Chronicle of how we won the award for "best specialty coffee roaster in spain" at the BCN Coffee Awards 2023


It all started when we received from the importer Flor de Café a bag of coffee from Brazil Milena Rodrigues, Arara variety, natural process and altitude 1100m. The importer gave us some tasting notes for this coffee with maple syrup, yellow fruits, tangerine and liqueur.

It turned out that more than thirty roasters in the country would have almost a month to roast the same coffee and send the best possible sample in that first round of the competition, so we got down to work.

With this Brazilian coffee we had 30kg (we were not convinced to roast a single 5kg run in our 22kg Probat machine in which we always roast 18kg batches) and decided to make five roasts of 6kg each.

First roasting of Nomad Coffee of Milena Rodrigues Brazil coffee. After the first blind roast following our philosophy and the five subsequent trials trying different things, we decided to send the sample with the first one, which was the one we liked the most at the cupping table with a score of 85.67 and notes of chocolate, figs, tangerine and orange liqueur.

The twelve most liked coffees would go on to a final round and from those the winner would be chosen the last weekend of September at the BCN Coffee Awards.

We were nervous and waiting for the cut-off when they finally announced the twelve finalist roasters (in random order): Kima Coffee, Urban Coffee Roasters, Harmony Roasters, Cafés El Magnífico, Three Marks Coffee, Slow Mov, Hola Coffee, BRKLYN Café, Dalston Coffee, Brew Coffee, Right Side Coffee Roasters, and us, Nomad Coffee.

Seeing us among the twelve best roasters selected with our first roast of 6kg gave us a lot of confidence and reaffirmed that yes, following our way of doing things and our infinite search for consistency and quality, our coffees could stand the test of time at any tasting table together with the most outstanding specialty coffee roasters in the country.

That's where we were, celebrating with proud and shy looks when the coffee for the second round arrived. The importer BELCO sent us 5kg of an Ethiopia Chelbessa, Heirloom variety, Washed process, from 2000m altitude, and tasting notes of peach, apricot, lemon, caramel and jasmine.

And there it was. 5kg and only one chance to do it right and get a rich coffee that we could proudly send to compete for the best roaster award at the BCN Coffee Awards.

Fran, our Chief of Coffee, told me to go ahead and leave Ethiopia in my hands, and then, ambitious of me, I opened my notebook and wrote a calendar with all the days left until the weekend of the festival. I tried to guess what day the Q-Graders judges would taste the submitted coffees if they theoretically named a winner on Sunday, October 1. And I tried to plan which day I could roast that Ethiopia so that it would have the ideal days of rest to taste it at its best.

Then I wrote down in the notebook the following bullet within the objectives for the current semester:

  • Best Roaster at the Coffee Awards :)

And so came D-day, H-hour, time to roast the CA's E roast. I added in the Cropster schedule the 5kg coffee between probably what would be a Colombia El Roble production roast and a Kenya Nyanyuki AA roast, so that my two favorite coffees from this past season would give me a bit of luck, and I got to work, with all my attention on the various colored lines on the screen.



Ethiopia Chelbessa's 5kg Nomad Coffee roast was the winner of the BCN Coffee Awards 2023. This was the final curve, what some would consider as the inner skeleton of that cup of coffee that the judges would taste on Sunday October 1 and name as the one they had liked the most. (Before all that, at our own cupping table, in the roasting team, we evaluated the coffee with 86.88 and put some notes of lemon, peach, floral and grapefruit, plus the following emoji as a joke, but not so much of a joke: 🏆)

But the truth is quite different. And the skeleton of that cup of coffee that was lucky enough to win, and of all the other cups of coffee Nomad that are drunk in Barcelona, in the rest of Spain and across the ocean in coffee shops like Wynyard in South Korea or Dayglow in the United States, the skeleton of all those moments Nomad around the world are them, the people in the photo above, the wonderful team Nomad:

From the CEO Jordi Mestre who has created this great family of coffee nuts to the COC Francisco Tomás González Márquez and the director of the Nomad Coffee Academy Ivette continuously teaching us the magic of ROR and TDS, and passing through the most consistent roasters in Spain Rebeca Silva and Laura Coe, as well as Esteban Conde with his perfect organization of events, the geniuses of the web and logistics Abel Cruz and Alejandro Marín Melgar, the incomparable accounts of Pol, the account management of Gonzalo and Fabi, the facilities to work happier that Celia García Quesada gives us, the queen of orders María Jara Blanco and the tireless Baba and Seck, the leader of the locals Núria Ruiz Fanega, the audiovisual master Marc Pérez Estada and many more that I leave unnamed, but that are fundamental bones of this skeleton so cool that we are creating.

Nomad Coffee