Time to put those cupping skills to the test. Populace Coffee’s Flight of Fancy box set/tasting competition is back for its third year to separate the cup tasters from the cup wasters, this time with its biggest prize yet.

The rules of the competition are simple. The competition itself? Not so much. First off, you order a special Flight of Fancy box set from Populace; each box contains four 75 gram bags of unmarked coffees and eight info cards listing a different origin. All you have to do is match the right card to the right coffee—and be the first person to submit the correct answer combination via email and Instagram using the hashtag #FOF2016

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The winner will receive a La Marzocco Linea Mini and second place will take home a La Marzocco Lux D grinder. And this year, Populace has created new ways to win that don’t involve being a super taster, with categories like the Social Media Butterfly Award, Best of Show, and Biggest Cupping Crew. Prizes for these new categories include an Acaia Black Pearl scale, a Fellow Stagg kettle, a Baratza Encore grinder, and Able Brewing merch. We know a couple of social media butterflies who stand a strong chance of winning, or at the very least, posting a lot of pretty looking photos in the process.

The past two Flight of Fancy competitions have been won by Austin Amento of Augie’s Coffee, the current US Cup Tasters Champion and I for one am sick of it. We get it, Austin, you taste coffee good. Stop trying to singlehandedly furnish Augie’s cupping lab and let someone else win for a change.


This year’s competition is limited to 200 entries, and as of writing this only 41 remain. Flight of Fancy box sets cost $35 and are available for order until October 31st, but again, they won’t last that long—you need to preorder now if you want to play the game. The coffees will be shipped out November 7th through 9th, and the final answer submission date is November 17th.

More information and a full set of rules can be found on Populace’s website. Good luck and good tasting to all participants. Except Austin Amento. I hope all your cupping bowls break and your favorite spoon mysteriously gets a hole drilled in it.

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network.

*top image and video via Populace

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