, he was the only judge from Europe in this year’s competition – a rare and hard-earned privilege that many industry insiders from all over the world still can only dream about.
Prices started from $30 per pound (approximately $60 per kg) and the record price was paid for the best coffee in 2018, found in Panama, in the Lamastus Family Estate – the Natural Geisha which was bought for $803 per pound (approximately $1600 per kg).

The prices of the geishas on Best of Panama 2018 auction went crazy starting from $50 per pound ($100 per kg)

All lots from the famous Esmeralda farm led by the Peterson family were traded for very high prices:
Esmeralda Geisha washed – 9th place was sold for $140 per pound
Esmeralda Geisha natural – 3rd place was sold for $151 per pound
Esmeralda Traditional washed – 1st place was sold for $100 per pound

Who won the best coffees in the world from Best of Panama’s online auction?

Only a few companies dared to bid in the auction. Some of them started showing interest in more than three lots and finishing with none. Most of the companies are from the Asian market, some from the USA and Europe.
The total sum in the auction paid by the buyers was around $550 000 paid for 109 boxes of 50 pounds of green coffee.
Three times the bids were placed at the last possible second and this infused the auction with more tension.

Do you know that…

Geisha coffee neither comes from Panama nor does its name have a Japanese influence. It originates from Gesha, Ethiopia but it was in Panama where this variety has blossomed because of the high altitude and the combination of a climate and soil perfect for its needs. A little more than a decade ago it attracted the attention of coffee experts worldwide after it won the Best of Panama competition in 2004.
Read more about the winning coffees from Best of Panama 2018 on our website. Check out the official page of Best of Panama as well!

Which is the next Cup Of Excellence winner coffee that will come to Dabov Specialty Coffee? In September, we are expecting one more extraordinary specialty coffee from Finca La Virgen Nicaragua, produced by Ramacafe!

After the exciting and exhaustive cuppings and following the announcement of the winners, Dabov Specialty Coffee won the online auction of Cup of Excellence for Nicaragua La Virgen COE #6 2018.

We have chosen Finca La Virgen’s Nicaragua La Virgen COE #6 2018, the superb coffee with exceptional qualities, especially for you. The winner of the prestigious 6th place in Nicaragua’s Cup of Excellence 2018 stole the heart of our coffee hunter Jordan Dabov. Unsurprisingly, because of his experience, he was again invited to be among the judges at the most prestigious world coffee competition.

What is the taste of this Nicaraguan winning coffee?

Nicaragua La Virgen COE #6 2018 is characterized by a breathtakingly rich palette of flavors. In its taste, you can find notes of honey, watermelon, strawberry, golden raisin, banana, mango, and papaya. This consistent coffee with enhanced sweetness and velvety finish has a floral flavor and leaves a sense of malic acid. It is juicy and creamy. We bet that its colorful and strong body will make you choose it again and again.

Let us take a walk in the remarkable Finca La Virgen where this winning coffee was born.

Finca La Virgen belongs to the Huec Figueroa and Ponson Guyre families. It has grown specialty coffee since 1995. This makes for more than twenty years of experience, tradition, and innovation! Friendship, partnership, and passion for coffee have turned the farm into an exemplary model for sustainability, productivity, quality, and technology. Located in the breathtaking green mountains of Matagalpa region, Finca La Virgen boasts 180 hectares of coffee. How many of them do you think you can drink?

Who manages Finca La Virgen?

Gabriela Hueck is the professional who is behind this project. Always smiling and in a good mood, dispersing positive vibes around her. An incredible woman with huge energy, Gabriela produces for years some of the best coffees in Nicaragua. We are very proud to have one of them in our roastery.

What makes Finca La Virgen special?

In Finca La Virgen, they take care of the pickers who take care of the coffee. One of the first projects of the company since its establishment was the construction of homes for its permanent workers. Its founders treat the ecosystem with deep respect. La Virgen follows the path of sustainable development by investing in free education, computers, and health care for its employees and their families.

The farm is a heaven where people live in harmony with nature. They constantly improve their quality of life thanks to their work and the cultivation of specialty coffee. Isn’t this swell?

Unfortunately, the world of your beloved specialty coffee could be extremely dangerous.

You probably do not know that because of the political turmoil in Nicaragua in April 2018, all of the Cup of Excellence coffee was evacuated in Auckland, California. There, it expects to be exported all over the world. It is from there that one of the most remarkable coffees in our catalog, La Virgen-Ramacafe, will arrive in your cup. Right after you come back from your summer vacation, come to our shop and make sure you buy some of this coffee for you!

You may well remember that last year in Mexico, a truck transporting specialty coffee was abducted. This deprived farmers of participating in Cup of Excellence, and selling their coffees. Our Alliance for Coffee Excellence community organized a fundraiser for these farmers and we gathered a significant amount of money for the 6 farmers whose coffee was stolen. That’s why the prestigious competition has taken measures to protect the participants and their valuable production.

Which are the other winning coffees in Nicaragua Cup of Excellence 2018?

A lot of amazing coffees were presented in this year’s competition. You can check the full list of the winners in this article.

Do you know that…

It takes 7 days to set up the roasting profile of every new green coffee that is delivered to Dabov Specialty Coffee’s roastery. After numerous sample roasting and cuppings in the laboratory, our team determines the tastiest profile of your coffee.

Visit Finca La Virgen yourself at their official website.

One of the most exciting events for the coffee lovers and professionals in Europe is approaching and we will definitely be part of it. 

Europe’s best-loved coffee event, World of Coffee, heads to Amsterdam in 2018. Our DABOV Specialty Coffee’s team is going to join the Specialty Coffee Association at World of Coffee from 21 till 23 June and reach thousands of coffee industry buyers and influencers within a unique mix of a trade show, education program, social events, and most importantly, the 2018 World Barista Championships. We can’t wait!

Europe’s Fastest-Growing Coffee Show

Traveling to a different European city each June, World of Coffee is the essential event for coffee professionals on our continent – drawing a loyal audience from the global specialty coffee community, more than 80% of whom return year-on-year. Brought to you by the Specialty Coffee Association, the event has more than doubled in size and stature over the last five years, growing from 3,000 visitors and 45 exhibitors to 6,800 visitors and 240 exhibitors in just 5 years. These results are impressive, aren’t they!

World of Coffee is a festival of innovation, entertainment & knowledge

The backbone of World of Coffee is the dynamic 5000 sq.m. exhibition featuring over 250 of the world’s leading coffee and Horeca industry suppliers. But Europe’s top coffee event is more than a trade show, it is a festival of innovation and learning comprising of several distinctive panels. Check out which they are so that you can make your programme and don’t miss anything important:

We are thrilled to share with you that this year we are going to be straight into the eye of the specialty coffee storm during the World Barista Championship!

The 2018 World Barista Championship is fast approaching – in just under few weeks, from 20th to 23rd June, over sixty competitors will take to the stage in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, at the World of Coffee show. With regional competitions well under way, qualified competitors will have started planning their preliminary round performance – preparing three espresso-based courses in fifteen minutes to a panel of judges and the audience. Alongside the preliminary round on day one and two, competitors will also collaborate in groups of teams, as part of the WBC Teams Competition.

The Netherlands’ coffee industry is thriving, and what’s more, sustainability is of high importance to Dutch consumers – last year, the CBI went as far as to describe the country as “the epicenter of sustainability initiatives within the coffee sector”.
A barista competing

SCA has also announced a new round of Qualified Sponsorships

The Specialty Coffee Association has also announced a new round of Qualified Sponsorships for World Coffee Competitions starting in 2018 – affecting what equipment can be used for in the championships. At the moment, Simonelli and Mahhlkoenig are the espresso machine and grinder sponsors respectively. Other sponsors include Ally Coffee, Swiss Water, and more. Information about Qualified Testing for the sponsor position will be announced soon.

Over the last eighteen years, it’s been clear to see that behind every barista, there is a strong support network—from coaches to producers, to roasters. The World Barista Championship Teams competition is designed to foster and encourage that same spirit of mutual support amongst competitors. Participating competitors are grouped into ten teams, equally weighted based on historical performance of their National Body. Competitors continue to give the standard on-stage performance to the audience and a panel of judge, while working with and supporting their teammates behind the scenes. Each team also works a shift on the Team Bar, where competitors will work together to decide on a menu, equipment, and service.

Here are some of the baristas, that are going to participate this year:

The overall winner of the Teams competition will be determined by combining each team member’s individual score from the WBC preliminary round. The team with the highest combined score win the WBC Teams Competition, and some great prizes, including the chance to participate in a future WCE All-Stars event. The highest ranking member of the winning team who is not already qualified into semi finals will win a spot as the sixteenth semi-finalist, and continue in the World Barista Championship. In 2017 the WBC Teams competition was won by Team Tamper, which included Canada, China, Italy, Kenya, and Romania. Kenya’s Martin Shabaya qualified into semi-finals, and also joined the WCE All-Stars event at Hotelex Shanghai—keep your eyes peeled for more of the 2017 Team Tamper at upcoming All-Stars features!

Stay tuned for some more freshly roasted info, photos, and videos, straight from the event!



After a few days of cupping, scrupulous selection and evaluation, the winner of the Best of Panama competition for 2018 was selected.

The annual edition of Best of Panama was held in Valle Escondido Resort & Spa and ran from 22 to 26 May. The event hosted more than 15 local judges, 18 international judges from the USA, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Australia, EUA and Japan and over 25 international guest testers from Asia, the United State, and Europe. We are also proud of our founder, Jordan Dabov, who was the only European to be invited as a judge for the last few years! They all confirm that the Geisha variety has the best and most deserved reputation in Panama.

The international jury of the Best of Panama 2018. Our founder Jordan Dabov is the only European who has been invited to participate for the last few years.

On Best of Panama, a new record was scored by the washed Geisha

The washed Geisha scored a record result this year – 94.38 points out of a maximum of 100! This is a historic record since the highest rating so far is 94.11. It is for this reason that the question arises whether a maximum score of 100 points can be reached? “It would be great, but it would also mean that there would be no better coffee,” said Wilford Lamastus, President of the Specialty Coffee Association in Panama.

Will last year’s highest score on Best of Panama be reached in 2018?

For comparison, natural Geisha received 93.63 points, which is 0.48 less than its personal record from previous years of 94.11 points. Last year, the winner coffee was sold for $ 601 per pound at an online auction. Five years earlier, the price for the winner was $ 350.25. These differences not only show the quality of coffee but also help local development and gradual improvement in production. One can only guess how much the buyers will be willing to pay on this year’s online auction.

“Our costs are very high compared to the rest of Latin America. Only if we remain in the special category, this branch of coffee can provide better returns to the country,” appreciates producer Ricardo Koiner, manager of Kotowa.

Koiner supports his assessments of climate challenges, and Lamastus adds the impossible competition in volume with other exporting countries.

The weather this time led to the farms to have low production rates. “In many regions, 50% of the capacity was produced; in others, only 20%, “recalls Koiner.

In terms of volume, Lamastus takes Colombia as an example. The South American country sends abroad a minimum of 11 million bags per year. The special category of the Chiriqui highlands allows the harvest of some 200,000 bags, of which an average of 50,000 are sold in other markets.

For these and other organoleptic reasons, that is, texture, color, aroma, flavor and acidity, according to Bermúdez, the 50,000 bags of Panamanian special coffee captivate the public that seeks the most exalted grain.

Since last Wednesday they participated in the tastings of the coffee varieties produced in the highlands, where the pacamara, traditional, natural and geisha varieties are worked in their different modalities.

They are the cream of the coffee industry. “The buyers come, savor and negotiate quantities of 80 or 100 bags with the producers,” says Lamastus.

Others wait until the July auctions to compete for the most exquisite pounds of coffee in the world. Last year a buyer paid $ 601 for a pound of Geisha from Best of Panama. This year, experts now consider, that record can be broken.

*NEW RECORD* Geisha Washed Category Elida Geisha 94.66 Cantar Don Tito Janson Geisha 4. Carmen Estate 5. Hacienda Santa Barbara 6. Garrido Geisha 7. Don Pepe Estate 8. Rojas Geisha

Geisha Natural Elida Green-tip Geisha Don Tony Geisha Hacienda La Esmeralda Cañas Verdes 4. Carmen Geisha 5. Kotowa Rio Cristal 6. Longboard Specialty Coffee. 7. Janson Geisha 8. Santamaria Geisha

Pacamara Category Kotowa Duncan Special Minerva-Nat Doña Elvira Natural @ Valle Escondido Resort, Golf & Spa.

Stay tuned for more info from the world of Specialty Coffee!

We are thrilled to share with you that one of the most significant events in the world of Specialty Coffee is currently underway – Best of Panama 2018!

Founded in 1996 by the Specialty Coffee Association of Panama (SCAP), the competition is now held for a 22 time! This event gives the world the opportunity to get closer to some of the most exclusive cafes such as Geisha for example! Thanks to SCAP’s members who have developed and established cultivation systems and processing methods that aim to create an outstanding product: „Our coffees have been ranked by experts as some of the best in the world in many international competitions, and our production is highly prized by the most demanding and discerning in the industry. We strive to promote a culture that is friendly with the environment: We understand that our water sources, forests, and wildlife are not only a key part of the success and uniqueness of our coffees, but also the most important asset to our communities,” said the locals.

Currently, SCAP has more than 50 active members that export its varieties of Specialty Coffees around the world and that are winners of prizes and recognition in different international taste competitions.

Also, the best of Panama represents the opportunity for local estates to promote the quality of their harvests, as this competition is overseen and judged by national and international experts in the specialty coffee industry. „For us coffee growers, the Best of Panama is a very important event, as it continuously raises the bar for the quality we strive to offer in our product,” said the producers.

This year, Best of Panama 2018 will take place in Valle Escondido Resort & Spa on May 22-26th. The event will host more than 15 preliminary local judges, 18 international judges from USA, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Australia, EUA and Japan and more than 25 International Guest Cuppers from Asia, USA, and Europe.

We are so proud to announce that our coffee hunter Jordan Dаbov was invited to be a part of the international jury in Best Of Panama. This honour is granted to cuppers from USA, Asia and Australia with high experience in cupping quality coffees. For years a European judge has not been a part of this event.

Follow us for more up-to-date information about the event and the results!