2005 Brazil Cup of Excellence

coffee competitions, auctions, best of panama, etc

2005 Brazil Cup of Excellence

Postby James Hoffmann on Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:33 pm

Well - someone has certainly made a big statement....

Brazil Cup of Excellence Auction Results
There were thirty-six (36) coffees auctioned during the 2005 Cup of Excellence® Brazilian program. Michels Espresso, Instaurator and Caffe Artigiano (Canada) bid $49.75 per pound to secure lot #1
James Hoffmann
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 8:34 am
Location: London, UK
full name: James Hoffmann
company: Square Mile Coffee Roasters
: http://www.squaremilecoffee.com
: http://www.jimseven.com

Postby nick on Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:37 pm

HOLY CRAP!!!

FORTY-NINE EFFING SEVENTY-FIVE?!?!?!
Nick Cho
nick
 
Posts: 1334
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 8:15 pm
Location: San Francisco, Coffeefornia
full name: Nicholas Cho
company: Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters
: http://nickcho.com
: http://wreckingballcoffee.com/

Postby James Hoffmann on Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:53 pm

Madness isn't it?

Don't know who has won yet - much speculation about it being a big plc.

It isn't really saleable is it? How much is that a cup?
James Hoffmann
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 8:34 am
Location: London, UK
full name: James Hoffmann
company: Square Mile Coffee Roasters
: http://www.squaremilecoffee.com
: http://www.jimseven.com

Postby Jeff Givens on Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:56 pm

Senhor Pereira is a happy man today.
Jeff Givens
 
Posts: 315
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:20 pm
Location: Maryland
full name: Jeff Givens
company: Southern Skies Coffee Roasters

Postby James Hoffmann on Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:59 pm

He must be laughing his ass off, surely the most expensive Brazilian coffee in history?
James Hoffmann
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 8:34 am
Location: London, UK
full name: James Hoffmann
company: Square Mile Coffee Roasters
: http://www.squaremilecoffee.com
: http://www.jimseven.com

Postby nick on Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:02 pm

Ummm... were there any non-Brazilians anywhere near that price?

Wasn't La Esmerelda all "record breaking?" two years ago?
Nick Cho
nick
 
Posts: 1334
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 8:15 pm
Location: San Francisco, Coffeefornia
full name: Nicholas Cho
company: Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters
: http://nickcho.com
: http://wreckingballcoffee.com/

Postby James Hoffmann on Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:03 pm

I guess Kopi Luwak is about the only that insanely priced...
James Hoffmann
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 8:34 am
Location: London, UK
full name: James Hoffmann
company: Square Mile Coffee Roasters
: http://www.squaremilecoffee.com
: http://www.jimseven.com

Postby nick on Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:41 pm

Kopi Luwak is just stupid... not insane. Big difference.
Nick Cho
nick
 
Posts: 1334
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 8:15 pm
Location: San Francisco, Coffeefornia
full name: Nicholas Cho
company: Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters
: http://nickcho.com
: http://wreckingballcoffee.com/

Postby sarahdelilah on Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:14 pm

the esmeralda was sold in the 2004 panama coffee competition though -- panama's not a coe country.

no coe coffee has ever sold for more than $20/lb -- colombia coe holds the record for highest price until now with a $19.10/lb lot.

this is huge coe history in the making!! and i heard inny, caffe artigiano and michel's got it.
sarah allen
yet another blog: baristamagazine.com/blog
sarahdelilah
 
Posts: 227
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2005 10:19 am
Location: Portland, OR
full name: Sarah Allen
company: Barista Magazine
: http://baristamagazine.com

Postby Keith on Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:14 pm

I want some.
Keith
 
Posts: 214
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 10:14 am
Location: Mount Shasta, California
full name: Keith Hamrick
company: Northbound Coffee Roasters

Postby Tim Dominick on Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:54 pm

You gotta love how an auction will get those competitive juices flowing.
Tim Dominick
 
Posts: 410
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:20 pm
Location: Moonstone Beach
full name: Tim Dominick
company: Sacred Grounds Coffee
: www.sacred-grounds.com

Postby Alistair Durie on Tue Jan 10, 2006 6:24 pm

Alistair Durie
admin
 
Posts: 1000
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 1:59 am
Location: Vancouver Canada
full name: Alistair Durie
company: Elysian Coffee
: www.elysiancoffee.com
: www.coffeed.com

Postby Jimmy Oneschuk on Tue Jan 10, 2006 6:52 pm

let's just hope it doesn't go to die somewhere on a shelf in a foil bag...
Jimmy Oneschuk
 
Posts: 664
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 3:34 pm
Location: Saskatoon
full name: Jimmy Oneschuk
company: Museo
: espressolab.ca

Postby bradinvancouver on Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:23 am

one of the reasons vince bought the clover...
Brad Ford
Wicked Cafe owner
Intelligentsia Coffee distributor for Canada
bradinvancouver
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2005 11:00 pm
Location: vancouver

Postby James Hoffmann on Wed Jan 11, 2006 8:02 am

My only concern is that as yet none of the news feeds I use for coffee have registered anything on this. It is fairly newsworthy surely.

Even Kopi seems to pop up regularly, rechurned by desperate and bored journalists.

I hope someone spreads the word, it is great for the program and any publicity should be used to maximum benefit.
James Hoffmann
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 8:34 am
Location: London, UK
full name: James Hoffmann
company: Square Mile Coffee Roasters
: http://www.squaremilecoffee.com
: http://www.jimseven.com

Postby malachi on Wed Jan 11, 2006 8:58 am

It's not just the price.
I believe that it was also the highest scoring coffee (from the international jury) in CoE history.
Chris Tacy -- (ex)Barista
http://godshot.blogspot.com/
malachi
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2004 8:57 pm
Location: sfca
full name: chris tacy
company: [No Longer Involved in Coffeed]

Postby Mark Prince on Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:00 am

Nick and I talked a lot about this yesterday on the phone. My take - I think people are still taking stock of this new record, and figuring out what to say - ie, a bit of shock going around.

My own opinion? Well, I always thought Esmerelda was overpriced and overhyped for a yemeni-import grown in Panama (hence the different taste). It was an excellent coffee, just not worth the projected $45-60 retail pound price.

This one should be what, at least $100 a lb retail roasted per lb? Using the conventional formula at least.

On one hand, the argument goes it's great for coffee, for those who want those individual coffees recognized for their excellence, for food pairings, for popping eyes when sips are taken, for moving coffee into that wine paradigm.

On the other hand, many often forget that coffee is perishable, where wine is not. Coffee stales as green (yes, I'm in George Howell's camp on this one). Coffee stales after roasted. You can buy a $40 Burgundy or meaty, tannic merlot, sit it in your poor-man's wine cellar for five years, and get a treat as it ages. You can buy a $100 lb of coffee, and you better use it within 5-7 days, because it's going to die a quick death otherwise.

That factor alone makes no legit coffee, IMO, worth $100 retail pound costs. Not even $60.

Congrats to Inny, Michel's, and Vince for the coup, and no doubt putting their companies on the tongues of many. But to me, it's just too much. Heck, I thought Esmerelda was too much. What did the second place go for - what, $8 or thereabouts?

Mark
Mark Prince
Just in it for the espresso and coffee, Vancouver BC
Mark Prince
 
Posts: 1064
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 10:13 am
Location: vancouver bc
full name: Mark Prince
company: CoffeeGeek.com
: www.CoffeeGeek.com

Postby malachi on Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:19 am

MarkP wrote:Nick and I talked a lot about this yesterday on the phone. My take - I think people are still taking stock of this new record, and figuring out what to say - ie, a bit of shock going around.

My own opinion? Well, I always thought Esmerelda was overpriced and overhyped for a yemeni-import grown in Panama (hence the different taste). It was an excellent coffee, just not worth the projected $45-60 retail pound price.

This one should be what, at least $100 a lb retail roasted per lb? Using the conventional formula at least.

On one hand, the argument goes it's great for coffee, for those who want those individual coffees recognized for their excellence, for food pairings, for popping eyes when sips are taken, for moving coffee into that wine paradigm.

On the other hand, many often forget that coffee is perishable, where wine is not. Coffee stales as green (yes, I'm in George Howell's camp on this one). Coffee stales after roasted. You can buy a $40 Burgundy or meaty, tannic merlot, sit it in your poor-man's wine cellar for five years, and get a treat as it ages. You can buy a $100 lb of coffee, and you better use it within 5-7 days, because it's going to die a quick death otherwise.

That factor alone makes no legit coffee, IMO, worth $100 retail pound costs. Not even $60.

Congrats to Inny, Michel's, and Vince for the coup, and no doubt putting their companies on the tongues of many. But to me, it's just too much. Heck, I thought Esmerelda was too much. What did the second place go for - what, $8 or thereabouts?

Mark


Geisha is not a Yemeni cultivar. Yemeni coffees tend to be Typica, various types of Bourbon and local varieties like Mattari. Geisha is an Ethiopian cultivar.

In general - IMHO it's best to hold off on judgement until you get a chance to experience what you are going to criticize.

That being said... as generalizations...

Over-hyped? No way. The Esmerelda deserved every bit of the hype. One of the greatest coffees ever.
An international jury gave this Brazil higher scores than the Esmerelda. From what I hear, two judges gave it a perfect score. Starting last week I began to hear rumours that this auction was going to be insane as a result. I'll be cupping samples of it soon and will let you know, but given the excitement expressed about the coffee by rational, skilled cuppers who I respect - I'm expecting to be wowed.

Over-priced? Just because coffee (in general) is criminally under-priced does not then mean that coffees that are accurately priced based on actual quality and perceived value are over-priced.

As for the perishable nature of coffee... Bluefin Tuna has a far shorter shelf life and costs more. Truffles have a shorter shelf life and costs far more. Are they over-priced as a result?

As long as coffee is seen as a commodity and priced as a commodity all our efforts to push quality will be artificially constrained and incredibly difficult. It's time to move on.
Chris Tacy -- (ex)Barista
http://godshot.blogspot.com/
malachi
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2004 8:57 pm
Location: sfca
full name: chris tacy
company: [No Longer Involved in Coffeed]

Postby James Hoffmann on Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:25 am

malachi wrote:From what I hear, two judges gave it a perfect score.


If one of them is who I think it is he always gives his favourite a perfect score.

However - it seems that this coffee stands out on the table, and most people seem to pick it out as their favourite. Sadly I had a work commitment and missed the pre-auction cupping, and I don't think people are going to be letting their remaining samples go lightly.

No doubt a very exciting coffee - but I hope the hype extends beyond one crop into future competitions, auctions and the public's perception of coffee growers.

I think roasting it would scare the life out of me, some very expensive potential mistakes!
James Hoffmann
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 8:34 am
Location: London, UK
full name: James Hoffmann
company: Square Mile Coffee Roasters
: http://www.squaremilecoffee.com
: http://www.jimseven.com

Postby malachi on Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:28 am

The three judges I've talked to all gave it the highest scores they'd ever given a coffee in a CoE (or 'CoE-style') competition.
Chris Tacy -- (ex)Barista
http://godshot.blogspot.com/
malachi
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2004 8:57 pm
Location: sfca
full name: chris tacy
company: [No Longer Involved in Coffeed]

Postby James Hoffmann on Wed Jan 11, 2006 12:05 pm

I wasn't disagreeing with the fact that it is very high scored, and rightly so - I was just reminded of some quirks amongst judges - hence the e-mail I sent you.
James Hoffmann
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 8:34 am
Location: London, UK
full name: James Hoffmann
company: Square Mile Coffee Roasters
: http://www.squaremilecoffee.com
: http://www.jimseven.com

Postby Mark Prince on Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:30 pm

malachi wrote:Over-hyped? No way. The Esmerelda deserved every bit of the hype. One of the greatest coffees ever.


Can't agree, not by a long shot ;)

Maybe the best ever to come out of Panama, I'll agree with you. one of the greatest coffees ever? There's at least five this past year I've tasted that, to my taste buds at least, I thought were better coffees. Two are from the Latitudes line from B&B. One was Howell's frozen Kenya ;)

Of course, taste is subjective. If you'd said "one of the greatest coffees I (you) have ever had", I'd go with that :D

Re the 2004 Esmerelda - have I been wrong on this for over a year? I thought for sure Danny O'Neil told me last year that it was a Yemeni strain of trees imported a few years back. That was the reason why it didn't taste like any other coffees in the 2004 auction lot, or like a typical Panama.

Addendum: You mention bluefin tuna and other items with short shelf lifes and impossibly high prices. I don't think those are quite fair comparisons. For eg, the cost per lb to aquire these culinary items (bluefin vs. coffee) are quite different. Second, one reason why some foodstuffs have a high price is the insanely low shelf life, and that price is factored in. Coffee, no matter how high or low the auction price, has a low shelf life but its a given, and also factored in, whether the coffee is $15 a lb or $100 a lb (a reason why the $50 CoE Brazil could be $100, $120 a retail lb bag is because part of the cost factored in would be the short shelf life). Third, that bluefin incorporates the cost of cooking and prepping in what one would assume a 4 or 5 star restaurant. I'm not factoring in this in the $100 guestimate for a retail lb bag price. Someone mentioned $3.50 a cup on the clover. That's a price anyone would pay for it, but it's a complete loss leader that doesn't factor in bean costs + roasting costs + clover investment + grinder + barista training + store costs + overhead + profits. If this were done using the same percentage scale as a $4 latte, the CoE Clover produced 8oz cup of coffee would probably be priced around $12 to $15 a cup. Then you're talking bluefin territory. I haven't checked bluefin prices recently at Meinhardts', but other premium tuna goes there for around $20-30 Cdn a lb. I think the most expensive piece of "premium fish" I've ever seen there was around $35 a lb Cdn dollars. This is where I'd compare the retail bag price for the CoE, not cooked at French Laundry.

Mark
Mark Prince
 
Posts: 1064
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 10:13 am
Location: vancouver bc
full name: Mark Prince
company: CoffeeGeek.com
: www.CoffeeGeek.com

Postby Peter G on Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:05 pm

Mark-

Geisha is the name of a town in Southwestern Ethiopia, and it gives its name to a strain of coffee that was brought to Costa Rica from Ethiopia, and from there to Panama. Logical to confuse Yemen with Ethiopia, probably a mistake by someone along the way.

On your other point, I disagree with you. You mention costs of production: it is well known that the costs of production for coffee are artificially low because economies in developing countries allow for producers to be paid very very low wages. I.E. a bluefin fisherman or a sea-urchin diver gets paid many times the amount a coffee picker does. An oft-repeated illustration tells us that if everyone in the coffee chain got paid American minimum wage, the cost would require that the coffee be priced over $80 US per lb.

Analogies always are inadequate when examined with a microscope. Of course there are differences between coffee and bluefin, wine, caviar, sea urchin, kobe beef, darjeeling, cognac, truffles, pufferfish, saffron..... but all can be incredibly pricey per ounce and worth it, to one who is willing to pay for the privilege of consuming it.

There is a truism of economics: nothing is ever overpriced as long as there is a customer willing to pay the price. This coffee was worth 50 bucks a pound green precisely because there was someone willing to pay it. I am with Chris and others, celebrating the fact that someone loved a coffee enough to match their passion and pocketbook.

Peace

Peter
Peter Giuliano
Counter Culture Coffee
Peter G
 
Posts: 358
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 7:11 pm
Location: Durham, NC
full name: Peter Giuliano
company: Counter Culture Coffee

Postby malachi on Wed Jan 11, 2006 4:17 pm

At a certain point, the quality becomes high enough that it's one of those experiences where the question ceases to be "is it worth it" and instead becomes "can I afford it." Eating at El Bulli, going to Alba for the truffle harvest, drinking a bottle of Margaux from a great vintage... the question of value is simply thrown out the window.

And, regardless, I find it really frustrating that all the discussion of the auction centers on the price paid for this coffee. Yes, it was a record price. It was also a record score. In other words, not only has the market said this is the most expensive auction coffee - it's also said it is "the best." And that, my friends, is both a bold and exciting statement!!!

Oh, and true high-grade northern bluefin tuna belly will run you about $90US a pound if you can get it (almost all of it goes straight to Japan).
Chris Tacy -- (ex)Barista
http://godshot.blogspot.com/
malachi
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2004 8:57 pm
Location: sfca
full name: chris tacy
company: [No Longer Involved in Coffeed]

Postby Mark Prince on Wed Jan 11, 2006 4:41 pm

malachi wrote:At a certain point, the quality becomes high enough that it's one of those experiences where the question ceases to be "is it worth it" and instead becomes "can I afford it." Eating at El Bulli, going to Alba for the truffle harvest, drinking a bottle of Margaux from a great vintage... the question of value is simply thrown out the window.


Here I find common ground with you. I do agree at at a certain quality level, price becomes secondary, though perhaps not meaningless. I think though that once the price gets up to a certain point, it becomes the identifying, prime factor again.

For eg. I know more than a few people who will pay $120, $150 for a bottle of Taylor Fladgate 40 year old Tawny (especially 2 years ago, when it was from the 1963 crop year) - most, myself included wouldn't even blink at the price (I just bought two bottles recently). But if I had paid the BC liquor board's import price (it would have to be imported special because it's not their stock listing), the bottle price would be over $225, and for that reason (price) I didn't and wouldn't buy it here (got it through James Ng in Calgary). That was when I could have gotten the 1963-bottled stuff too, knowing that was a banner growing year.

When the quality is supreme, I think price becomes secondary... to a point. for me, any coffee over $60 or $70 a lb retail is that point where I question it again.

malachi wrote:And, regardless, I find it really frustrating that all the discussion of the auction centers on the price paid for this coffee. Yes, it was a record price. It was also a record score. In other words, not only has the market said this is the most expensive auction coffee - it's also said it is "the best." And that, my friends, is both a bold and exciting statement!!!


I can understand how you would get frustrated, but the fact of the matter is, these records [b]are[x] records partially because of the badge of honour the buyers wear quite publicly for paying such a price. For eg, didn't O'Neil hire an armored vehicle to deliver his coffee from the airport? Didn't many of the press releases about Esmerelda mention, quite prominently, the price paid?

These coffees are partially bought because of a sense of prestige, "buying the best of the best" and paying the most. I see no fault in criticising the price when it is also trumpeted.

Re Yemen / Geisha. I think that was my bad. I didn't confuse Ethiopia with Yemen, I think I just heard it wrong way back when, and somehow never corrected it. But the sort of thought I had behind the Esmarelda is still the same - what made it rock was mainly how it stood apart from the other coffees in that auction - tasted different, yet with some of the same Panama nuances, and just surprised the judges. And what made that happen was that it was a relatively recent planting of a foreign (for the region) strain of trees, correct?

This is what made my all time fave bean, the Maui Kaanapali Moka so unique and amazing. Mostly low grown stuff, ultra tiny screen size (I think it was like a 12 or something), but borne of 100% yemen imported trees that resulted in a stunted growth bean, absolutely packed with flavour. Sadly, long gone now - I think most of the former farm is now featuring condos.

Getting back to subject, I have wondered since the Panama 2004 just how much the different-ness of the Esmarelda lead to high judging scores, vis a vis most of the other coffees having a closer general profile, and this one standing apart. I've had the Esmarelda from several of the buyers, and put against other Panamas, it's amazing. Put against some of the other great coffees of the world with uniqely varying tastes, it stands with them, but certainly not above them.

Mark
Mark Prince
 
Posts: 1064
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 10:13 am
Location: vancouver bc
full name: Mark Prince
company: CoffeeGeek.com
: www.CoffeeGeek.com

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests