Wednesday, January 11, 2006

   from chris

Brazil CoE Auction

Oh, everyone is all a-flutter!!
Gossip is flying. The lines are burning up and people are going insane.

Is this a big moment?
Oh yeah - without a doubt.
But not for the reasons everyone seems to think.

Yes - we just saw a coffee set a new price record for auction lot coffee (to the best of my knowledge at least). Yes - someone just paid a ton of money for this coffee.
But that is not the big story here. And I find it really frustrating that all the discussion centers on the price paid for this coffee. Yes, it was a record price. But it was also a record score.
In other words, not only has the market said this is the most expensive auction coffee - it's also said it is "the best." And that should be the big part of the story.
Judges who I respect - cuppers whose skill I am in awe of - have given this coffee higher scores than they have given any coffee - ever. Starting last week I began to hear rumours that this auction was going to be insane as a result. People were talking about record prices for this lot weeks ago from what I hear.

But some people are (without ever having tasted the coffee) saying that it's overpriced and overhyped. People who have not tasted it are saying it's not worth the money, it's insane or it's all marketing and ego. I have to call bullshit on all that.
No-one who has tasted the coffee is saying this.
I've talked with people from both the winning and losing groups who were bidding on this lot. They were all pursuing it because they simply loved the coffee. In all cases they said the same thing - "I had to have this coffee."

Is it worth it? At a certain point, quality becomes high enough that it's one of those experiences where the question ceases to be "is it worth it" and instead becomes "can I afford it." Eating at El Bulli, going to Alba for the truffle harvest, drinking a bottle of Margaux from a great vintage... the question of value is simply thrown out the window.

Is it insane? Nope - from what it sounds like to me, the folks who bought this are going to do the right thing with it and by it.

Is it over-priced? There is no such thing unless something doesn't sell. Thus, the results of any auction cannot be considered over-priced.

Is it over-hyped? You will have to taste it yourself to make that decision.

Me? I cannot wait to get a cup of it made to order from the Clover.

It's a brave new world - and it's about damn time.


Blogger trish said...

wouldn't it be great if the name of the farm and producer became at least as famous at the cats that bought it?
That's one of the things the CoE is supposed to do.
(btw, love ya Vince! You're the coolest of the cats)

How many can name the producer of the Panama La Esmerelda?

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