Elida Estate Geisha Natural breaks Best of Panama auction record at US$803 per pound

After seven hours of bidding on 19 July, the Best of Panama (BoP) has broken its highest auction price at US$803 per pound for Elida Estate’s Geisha Green Tip Natural. Taiwanese company Black Gold Coffee, Oklao International, and Chang Wei Shin on behalf of Saza Coffee, Klatch Coffee and Coffee Treasures bought the Elida Estate Geisha Natural at the record price, totalling US$80,300 for producer Wilford Lamastus. “We are so happy and still very shocked because this is unbelievable. I would have never imagined reaching such high prices,” Lamastus says. This winning price shatters the previous record of $601 per pound set in the 2017 Best of Panama auction for Hacienda La Esmeralda Cañas Verdes’ Geisha Natural. The second highest bid was for Elida Estate’s Geisha Green Tip Washed, which sold at US$661 per pound, purchased by Saza Coffee and Coffee Treasures, totalling US$66,100. In May 2018, producer Lamastus did what no other producer has achieved in the 22 years of the BoP, winning both the Washed and Natural Geisha categories in the 2018 competition in Boquete, Chiriqui in Panama. Lamastus submitted four Geisha variety coffees and placed first in the Washed Geisha category with 94.66 points for the Elida Geisha Washed coffee, and first in the Geisha Natural category with 93.34 points. Lamastus says receiving the top auction price caps off an incredible year for his family, who celebrates Elida Estate turning 100 years old, winning both BoP Geisha Categories and the Panama Cup for Producer of the Year. BoP Head Judge Will Young and CEO and Campos Coffee, bought three BoP lots, including a share of the second highest graded coffee Cantar Don Tito at US$109 per pound along with George Howell Coffee; Carmen Geisha at US$76 per pound; and Longboard Misty Mountain Geisha at $101 per pound. Young believes it’s only a matter of time before a 100-point scoring coffee will emerge, which has already happened in the wine industry. “The top coffees from the Best of Panama are the closest you will see to 100 and we thrive on being able to expand the horizons of our customers and team members by having these pinnacle coffees on offer,” Young says. “When it comes to supporting and rewarding supreme craftsmanship, coffee is still far behind wine and we enjoy being engaged in pushing this category further towards where it needs to be. The Panama Geisha coffees are the Premier Cru of the coffee world and we only see these prices going up as the market recognises their significance.” Unlike the 100-point wines of the world, Young says these luxury coffees will be available in Campos venues in Australia and the United States for a very reasonable price at AUD$12 to AUD$15 per cup. He adds that this price still pales in comparison to the price of a glass of Premier Cru Bordeaux. “Coffee is still in its infant stage when it comes to this luxury category and for any member of the public to access one of the top three coffees of the year is remarkable. I do not expect this will be the case in five to 10 years time when even the price per cup will become prohibitive to much of the public,” Young says. Hosted by the Specialty Coffee Association of Panama (SCAP), BoP is a annual competition for Panamanian coffee growers to expose their quality coffees to the best coffee buyers of the world. In the 2018 e-auction, other record were set, including the Pacamara category with Kotowa Duncan selling for US$70.50 per pound, purchased by Dragonfly Coffee from Colorado in the United States, and in the Traditional Washed category with the Hacienda la Esmeralda Traditional sold for US$100 per pound by Saza Coffee from Japan. For full auction results, click here

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