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First Virtual Singapore Specialty Coffee Auction Draws Global Interest

Singapore Specialty Coffee Auction

Hosts of the first ever Singapore Specialty Coffee Auction shown in front of a virtual background. Image courtesy of the Singapore Coffee Association.

One hundred bidders from 17 countries recently vied for 49 lots of specialty coffee at the first ever virtual Singapore Specialty Coffee Auction, organized by the Singapore Coffee Association and event partner Food&HotelAsia (FHA).

With coffees hailing from 12 producing countries throughout the world — including BrazilColombiaCosta RicaGuatemalaIndonesiaKenyaMyanmarPanamaPeru, Timor Leste, Venezuela and Zambia — the event was hailed as a way to promote market connections between coffee producers and high-end buyers despite the logistical challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The partnership with SCA has been fruitful and we are pleased to see the community gathering to support the coffee producers,” FHA event director Martyn Cox said in a press announcement following the auction. “It is in these challenging times that we see how innovation and technology can help to sustain and spur the industry.”

The virtual nature of the event also allowed for widespread participation in a related webinar on climate change resiliency and adaptation among coffee-producing Southeast Asian nations.

At the Oct. 1 auction, held through Zoom, a Gesha-variety lot submitted by Boquete, Panama-based MD Estate Coffee earned the highest bid of $64.50 per kilogram ($29.02 USD per pound)  from Seed & Virtue Pte Ltd, the parent company of the Singapore-based eatery Bearded Bella.

Another Panamanian-grown Gesha from Santa Elena Estate earned $56 per kilo from Hong Kong-based roaster and consultancy CoHee Limited. The third highest earning coffee was a Yellow Catucaí coffee from Fazenda Guariroba, a member of the Minas Gerais, Brazil-based Sancoffee network. That lot went for $25 per kilo to a bidder from Japan.

Bidders hailed from mostly throughout Asia, with additional participation from buyers in the United States, the Middle East and Australia, according to the organizers.

(Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly showed the per-kilo auction price as a per-pound price. The story has been updated.)

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