Esmeralda

coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee

Esmeralda

Postby gabelucas on Tue May 29, 2007 10:47 am

$99.99 oops.....I mean, $130!!!!!
god damn!
Last edited by gabelucas on Tue May 29, 2007 6:28 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby nick on Tue May 29, 2007 10:51 am

Looks like another auction that's been computer-glitched down below a certain threshold.

Oh well. :shock:

Congrats to the winnahs! 8) Will this finally put a stop to all the stories about Kopi Luwak?!?

(wishful thinking, I know)
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Postby Steve on Tue May 29, 2007 11:23 am

Do we know who won the lots yet?
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Postby Mark Prince on Tue May 29, 2007 12:30 pm

All I know is it's probably not Intelly's buying group. That group dropped out in the $70s range, I think.

Rumour is, it came down to two groups. But that's only speculation and could be completely wrong. I think they have to figure out how to get it started again, because the two (or more) bidders are apparently raring to bid more on Peterson's coffee.

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Postby Matt Milletto on Tue May 29, 2007 2:37 pm

Am I missing something? Looks to be at $130 on the website.

http://auction.stoneworks.com/includes/pa2007/final_results.html

- m
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Postby Mark Prince on Tue May 29, 2007 2:39 pm

Matt Milletto wrote:Am I missing something? Looks to be at $130 on the website.

http://auction.stoneworks.com/includes/pa2007/final_results.html

- m


They stopped at $99.99 because the software couldn't go higher. Debate probably ensued. Then it was fired up again with all bidding parties notified. $130 is the close, only minutes ago.

Surprised, honestly, to see Intelly's buying group get back in on it. Supposedly they were not in the groups that brought it up to $99.99.

Mark
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Best of Panama

Postby Lindsay Parker on Tue May 29, 2007 2:55 pm

Hacienda La Esmeralda

Winning Bid: $130

The Roasterie, inc.
Intelligentsia
Roastmasters.com (Willoughby's Coffee & Tea).
Zoka Coffee Roaster
49th Parallel Roasters
Groundwork Coffee Co.
Coffee Klatch Roasting.


I can't even comprehend right now.
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Postby Mark Prince on Tue May 29, 2007 3:04 pm

Just talked to Vince seconds ago. At the very least, he has some very exciting plans for the coffee. I most definitely won't give it away - but my hope is, maybe what he does (and what others do with this insanely priced coffee) will have finally a trickle down benefit to BoP medians that I believe the Brasil did to CoE.

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Postby mstone on Tue May 29, 2007 3:33 pm

Mark Prince wrote:They stopped at $99.99 because the software couldn't go higher. Debate probably ensued. Then it was fired up again with all bidding parties notified. $130 is the close, only minutes ago.


That pretty much sums it up.

I put a piece of code in there about 5 years ago that rejected any bid $100 or over as a safety net to keep people from accidently typing extra digits. That made sense back when three bucks a pound was a lot. So I had to track that function down rewrite it and it took awhile to get the bidders back online, hence the delay.

m

edit: actually 5 years not 8
Last edited by mstone on Wed May 30, 2007 7:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ryan Willbur on Tue May 29, 2007 3:34 pm

I would love to see a timeline or such of when bids were placed by who and where people drew the line... This is maddness. I don't even know how I feel about it all... but I'm stoked to taste some of this epicness!
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Postby bz on Tue May 29, 2007 3:42 pm

if you're gonna say, "it's all about the coffee," then you hafta let people pay what they want for it.

i'm not saying it's worth, in strict taste terms, that much more than the no. 2 or any other of those beauties. but think like a consumer for a minute.

a. as i discovered last year, this is a coffee that has the natural ability to blow the mind of the dumbest brick-tongue out there. as such, it comes with unthinkable powers of changing a consumer's life and opening his mind, built right into the bean. why not pay a premium for such a tool?

b. people, fundamentally, want a holy grail. the want something eminently Desireable and barely attainable. as such, i'm happy for it to be the mesmeralda instead of all those digestive tract products that turn so many clueless heads...
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Postby Mark Prince on Tue May 29, 2007 3:48 pm

bz wrote:a. as i discovered last year, this is a coffee that has the natural ability to blow the mind of the dumbest brick-tongue out there.....


There's literally dozens, and possibly hundreds of coffees out there with the exact same ability every year, every season. And they don't go for $200 landed, roasted, packaged / promo'ed cost per lb.

I (too) wonder how much funds were filtered away from other great coffees and worthwhile farmers by this bidding. I look up and down that list, and I've been so privileged to have been able to sample many of those coffees in the last few years, and to see some of them go for $2, $3 a pound breaks my heart.

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Postby bz on Tue May 29, 2007 4:00 pm

There's literally dozens, and possibly hundreds of coffees out there with the exact same ability every year, every season. And they don't go for $200 landed, roasted, packaged / promo'ed cost per lb.


true. and i'll be spending my money on those, since the esmeralda is now out of reach for me.

yet, if people are gonna spend their lives raising the profile of excellent coffees, then they're gonna have to put up with some somewhat incongruous, very high-profile coffees.

is it "fair"? no. but then, brad pitt's stature isn't indicative of his relative talent as an actor. that may be revolting to you. but where markets and consumers reign, you'll get a "star" system -- and it has its benefits. if you're a filmmaker, pitt will always take your movie to people it wouldn't otherwise reach ... and he isn't a bad actor.
Last edited by bz on Wed May 30, 2007 5:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mark Prince on Tue May 29, 2007 4:17 pm

Just to be clear - I'm not revolted by this.

But I am worried. About a lot of things surrounding it, and too many things to get detailed on, too early.

But look, Vince proved me wrong on the $50 Brasil CoE. So I hope we can see the trickle down happen with BoP too. It hasn't happened yet (I may be wrong, but the median seems down this year compared to the last few years), and even the average price sucks once you remove #1 from the calculations.

And the thing is, the BoP Esmeralda was nicely promoted (at least I thought so) in previous years, but the rest of BoP hasn't seen any real benefit from that. Meanwhile, the Aussie take on the Brasil CoE $50 coffee was an information vacuum by comparison (which is why I give Vince so much credit for what happened post Brasil CoE). The CoE median has been on the climb ever since. Awesome news AND benefits for all - the farmers and the buyers.

Once the BoP median gets up, I'll stop the whining. But for now, I care more about them setting a record for the lowest ranked coffee's price than the top tier one, and this year's BoP is a heart breaker.

Mark
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Postby trish on Tue May 29, 2007 5:53 pm

Mark Prince wrote:
bz wrote:a. as i discovered last year, this is a coffee that has the natural ability to blow the mind of the dumbest brick-tongue out there.....


There's literally dozens, and possibly hundreds of coffees out there with the exact same ability every year, every season. And they don't go for $200 landed, roasted, packaged / promo'ed cost per lb.

I (too) wonder how much funds were filtered away from other great coffees and worthwhile farmers by this bidding. I look up and down that list, and I've been so privileged to have been able to sample many of those coffees in the last few years, and to see some of them go for $2, $3 a pound breaks my heart.

Mark


I can't agree with that "literally dozens" point at all.

Just for the record, I bid on a few other coffees for Zoka, and am very pleased to have gotten another lot in addition to the one bag of Esmeralda. Last year Zoka bid on and won two lots (one roughly 7 times the c-market, another 3 times), so I think the system is working well.
That said, I only feel good about bidding on coffees that will raise eyebrows, turn heads and make people smile and giggle when they drink them. I can't thow money after coffees that don't do that. It would be contrived and irresponsible to do so.
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Postby onocoffee on Tue May 29, 2007 8:18 pm

trish wrote: I only feel good about bidding on coffees that will raise eyebrows, turn heads and make people smile and giggle when they drink them.



At the price this coffee is gonna have to retail for, it will be the coffee that raises eyebrows, turns heads, makes them smile and giggle to themselves for indulging in such an exclusive coffee!
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Postby jepy on Tue May 29, 2007 9:49 pm

So, what are we looking at here for a cup of this coffee? $10, $15, $20?
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Postby malachi on Tue May 29, 2007 9:52 pm

Mark Prince wrote:
bz wrote:a. as i discovered last year, this is a coffee that has the natural ability to blow the mind of the dumbest brick-tongue out there.....


There's literally dozens, and possibly hundreds of coffees out there with the exact same ability every year


Really?
"dozens or hundreds"?!?

Weird - I thought I cupped a lot of coffee.
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Postby Mark Prince on Tue May 29, 2007 10:01 pm

trish wrote:I can't agree with that "literally dozens" point at all.


We'll have to agree to disagree on this one then Trish. In just the two weeks since SCAA, I've had at least a dozen coffees that I know would ruin coffee forever for the average 'bucks or Tim Hortons drinker. They'd argue that I served them something flavoured, or something presugared, or something with chocolate in it, or what have you. And be aghast when told no, this is just how good a natural, well processed, well picked, well roasted, properly aged, properly ground coffee tastes like.

The list, off the top of my head:

Groundworks Brasil CoE #4 (mmmm savoury!)
Nova #7 Yirg (a freakazoid of a coffee)
49th Koke Coop Ethiopian
49th Kenya, er... can't remember the name at the moment
Two excellent Brasils from Andrew given at the show
Groundworks' Colombia (one of their microlots)
B&B's Sumatra Tanah Tinggi,
CCC's PNG
Intelly's Bambito (last year's crop, 2nd place in BoP)
Intelly's Anjilanaka Angelita micro lot.

All awesome coffees, all unique and head (and nose, and mouth) turners, all conversation starters, all excellent representations of just what coffee is capable of. And all at what, 1/20th the price of the Esmeralda.

Mark
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Postby Mark Prince on Tue May 29, 2007 10:05 pm

malachi wrote:
Mark Prince wrote:
bz wrote:a. as i discovered last year, this is a coffee that has the natural ability to blow the mind of the dumbest brick-tongue out there.....


There's literally dozens, and possibly hundreds of coffees out there with the exact same ability every year


Really?
"dozens or hundreds"?!?


What's on your mind with this question, Chris? That there isn't at least a hundred or more exceptional, unique, and "mind blowing" SO origins available in the US each year? Or are you saying only a few farms have a "lock" on that claim?

I'm sorry if my viewpoint is different, but I tend to have some faith in the true specialty coffee roasting segment, as well as producers pushing the quality envelope; faith enough to believe that we're not limited to just one or two "stellar" coffees, but dozens, if not hundreds each year. Add in exceptional greens from the likes of Tom Owen and others, and maybe it's even higher. I'm very fortunate that I get to try coffees not just from the US and Canada, but from around the world, and pretty much every week, something new and exciting gets brewed in my house that does, indeed "blow my mind".

And just to be really clear on this - I'm not saying there's hundreds of coffees out there BETTER than the Esmeralda, or even dozens. I'm not going to make the statement that the Esmeralda is the best coffee in the world either (saying something's definitively "the best" has gotten too much of us in trouble in the past).

I was addressing Ben's comment:

a. as i discovered last year, this is a coffee that has the natural ability to blow the mind of the dumbest brick-tongue out there. as such, it comes with unthinkable powers of changing a consumer's life and opening his mind, built right into the bean. why not pay a premium for such a tool?


And I truly believe there's dozens, if not hundreds of SO coffees out there that have this same exact ability, to blow peoples' minds, and turn them around on what coffee can be. And at a mere pittance for what the Esmeralda is costing.

Mark
PS - now being completely hypocritical with something I wrote above; I've tasted the BoP Esmeralda Especiale, as well as the post crop winner lots more than a few times in the past four years, going back to its first "record breaker" auction. Is it a good coffee? Yep. Is it a great coffee? It sure can be. Is it the best coffee ever? Not by my tastebuds. Is it the most unique coffee ever? Maybe to some, and maybe when it's cupped on a table full of Panamas, but I'll still go with various Yemens over the years that I've had if I have to place a label on most unique cup I've ever tasted.

Bu that's the catch. Taste is subjective. Which is one of the things that makes coffee so special. No other food item can match its potential for complexity.
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Postby onocoffee on Wed May 30, 2007 4:29 am

Reading through this thread made me wonder:

Is the wild reaction to the Esmeralda because it's truly an amazing coffee? Or is it "amazing" because (of the Gesha) it's so unlike (therefore different than) peoples' expectations of a "Panama" coffee?

And, now that the auction is complete, does this make this auction lot "the most expensive coffee in the world"?

If so, I'm interested to know what the current plans are to market and present this coffee...
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Postby Jeff Givens on Wed May 30, 2007 5:37 am

Mark Prince wrote:Which is one of the things that makes coffee so special. No other food item can match its potential for complexity.


Except maybe bacon...
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Postby Rich Westerfield on Wed May 30, 2007 6:07 am

onocoffee wrote:Reading through this thread made me wonder:

Is the wild reaction to the Esmeralda because it's truly an amazing coffee? Or is it "amazing" because (of the Gesha) it's so unlike (therefore different than) peoples' expectations of a "Panama" coffee?


Great question. From a consumer perspective, I think it's the latter. Last year we served the BoP Esmeralda, the Brazil Santa Ines CoE from Vince, and Intelly's Bambito and Carmen (2nd & 3rd place BoP) as they were released. We had priced the Esmeralda and Santa Ines at $5/cup and $3/cup for the others.

By far, the Esmeralda was the one that knocked people's socks off. The other coffees were perceived by our customers just "really, really good coffee, but not Esmeralda" - as if there were a distinction between "good coffee" and the Gesha.

Granted, this isn't scientific nor are our customers representative of cupping pros. And maybe it's because the Esmeralda came out first amongst those four that it set a bar too high.

The bigger question for us is, if customers paid $5/cup last year for a taste, would they pay $12 this year?

Unfortunately, I'm not confident they will.
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Postby Jim Saborio on Wed May 30, 2007 7:13 am

I detect a lot of pessimism and grouchyness from a community that I would expect to be thrilled.

I'd much rather spend $15 on a cup of coffee than the same amount on a shot of hifalutin whisk(e)y. Can I really be that strange?

Convince me of this coffees exclusivity and tell me about its unique characteristics... you can have my $15!

I'll imagine that the Queen is having a cup at the same time I am. I'll brag to my friends about it at the next barbecue. I'll tell them I could practically hear the Panamanian birds chirping as I sipped.

The question of whether it can be sold is up to the marketers.

The question of whether it's worth it is up to the consumers. The pressure is also on the brewer (person and machine) to make a $15 cup out of it.

Does it strike me as strange that there are non-excreted coffees out of my price-range?

NO! It's about time.

I'd like to see how the winners of this auction sell this...

Perhaps it deserves its own 'retailing' thread. In the time being, I'll be clicking the refresh button on sweetmaria's site, waiting for the Mama Cata to be posted.

PS: nice to see that the "geisha" spelling seems to have disappeared, although it did offer some great mascot opportunities.
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Postby Kevin Cash on Wed May 30, 2007 7:14 am

What's the non-auction Esmeralda (late crop) going to fetch? $20 $30 a lb??? I think so much attention will be drawn to the $130/lb Gesha that the late crop will even be out of my reach.

How would you guys rate it compared to last years winning lot?
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