Coffee Wars vi: Awards Ceremony Speech

Every year, CoffeeWars is unique. You're probably all thinking, "oh, here's the part where Hook wins again." But no! He decided that his back-to back championships were enough glory, and he'd let some other folks have a chance.

We had 21 entries this year. I am not sure whether this is an all-time record, but there were no disqualifications, which is a first, so all 21 were sampled in a 3.5 gallon marathon. We had six judges, and each coffee is judged on six criteria, so that's a total of 756 votes to tabulate. By the end, some judges were a bit overstimulated-- mostly writing crazy comments, and one forgot how to spell his own name.

We make each rating on a scale of 1-10. You might think that this sounds imprecise, but I would like to call your attention to the fact that last year's voting correctly identified a scan, in which inferior beans were being passed off as Jamaican Blue Mountain. The fraud was exposed elsewhere, abd the firm has shut down, but we knew something was up well in advance-- that coffee was lambasted in the ratings.

I tell this story as a testimony to the collective palate of the judges-- every year the winning coffee meets with universal approval. At this point, I'll also mention that for once, Jamaican Blue Mountain is not the winner, so it's not as though we're unable to appreciate good coffee in all its forms.

Before we announce the winners, we'd like to thank DefCon: DT, Black Beetle, Russ, and the goons. We'd also like to thank, as always, the Alexis Park staff. And we'd like to send our greetings and best thoughts out to two people who could not be with us this year: Alice and Jay Dyson.

The bang-for-the-buck category recognizes the best ratio of score to price, and this year's competition was very close. There's no prize, but we'd like to recognize "Just Ken," with his "Baltimoron Blend," scoring an overall rating of 6.17 at just $6.00/lb.

This year's winning entry was submitted by one of the judges. Before you all shout "conflict of interest," I'll point out that the tasting is blind, and that the judge who entered the coffee gave it its poorest scores. It's all the more fun because his entry last year was the bogus Jamaican Blue Mountain.

The only coffee to break the 7.0 barrier, at $30.00/lb, with a score of 7.67, we declare the winner and undisputed champion to be Red Lion Kona, entered by Dr. Vann Harl!

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