A honey-process Gesha from Costa Rica broke the Cup of Excellence auction record for a single coffee yesterday by fetching an astounding $300.09 per pound. According to Daily Coffee News records, the previous highest-earning COE coffee was an experimental yellow Bourbon from Brazil that sold for $126.10 per pound.
The winning bid for the Costa Rican coffee — which was entered into the annual competition by Luis Ricardo Calderon Madrigal from his farm, Don Cayito — was placed by three Japanese coffee companies: Maruyama Coffee, Sarutahiko Coffee and Yamada Coffee. In fact, Maruyama Coffee has placed winning bids on the top-scoring coffees in each of the four Cup of Excellence countrywide auctions completed thus far in 2018, dropping $55.10 per pound on a lot from El Salvador, $31.60 per pound in Nicaragua, and $80.60 per pound in Honduras.
A striking example of how pricing is not a true reflection of quality in the high-end coffee auction market, Maruyama’s winning bid in Costa Rica was more than $190 above the second-highest accepted bid, which was for a split of the very same lot of coffee. In other words, the same coffee sold at the same auction with a price variation of more than $190.
For COE organizer the Alliance for Coffee Excellence and for the 36 producers who took home national COE awards, the auction was a resounding success, with a weighted average per pound price of $21.69. It’s the highest average price in the 19-year history of the COE program, and represented the second-highest grossing COE auction ever, with just shy of $830,000 in auction revenue from 582 bags of coffee sold.
Nick Brown is the editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. Feedback and story ideas are welcome at publisher (at) dailycoffeenews.com, or see the "About Us" page located at the bottom of this site for contact information.