Taiwan Private Collection Auction sells largest quantity of winning coffee

Taiwan Private Collection Auction

The first-place winner of the 2022 Taiwan Private Collection Auction (TW PCA), a washed Gesha from Royal Bean Geisha Estate, has sold for US$183.50 per pound to Black Gold Coffee, one of the biggest coffee importers in Taiwan and a frequent participant in PCA and Cup of Excellence auctions.

“We used to focus solely on buying coffees from abroad, but in recent years, we have come to adapt the tenet that localisation must come before globalisation. Therefore, we want to do our small part to help out the producers and promote their coffee,” says Black Gold’s Business Manager Alex Chou.

This year’s highest bid of US$183.50 per pound was considerably lower than last year’s $500.50 per pound, but the quantity of the coffee sold this year of 1167.47 pounds is more than double that of last year’s 540.11 pounds.

Zuo Zhuo Yuan’s second-place coffee was sold to Japanese coffee roaster and retailer Kaldi Coffee Farm for US$136.50 per pound. Kaldi Coffee Farm was the biggest winner at the auction after also winning the bids on the fourth-place coffee from Hua Xi Tian Manor Café and the seventh-place coffee from Chi Tsai Liu Li Ecological Farm.

The 2022 TW PCA concluded on 30 July after more than three hours of bidding.

The 15 coffees, nano-lots at 1,168.47 pounds altogether, sold for a total of US$93,594.51 to buyers from Taiwan, Japan, the United States, Hong Kong, China, and South Korea. The results set new records for both the quantity and value of Taiwanese specialty coffee sold on the international market.

This year’s winning lots were selected from an initial pool of 61 coffees. A three-day preliminary cupping by 24 Taiwanese cuppers from 3 to 5 May in New Taipei City eliminated 41 coffees. The Coffee Industrial Alliance of Taiwan (CIAT) then sent the remaining 20 to the Alliance for Coffee Excellence’s (ACE) global coffee centres from eight different countries.

Head Judge Eduardo Ambrocio oversaw this year’s event, with 36 international jurists determined the final winning lots with scores of 86 or above. These included four washed coffees, one honey coffee, nine natural coffees, and one anaerobic natural coffee.

“This year’s scores reflect a sensible evaluation of the coffees’ qualities. While last year’s auction results perhaps showed a lot of excitement over a perceived novelty coffee origin, this year’s results show that the buyers have put a lot of thought into their desired coffee’s marketability and how they could use the coffee from Taiwan as regular, bona fide products to be sold at their businesses,” says CIAT Chairperson Krude Lin.

ACE and Taiwan Coffee Laboratory (TCL) first organised the TW PCA with its first auction in 2021. The ROC Council of Agriculture (COA) and ROC Agriculture and Food Agency also sponsored the event, which included nine winning coffees. It totalled 540.11 pounds and sold for US$51,040.21, with the first-place coffee from Zhuo Wu Mountain Coffee Farm selling for US$500.50 per pound.

The success of the event prompted COA to begin a new initiative focused on promoting the specialty coffee industry in Taiwan. It subsequently formed CIAT with TCL leadership to oversee such efforts, which includes the 2022 TW PCA with ACE.

“I believe the results from this year and last year show that we can absolutely make Taiwan into the best coffee origin in Asia. The producers, the roasters, and the cuppers are all fully committed to making that a reality,” says TW PCA Liaison and TCL Director of International Affairs Leo Liu.

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