2006 Best of Panama

coffee competitions, auctions, best of panama, etc

2006 Best of Panama

Postby James Hoffmann on Tue May 30, 2006 3:29 pm

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Postby Mark Prince on Tue May 30, 2006 3:31 pm

Nope... not the only one.

Insane! ;) It'll soon be jacuzzi installation time at Hacienda La Esmeralda...

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Postby nick on Tue May 30, 2006 4:32 pm

$50.25.

Niiiice.

Only 5 bags though. But can't wait to start begging for a taste from whoever won it!
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Postby LiftOff on Tue May 30, 2006 6:03 pm

I just roasted up my little 1/2 lb sample today. I knew it would be to pricey for me, so I saved that one to roast during the auction action.

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Postby Jimmy Oneschuk on Tue May 30, 2006 7:01 pm

Did I read this correctly, 5 bags at $33000?
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Postby Peter Van de Reep on Tue May 30, 2006 8:01 pm

So who picked it up? Anyone care to share the buyer?
pullingshots: a blog
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Postby duane on Tue May 30, 2006 8:06 pm

Lot #1 Hacienda Esmeralda Especial purchased by the Small Axe Alliance consisting of Sweet Marias, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Intelligentsia, Kaffa AS, Groundwork.

Lot #2 Bambito Estate purchased by the Small Axe Alliance consisting of Sweet Marias, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Intelligentsia, Groundwork.

Lot#3 Carmen Estate purchased by the Small Axe Alliance consisting of Sweet Marias, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Intelligentsia, Groundwork.
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Postby nick on Tue May 30, 2006 8:56 pm

The Sma-roo Ack-suh strikes again!!!

I had a funny feeling that Double-R was involved somehow... when Ric was talking about the Esmerelda in Charlotte, it was like hearing a pre-teen talking all googley about Rick Springfield or something. :D

Way to go all!
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Postby Steve on Wed May 31, 2006 2:17 am

Big respect to the small axe for paying this price, but ....

How long till we see one bag auctions and people splitting sacks. Is this a problem? Should it be encouraged as long as the farmers doing the hard work get rewarded? Am I just bitter :)

Is one sack just a PR stunt for these big guys or a true desire to get these coffees. How much can you do with one bag I know I'm a tiny tiny roaster but would struggle to find what to do with just the one.

Oh well just decided I am bitter :)
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Postby duane on Wed May 31, 2006 4:36 am

Four out of the five in this group purchased Hacienda La Esmeralda two years ago when it went to auction and received a price of $21. Last year we purchased this coffee directly from the farm. This years production of the Esmeralda Especial is low, so we joined together as we've done in the past to purchase what we believe is one of the finest coffees in the world.

What will we do with just one bag? Well, we plan on roasting and offering it to our customers who've been buying and enjoying this coffee over the past few years.

The Carmen Estate is also a coffee we've been buying for years. This particular lot offered auction is very beautiful, so again, we went to the auction with the hopes of buying this coffee to roast and offer it to our customers who've been enjoying this coffee over the past few years.

The group had no intentions of a pr stunt or upsetting you Steve.
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Postby Steve on Wed May 31, 2006 5:08 am

No I'm not upset at all I think its wonderful that you go out there a do these direct deals, more power to you.

I just want some of the fine coffee lots out there too for my customers, and would love to be involved as much as you guys are, but when powerful groups like your self come along I just wouldn't be able to compete (just for the record I wasnt involved in any biding for this auction, more out of over comitment with the 4 coe ones coming up soon).

Any one mind if I stop digging this hole ?
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Postby Matt Riddle on Wed May 31, 2006 5:22 am

I may be speaking out of turn here, so Geoff or Duane feel free to put me in my place...

One of the goals of small axe is to have a number of smaller roasters/retailers work together to become a more powerful and driving force at these auctions. Giving people a chance to sample coffees that they might not otherwise be able to. I don't see any reason that Geoff or anyone involved in small axe would be opposed to you joining them in the next auction. If you're interested in quality and great coffees, then i think you would be a perfect match for S.A. give one of them a call or email. I'm sure they'd love to talk. If you need contact info, PM me.
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Postby Steve on Wed May 31, 2006 5:28 am

I may be speaking out of turn here, so Geoff or Duane feel free to put me in my place...

One of the goals of small axe is to have a number of smaller roasters/retailers work together to become a more powerful and driving force at these auctions. Giving people a chance to sample coffees that they might not otherwise be able to. I don't see any reason that Geoff or anyone involved in small axe would be opposed to you joining them in the next auction. If you're interested in quality and great coffees, then i think you would be a perfect match for S.A. give one of them a call or email. I'm sure they'd love to talk. If you need contact info, PM me


I've thrown this one around in my head for a while and I suppose the problem in my head is the logistics of splitting a lot between two continents and how we would go about it. I guess the answer is to talk to the Geoff and Duane to see if I'm placing barriers that don't need to be there.
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Postby Matt Riddle on Wed May 31, 2006 5:42 am

Kaffa is in Oslo, so you need not worry about that pond we call the Atlantic.
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Postby K.C. O'Keefe on Wed May 31, 2006 11:52 am

Isn't that the whole point of an auction . . . to reward the best with the highest price imaginable! No holds on creativity, even if it is for a "PR" stunt!

The extream price rewards creativity and spurs everyone to ask what they can do to beat or match it. . . And you bet every coffee farmer out their is wondering if they have some secrete variety on their farm to show off to the world. Beautiful! Viva las Subastas!!!

There was a time when people said the same thing about a well know Japaneese group . . . Competition!!

Salud to the small axe with big impact, who are passing this off to their customers and in the end creating a new cieling price for the finest coffees in the world!! Let the flag rise high!

Viva Subastas!
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Postby Steve on Wed May 31, 2006 11:57 am

KC I'm not knocking it at all, in fact I look in ore a little at what they are doing. My gripe is I want to be involved and as a micro micro roaster it's tough to compete with the buying power. I want my customers in the UK to enjoy the same high quality coffee the American and Japanese markets are and experience what I find on a cupping table.

As I said I'm envious of what these guys are doing and big respect to the people involved.
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Postby K.C. O'Keefe on Wed May 31, 2006 12:06 pm

Steve, Jealousy can be a good thing . . . if it moves you to figure out a way in which you can participate. Flying one bag across the pound might be your first step? Or getting other micro roasters close to you excited enough to step up and put out the money.

One thing I know about some of the members of Small Axe is that they always pay considerable more for coffees, and have consumers who are used to higher than comodity prices for coffees.

As one who works at orgin I have to say this thrills me! and any possible way this can continue to happen than its all good. . . even your envy of it.
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Postby Mark Prince on Wed May 31, 2006 12:33 pm

Steve, I'll also argue that getting first place shouldn't necessarily be too important for a micro roaster such as yourself. The fact is, with CoE and Best of Panama and the eCafe auctions, etc etc, there's a LOT of good coffees in those auctions - even the ones down in the $5 or less category.

As an eg, Larry at Rocket scored one of the Best of Panamas, and he's very happy because out of all the samples, it was the one *he* wanted as a roaster. It's not one of the top coffees in the cupping (it was the Organic Cafe' Kotowa Duncan), but it was the one he wanted. He scored it through Volcafe, which I assume was doing a group bid, or had pre-set what coffees their buyers wanted. A respectable $6.15 a lb.

(edit - Kotowa has a website: http://www.myroaster.com/ )

The PR push is no doubt great from having the award winner / highest auction, but if the goal is just having fantastic coffee, almost any on the list would suit.

Get on the samples list, do your roasts, decide what suits your tastes, your likes, etc, and start ringing the phone to groups like Mercanta, Volcafe, Small Axe, or heck, form your own with like-minded roasters, and you can get some amazing coffees, sometimes for as little as $3 a lb or less (though I'd hope a $5 basement would be appropos for these kinds of coffees ;)).

My 0.02.

Mark
Last edited by Mark Prince on Wed May 31, 2006 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Matt Riddle on Wed May 31, 2006 12:40 pm

full agreement here, Mark.

Our current COE Brazil - Fazenda Santa Terezinha was a sleeper in the auction, coming in at 23rd. It's truly amazing.
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Postby Jimmy Oneschuk on Wed May 31, 2006 12:42 pm

MarkP wrote:The fact is, with CoE and Best of Panama and the eCafe auctions, etc etc, there's a LOT of good coffees in those auctions - even the ones down in the $5 or less category.


This makes me wonder if the auction format is really working at rewarding growers across the board - it seems at most auctions there is an amazing price paid for number one, a pretty good price paid for #2, and then drops from there radically.

Thoughts/feelings?
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Postby Matt Riddle on Wed May 31, 2006 12:48 pm

Even the lowest price on that page ($1.50/lb) is far above Fair Trade price without having to jump through all the hoops and pay the fees associated with FT.

Additionally, there are many times when farmers get their name out through the auction format which leads to future workings with roasters, importers, exporters of quality coffee.

If you think about it, that's a win win situation for everyone involved.
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Postby Brent on Wed May 31, 2006 12:51 pm

Steve wrote:I've thrown this one around in my head for a while and I suppose the problem in my head is the logistics of splitting a lot between two continents and how we would go about it. I guess the answer is to talk to the Geoff and Duane to see if I'm placing barriers that don't need to be there.


You are not the only one, joining a co-op like small axe makes sense to me, but we are a year or so from being in that position.

Getting a sack, or split sack is simply a logistics issue...
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Postby Jimmy Oneschuk on Wed May 31, 2006 1:49 pm

The exposure from auction lots goes without saying and this is less a question about fair trade, but instead equity in pricing vs quality.

In other words, I'm not saying the system is broken, but perhaps needs some tweaks?
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Postby Tim Dominick on Wed May 31, 2006 2:17 pm

MarkP wrote:
As an eg, Larry at Rocket scored one of the Best of Panamas, and he's very happy because out of all the samples, it was the one *he* wanted as a roaster. It's not one of the top coffees in the cupping (it was the Organic Cafe' Kotowa Duncan), but it was the one he wanted. He scored it through Volcafe, which I assume was doing a group bid, or had pre-set what coffees their buyers wanted. A respectable $6.15 a lb

Mark


Glad to know who is getting a part of that lot, it went a hair out of our budget and thankfully Andi at volcafe had him on the line to take a bag off our invoice. This is a great example of two roasters getting a crack at a coffee that might have been out of our price range if either of us had to buy the entire lot.

Is a coffee worth the price? If you have a customer that will buy it and you are happy with the quality then the obvious answer is: hell yeah.
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Postby Steve on Wed May 31, 2006 2:37 pm

Steve, I'll also argue that getting first place shouldn't necessarily be too important for a micro roaster such as yourself. The fact is, with CoE and Best of Panama and the eCafe auctions, etc etc, there's a LOT of good coffees in those auctions - even the ones down in the $5 or less category.


I agree Mark and Matt we took the whole of number 33 from brasil (Josane de Souza Lima Bissoli - Sítio Boa Sorte) which truly rocked and was a great price. Dropping down the auction you can find some gems (an argument I have had for a while is what is a great coffee in the US or Japan isnt necessarily so in the UK and we service quite different markets so what a mainly US jury scores can leave lower coffee's that are great for me).

But in the same breath truly awesome coffee is the same in any part of the world and I think working together with some like mined people is the way forward. I've received a couple of emails today which could mean we work together over the next few months (thanks guys)

Our current COE Brazil - Fazenda Santa Terezinha was a sleeper in the auction, coming in at 23rd. It's truly amazing.


Matt I have stocked this coffee as a non COE for three years now and it just gets better and better, and is a rock and roll coffee. Of course the COE lots tend to be the best of the farm, and I would love to cup this along side there standard offering, because it must be mind blowing.
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