After setting a new record for the highest score in the 2019 Best of Panama (BoP) competition in May, Elida Estate’s natural Geisha has done the same in the BoP auction on 17 July, selling for US$1029 per pound (about $1464).
Buyers of the coffee include the Japanese Saza Coffee in Japan, Taiwanese Black Gold, OK Lao, Haaya Gourmet Coffee, HWC Roasters, and On The Up, British Difference Coffee, American Klatch Coffee, Willoughby’sCoffee & Tea, and Dragonfly, Chinese Coffee Tech and Grand Cru Coffee, Malaysian The Hub Coffee, and Australian Aroma Coffee.
Elida Estate, the farm of Wilford Lamastus and his family, also broke the BoP auction record in 2018, when its Green Tip natural sold for US$803 per pound.
“Happiness, joy, celebration, amusement. These were the combination of emotions yesterday by Wilford Lamastus after beating not only his own record, but reaching for the first time a four-digit mark per pound of coffee in a public auction,” Lamastus Family Estates wrote on Instagram.
“After so many years of adversity and constant failures in the industry in Panama and the Lamastus family, Wilford kept getting up and he fought all the way to the top. Last night he witnessed his efforts being valued by a Japanese buyer from a super well-respected company [Saza Coffee]. Wilford achieved the highest price paid for a pound of green coffee, but also his other five lots over achieved being sold at prices above market price. From the Lamastus Family Estates, thank you to everyone that supported the Panamanian specialty coffee industry.”
Australia’s Campos Coffee bought the second placed Esmeralda Special Jaramillo in the washed Geisha category for US$233 per pound. Elida’s top placing Green Tip Geisha in the washed category sold for US$331 per pound to Saza Coffee, Ontheup for Che Coffee, and Haaya Gourmet Coffee.
In the 2019 competition, the natural coffee received a score of 95.25 while its washed equivalent received 95, setting new records in both categories. The previous record had been set by Elida Estate a year earlier.
To achieve the natural’s record score, the Lamastus family used an anaerobic slow dry (ASD) method to ferment the coffee before natural processing,
Wilford and his team fermented the coffee in anaerobic tanks for five days, and then slow dried it over a five-week period.
“Most coffees are dried within two to three weeks. We made sure that the coffee dried in a longer period of time while being careful to ensure it will come out clean in flavour,” Wilford Lamastus Jr says.
“[Combined with anaerobic fermentation, slow drying] a coffee from a lower altitude than 1700 metres or a non-Geisha variety, creates a new flavour profile that changes the cup, creating intense liquor and winey notes, with some cacao nib notes. But in high altitude coffees, there is not much change. There is just an added feel of elegant subtle red wine notes, or a cherry liquor feel that helps add complexity to the coffee without losing the flavours from the variety. In other words, it remains a clean Geisha.”
Mike Perry, BoP judge and head of Klatch Coffee, says the Elida Geisha Green Tip Natural ASD left a good impression on him at the judging table.
“I think every judge has different things that blow them away. Last year, I thought the washed coffee was the better of the two. It was classic geisha – clean, wonderful, floral, jasmine, peach apricot, berry, citrusy, sweet, and transparent,” Perry tells BeanScene.
“This year, the natural really stood out. It was so sweet, with candy flavours coming out. But that didn’t replace those traditional flavours. Instead, it added something new.”
Hosted by the Specialty Coffee Association of Panama (SCAP), BoP is a annual competition for Panamanian coffee growers to expose their quality coffees to the best coffee buyers of the world.
For full auction results, click HERE.