Thursday, May 31, 2007

Best of Panama 2007

This year is buzzing by faster than I can comprehend at times. My lil bro is about to graduate high school next week, I'm in LA, The coffee bar is going to be open in a month or so, and the Esmeralda will be back in American roasters in full swing soon! It's madness...

So, you've probably heard all the buzz about the $130 winning Best of Panama coffee... To share my true feelings... I'm stoked about the coffee, but disappointed in the auction. Intelligentsia is part of the buying group who won this fine coffee, but we were not the ones in the drivers seat on this massive assault of money flying straight into Price Peterson's farm. I think we're all proud to have a piece of the auction and to have helped raise awareness of specialty coffee in the public realm. That is my biggest goal through this. I hope that media attention is directed on all parties involved and that rather than absorb all the glory for the company, the buyers will relay the message of quality and progress in specialty coffee.

What disappoints me though, is the prices paid for the other coffees. Last year, at Paradise Roasters, we carried the #8 finisher, the Palo Verde. This coffee was awesome and I was stoked with its quality. Now, a year later, the coffees of that caliber have been neglected...

What I am concerned about as well is where the money is going. No offense, but Hacienda Esmerelda probably doesn't have as much use for the money as the #2 farm. Are they receiving an above average price for their coffee... yes. But, still, if we had spread the wealth a bit more evenly, then I believe we could have achieved a greater good overall. To clarify... know that by we, I am referring to all of us that are part of the 'more enlightened' coffee community.

There's not much more to say beyond that... The auction is over, now lets share the coffee. Congrats to all the farmers out there who are getting a slice of the pie. Your hard work is appreciated in ways you may never know... I just hope next year the market balances itself out.

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