Cheers and shouts (some taunts too) of ‘higher’ (in Spanish) from the assembled crowd accompanied each lot up for auction. The atmosphere was electric. The top lot went to one of the buyer's from South Korea, Coffee Libre. Pil, from Coffee Libre, had won the top lot from last year's auction. His bidding technique included several poker 101 strategies -including wearing sunglasses to avoid any tells. The pricing on the top lot closed just beyond $22 a pound. Since I knew he paid over $30 a pound the year before I wasn't going to provide any really challenge to his run at the top lot. My paddle stayed locked in my lap.
Last September we had the good fortune to participate in a very special annual coffee auction descriptively named Best of Cauca. The Best of Cauca is now an annual event established by Cafe Imports (a US headquartered coffee importer) and Banexport (a Colombia based coffee mill and exporter). This year's event included coffee buyers from six different countries (Russia, Colombia, Canada, Singapore, South Korea, and the US). Banexport selected the top 31 single estate lots and the top10 (give or take a lot or two, my memory is spotty here) regional select lots from over 2000 small farm submissions.
For us it’s always a very special and precious time of year when the current Kenya crop of green coffee arrives at our roastery. This year’s Kenya crop is no exception.
A Kenya coffee on the cupping table always stands out for its complex sweetness and vibrant fruit acidity. Kenya’s unique climate and geography, notable varietals and unique processing has lead to the country’s well deserved reputation of producing truly exceptional coffee. (continue reading)