Blog of Ian Callahan and exciting new specialty espresso and brewed coffee bar, Bar 9


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Esmeralda Special Online Auction

Taken from
"The Best of Panama 2009 cupping event took place May 7 thru May 9, in the highland town of Boquete. A select panel of international judges led by Ric Rhinehart, Head Judge of the event and Executive Director SCAA cupped and scored the coffees. International judges in attendance were: Willem Boot (Boot Consulting), Tracy Allen (Brewed Behavior), Chino Lizano (Deli-Café), Francisco Mena (Exclusive Coffee's SA), Mette-Marie Hansen (Kaffa), Doug Welsh (Peet's Coffee), Bob Williams (, Thompson Owen (Sweetmaria's), Wendy DeJong (Tony's Coffee), Barry Levine (Willoughby's Coffee), Jeremy Tooker (Four Barrel Coffee), Mike Ebert (President SCAA) and Phil Anaker (Flying Goat Coffee)"

Last night the highest scoring coffee, Esmeralda Special (93.06 pts. HACIENDA LA ESMERALDA) went to auction online at stoneworks.  The event happens live, with registered anonymous bidders located in any country able to try and outbid others to try and secure some of this outstanding coffee from various different allotments.  Visitors to the site can view the action and once the auction has been closed and finalised, the winning bidders names are finally revealed.  You can see the results here.

Usually the who's who of the international roasting and green bean society are present and this year was no exception with some very big names securing some of the allotments.  Wataru picked up the bulk of the coffee, with other notable mentions coming from PT's, George Howell, Intelligentsia , Sweet Maria's, Stumptown, The Coffee Collective, Counter Culture and Cafe Imports.

The two biggest hitters were SAZA COFFEE Co and Fortnum & Mason, securing the first and second allotments respectively.  Saza is a coffee roaster based in Japan and Fortnum is a very prestigious  gift basket (hamper) distribution company based in London (however they do ship internationally).

As to what will happen to the exquisite coffee now is anyones guess, though undoubtedly some of it will (eventually) hit our shores.

The best thing (for me anyway) about this event vs the last was the online buzz centered around it.  Twitter was very much alive with commentary throughout the auction.  Speculation, excitement, frustration and all many of theories (like, who's bidder 58? etc) made for a very entertaining night.

Best of luck to all of those that secured their lots and to the rest of us, if you get the chance to try any of this amazing coffee be sure to go out of your way for it.

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