The Huila Mágico Competition is the contest we ran originally in Pitalito, Southern Huila, Colombia. The first edition of Huila Mágico had such a great success that we decided to run a 2nd edition for the 2021/2022 season.
We started this competition to motivate hard-working farmers in Huila to challenge the global pandemic situation of 2020 and finally reward their efforts. (Read more on the 1st edition competition here). In 2021, The Coffee Quest organized the 2nd edition to create motivation boosters for farmers despite the already high C-market selling prices.
“We decided to take the opposite approach and reward producers for being able to produce top coffees, in the face of hardship. And if you are able to do that, that’s quite an accomplishment!” – Stephen Levene, The Coffee Quest US
We managed to find producers who were still willing to do that extra mile to get the premium price on every lot thanks to The Coffee Quest team across Northern and Southern Huila, as well as different areas across Antioquia.
The contest was also an opportunity for us to find producers with whom we share our vision and seek to build long-term relationships. What we realized indeed was that the competition pushed farmers to put more attention on processing, even in the face of external factors, like the C-market prices higher than what they were earning in the previous season.
Among the Top 10 winners and participants, some have been working with us for years. We could not hide our excitement for that. After trials and failures, they experimented with different fermentation recipes. Additionally, several producers who are new to the world of specialty coffee, showcased a steep learning curve.
This time, we focused mainly on mid-harvest coffee and received micro-lots from November/December, which had been harvested earlier around September. We were amazed by the quality!
Only 86+ coffee lots were selected and then judged by the local and international cuppers across multiple countries. Our teams in Amsterdam (the Netherlands), and Austin (the US) help our homebase in Colombia with assessing the final results. The Top 10 were selected from the initial 20 coffees.
- #01 – Yeferson Rivas, Finca Nuevo Horizonte
- #02 – Jose Norbey Quimbayo, Finca La Esmeralda
- #03 – Carlos Ramon Diaz Majin, Finca La Esperanza
- #04 – Jose Lizardo Alba, Finca Los Jazmines
- #05 – Erick Fernando Bravo Urbano, Finca El Chaferote
- #06 – Roberto Achicue Ome, Finca El Caucho
- #07 – Ernedis Rodriguez Liberato, Finca El Paraiso
- #08 – Fernando Tulio Lopez, Finca La Muralla
- #09 – Luis Alejandro Ortiz Lasso, Finca El Mirador
- #10 Jhon Fredy Ulcumche, Finca Los Eucaliptos
The 2021’s top 10 ranking represents a bright selection of experimental but high-quality lots. Last year, our winners consisted mostly of Pink Bourbon and Caturra. Among this year’s lots, you’ll find a greater range of varieties, such as Caturra, Pink Bourbon, Castillo, Javanica, which are 100% washed. You might find all sorts of peculiarities, fruity notes, and complex acidities. The selection is so diverse that it can take anyone by surprise!
The Coffee Quest want to thank all the farmers who took part in this contest, not only those who actually ranked in the Top 10. Producing high-quality coffee against such adversities is not easy and as such, any coffee above 85 points is an accomplishment.
To enter the competition, each coffee must meet our quality requirements: only 86+ accepted. As the coffee is already meeting our regular requirements, we paid the farmer our price whether he would have won or not.
- 1st Place: $6,000,000/carga;
- 2nd Place: $5,500,000/carga;
- 3rd Place: $5,000,000/carga;
- 4th Place: $4,500,000/carga;
- 5th Place: $4,000,000/carga.
- 6/7/8th Place: $3,500,000/carga;
- 9/10th Place: $3,000,000/carga.
At our local stations, farmers can receive training and tailored advice on how to improve quality from The Coffee Quest team. The whole organization and logistical chain were not an easy set-up, but our intentions kept us motivated. It was heartwarming to see how our enthusiasm for the contest was contagious! The contest was better received than we had anticipated. We were glad to see that not only farmers but also their families and friends were excited as well.
This is certainly proof that we should continue running this contest in future harvests and different Colombian regions to motivate and reward coffee farmers.