The Slow Food Coffee Coalition board of experts meet in Florence

The board of experts of the Slow Food Coffee Coalition (SFCC), a collaborative and open network founded by Slow Food and Lavazza Group, is made up of some of the leading Italian and international coffee experts, including professional tasters. They will meet on 22 February at the Accademia del Caffè Espresso La Marzocco in Fiesole (Florence) and will taste a range of coffees chosen by Slow Food from coffee-growing communities in nine countries: Cuba, Ethiopia, Philippines, Honduras, India, Malawi, Mexico, Peru, Tanzania.

Some of the Slow Food Communities that have supplied the coffee for the tasting (Philippines, Honduras, India and Malawi) have already signed up to an SFCC Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) initiative, while others (Cuba, Ethiopia, Peru and Tanzania) are in the initial stages of moving towards this innovative and democratic form of certification.

Participatory Guarantee System is an alternative certification model whereby producers and other stakeholders share a set of commonly-defined standards and norms, common procedures, a coordinating body, a common logo and defined consequences for non-compliance. The Slow Food Coffee Coalition believes that there is no such thing as a flawless certification system, but we prefer models based on trust and collaboration, and which do not financially burden producers.

The main aim of this initial tasting is to consolidate the Slow Food Coffee Coalition tasters panel and to calibrate the PGS evaluation criteria, including in relation to the sensory aspect of coffee. The SFCC seeks to promote coffee with refined sensory qualities, as well as to expand the definition of quality to include environmental and social aspects, and therefore the respect of local biodiversity and the work of farmers.

The panel of tasters is made up of:

  • Alberto Polojac,Bloom Academy and Imperator, Trieste – Panel Leader
  • Massimo Battaglia, coffee research leader Accademia dell’Espresso.
  • Nora Smahelova, coffee education leader Accademia dell’Espresso.
  • Marco Purini, coffee specialist Accademia dell’Espresso.
  • Alessio Baschieri, roaster L’Albero del Caffè
  • Bianca Maschio, sensory analyst Q Arabica Grader
  • Massimo Audino, Coffee R&D green coffee innovation & product development Lavazza Group
  • Maria Trompetto, Global Away from Home Brand Marketing Lavazza Group
  • Federico Bobbio, Azahar Coffee Company
  • Francesco Sanapo, artisanal roaster
  • Andrej Godina, SCA trainer and coffee expert

The coffees will be assessed according to the international cupping protocol using the appropriate scorecards established by this methodology. The results will then be shared with the producer communities.

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