My coffee is not in the competition, it does not make sense for my very small farm to donate 500lbs or so of coffee to enter. That said, as a member I am thrilled to be able to participate and join the more well known names of coffee in this small town for their big event. Apparently, there is a spare cupping table and I am going to go along and see if I can taste some winners and learn something. I will be joining some Japanese, Greeks, a panel of international judges and many of the big growers who will also be slurping coffee.
The nice lady who administers the organization briefed me this afternoon on the 'rules'. She really is a sweetheart, very kind and helpful even on this rather tense day with all hell breaking loose in the office in preparation for tomorrow and the second round of cupping.
So, this is the situation: I am not allowed to smell of anything. No perfume or body lotion, no fruity lip gloss, no scented deodorant, fruity shampoo or hair spray that the highly sensitive noses present might scribble down and attribute to a coffee.
No open toed shoes and no high heels. Not sure why no sandals - could it be the distraction of brightly colored toe nails or smelly feet, not sure. No high heels, because they make a distracting noise on the floor. Not sure quite where that leaves me, ballet flats are apparently the coffee cuppers uniform. I do not own any.
Agreed to check in with my nice administrator friend first thing in the morning for a reminder on the cupping rules. The basic gist is: You can make as much noise as you like slurping the coffee but must not make any other sounds or talk.