Usually we talk about primeurs, when we get the first vegetables & fruits of the season.In the wine sector, however, it is a bit different.
The wine Primeurs, is a tasting session of the wines when still on the barrels, organized by the different “chateaux”, and to which all wine professionals assist to see what the quality of the harvest on each is, and how it would evolve.
It’s somehow, the “premier” of what that year would be once bottled. These Primeurs, are organized on the most important “wine regions”, one of those emblematic places, is of course, Bordeaux. Having this event every year here, and been so close to the wine world, we started thinking… why not doing a coffee primeur proposed to roasters? And what once gets into Belco’s drum, finishes by been roasted, we decided to do it! The mere idea of a Primeur, has always been for me, something very similar to sample roasting during the different stages of the bean. In the Primeur, the taster is able to seize the potential of the wine, he imagines in his mind and thanks to his abilities, how its future in the glass would be. When we cup coffees at origin, sometimes they haven’t even rest a week after been milled. And we need to see their potential
. Once the coffee has rested a bit more, we receive another sample of this bean, before the shipment. At this period, we can fully measure its potential. We then, send a sample to the roaster, he cups it to see all its potential and main characteristics, and in his mind, he would imagine how the coffee would be when production roasted. He would see if it fulfills the sensory needs he is seeking from the grain, and would decide how would roast it depending on where he’s going to use it (filters, espresso, etc…). Quite similar, all this story of the Primeurs, isn’t it?
A couple of weeks ago, I was reading an online coffee magazine from 2002, and many roasters & baristas commented in what the correct terminology to refer to specialty coffee would be. A lot of “grand crus” were suggested, many comparisons between “Chateau” and “Estate Coffee” came out too. If the first ever definition of specialty coffee
came out in the hexagone, why couldn’t be us be the first launching the Coffee Primeurs? :-p Alex spent a couple of tough weeks in Ethiopia, supported since then & before by Jacques, sourcing coffees from all over the country
. Myself, I spent almost a month travelling from Costa Rica to Mexico, doing the same (my luggage couldn’t make it, unfortunately). Count the countries, and multiply it by 10, we had what we need to launch the first edition of the Primeurs in Bordeaux. We have spent 4 lovely days, surrounded by roasters coming from different parts of France & Europe. Cupping coffees, talking about them, the farms they are coming from and all the people behind them. A huge thank to all of you who took the time to come to Bordeaux, to hear us talking about these beautiful beans we are so proud to bring to Europe, to cup these beans which are the fruit of the effort of many farmers and they coworkers, who we are happy to represent on this side of the ocean. This was the first Primeur we organize, and we are certain won’t be the last one. For the next one, we hope we can make you come again, and some more, to discover some terroirs on this land of terroirs. Cupping coffees next to vineyards, isn’t that romantic?
Angel, for the Belco