Taiwan Coffee Auction Offers Best from the Country

A coffee farmers uses a processing machine in taiwan.

The Private Collection Auction will be the first of its kind to bid on winning specialty-coffee lots in Taiwan.

BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE

Photos courtesy of Alliance for Coffee Excellence

As the Alliance for Coffee Excellence continues to honor the accomplishments of coffee farmers across the world, the organization is extending that reach into lesser explored yet incredible growing regions—this month, they focus on Taiwan.

Recently, a panel of judges, which included notable graders like World Barista Champ Jooyeon Jeon and Kentaro Maruyama, selected nine winning specialty-coffee lots in Taiwan to be featured in a Private Collection Auction (PCA)—all of which scored 86 points and above.

“With a diversity of coffee varieties, and the many thoughtfully detailed processing steps found in these different farms, we found a wide range of flavor profiles and experiences when cupping the samples,” said Scott Conary, head judge at ACE, in an announcement from the nonprofit earlier this summer. According to Scott, such flavors included everything from tropical fruits to savory umami and spice notes.

Taiwan has been growing coffee for over 100 years.

The Private Collection Auction

The Private Collection Auction program launched in spring 2019 as a way to introduce even more curated green coffee selections to coffee buyers. To do this, ACE partners with local coffee organizations from each featured region to select the most appropriate smallholder farmers to work with. Examples of past Private Collection Auctions include Yemen (the first ever auction of this sort), Hawaii, and Tanzania.

For this edition, the Alliance for Coffee Excellence has partnered with Taiwan Coffee Laboratory (TCL) to source the winning lots for the Taiwan auction. The team at TCL has been working with both central and local governments to organize coffee competitions in Taiwan, a country that has been growing coffee for over 100 years. Thanks to these auctions, they’ve noticed a much stronger presence of specialty varieties; some that buyers can expect to see include SL34 and Geshas of many processing methods.

The first-place and third-place lots include a natural process Gesha and a honey process offering by Zhuo Wu Mountain Coffee Farm, produced by Ting-Yeh Hsu. 

“We hope all the lots can find their ways to people who like them,” says Krude Lin, founder of Taiwan Coffee Laboratory. “Every single one of the coffees from the PCA represents the pride of our farmers and the hope of our land.”

Ting-Yeh Hsu, whose winning lots will be auctioned at the Taiwan Private Collection Auction.

Coffee in Taiwan

The Taiwan auction signifies the growing desire and necessity to work with green coffee grown by Asian countries. “Taiwan is probably the most saturated place in the world in terms of specialty-coffee culture,” explains Krude. “The booming consumer market and the close proximity of coffee farms and urban centers motivate local baristas, roasters, and coffee traders to visit and connect with the producers. In the past, we used to think that consumers or retailers in big cities and the coffee farmers who produce the coffee exist in two non-overlapping spheres. That is no longer true in Taiwan …”

The sample set, available until August 17 for pre-order.

The Private Collection Auction for Taiwan takes place on August 31. To get more info about the winning lots, check them out here. You can order samples of the lots until tomorrow, August 17. Register here separately to bid in the auction.

About Katrina Yentch 221 Articles
Katrina Yentch (she/her) is a freelance writer and Barista Magazine's Online Editor. When she's not writing, you can find her napping, cooking, and drinking whatever's on drip.