Força Café Coffee Championship Auction Begins Tuesday

The fifth year of the exciting Minas Gerais auction that celebrates producers from some of Brazil’s lesser-known regions delivered the best coffees to date—and they’re all up for sale starting tomorrow!


An international panel of expert cuppers convened at Fazenda da Lagoa in Santo Antonio do Amparo, Minas Gerais, Brazil, in October to determine the best of the best coffees from an initial group of 250. Those top 22 lots go on sale tomorrow in the Fifth Força Café Coffee Championship, organized by NKG Stockler, beginning tomorrow.

It’s hard to believe it was less than two months ago that I had the privilege of sitting alongside these esteemed judges as they cupped and evaluated these coffees from Matas de Minas, Circuito das Águas, Campo das Vertentes, and Mar de Minas—all phenomenal growing areas that are thus far not as well known as other parts of Brazil. Through the windows of the airy, bright cupping lab, the sun warmed the patios at Fazenda da Lagoa and a gentle breeze kept us cool when we stepped outside for air.

The judges pose for a photo outside of the cupping lap in their official Força Café Coffee Championship aprons.

Now, the judges are back in their home countries of the United States (Gerra Harrigan, InterAmerican Coffee, Providence, R.I.), Italy (Michele Mastrantuono, Lavazza), Russia (Boris Mokhrakov, KLD Importers); Poland (Paulina Gwarek and Maciej Filipski, Bero Polska; and Piotr Dominiczak, Cukiernia Sowa), and Germany (Ulrich, Aaron, and Laurenz Marsau, Die Rösterei; and Alexander Inácio, InterAmerican Coffee, Hamburg), and have been hosting cuppings for parties interested in tasting what all the fuss is about—and they’re loving what they’re finding.

Having held public cuppings of these 22 Força Café Coffee Championship stand-outs in New York City as well as Providence, R.I., for roasters along the Eastern seaboard, Gerra happily reported that the response was very good to the 22 coffees, a mix of naturals and semi-washed coffees. Paulina and Maciej were thrilled with the response from the European roasters who attended the cupping they hosted in Gdynia, Poland, as well.

Gerra, in light apron, scrapes the grounds at the NYC cupping of the 22 top lots from the Força Café Coffee Championship.


Cupping at Bero Polska for European roasters interested in bidding on the Força Café Coffee Championship auction lots. The auction begins on Tuesday, December 18.

Auction dates are as follows:

1st round: Tuesday, December 18
2nd round: Wednesday, December 19
Final round: Thursday, December 20
(Note to U.S. parties interested in these coffees: Contact Gerra at, as she will be doing the bidding

Auction start times for each round are at 09:00 São Paulo time (GMT-2). In other time zones:
• Hamburg: 12:00 (+3h, GMT+1)
• Houston: 05:00 (-4h, GMT-6)
• Seattle: 03:00 (-6h, GMT-8)
• Moscow: 14:00 (+5h, GMT+3)
• London 11:00 (+2h GMT 0)

Auction end times for each round are at 17:00 São Paulo time (GMT-2). In other time zones:
• Hamburg: 20:00 (+3h, GMT+1)
• Houston: 13:00 (-4h, GMT-5)
• Seattle: 11:00 (-6h, GMT-8)
• Moscow: 22:00 (+5h, GMT+3)
• London:  19:00 (+2h GMT 0)


Participation in the auction is only possible via web-formulary over the internet. The link for the website will be shared jointly with the access key for bidders.

Each bid given is automatically saved with a time stamp. For each participant, only the last bid given within the defined auction periods is considered. (By this, the option to increase or decrease the bid during the time frames given in 2.a. – 2.c.).

The judges visited with producers who had submitted coffee to the Força Café Coffee Championship, pictured here, on a day between cuppings in Brazil this past October.

After the first bidding round, the participants can only bid on lots that they have been bidding in the previous round (i.e., if you do not bid on a lot in the first bidding round, you cannot bid in the subsequent bidding round anymore and so forth for the final round).

NKG Stockler will not participate as a bidder, but only define the minimum price for the auction. NKG Stockler acts as buyer of last resort only (i.e., if there are no bids given on any lot, NKG Stockler will purchase the coffee from the farmer as defined in the regulation for the Coffee Championship).

The premiums defined departing from the minimum price will be forwarded to the farmer.

The top lots in the Fifth Força Café Coffee Championship, which go up for auction beginning tomorrow.

If news of this extraordinary auction sounds familiar, it might be because you saw my photo essay about the event in the current issue, December 2018 + January 2019, of Barista Magazine. You can read the story now for free either online or via the Barista Magazine app. It begins on page 48.

About Sarah 933 Articles
Sarah Allen (she/her) is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.