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Taiwan coffee fetches impressive price at 'first international auction'

Four Taiwanese coffee retailers bought the coffee ‘to keep the good taste in Taiwan’

Four Taiwanese coffee retailers paid NT$14,000 a pound for Taiwan's best rated coffee at an international auction.

Four Taiwanese coffee retailers paid NT$14,000 a pound for Taiwan's best rated coffee at an international auction. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese coffee was sold for the first time in the Alliance for Coffee Excellence’s (ACE) Private Collection Auction (PCA) at an impressive NT$14,000 (US$500) a pound.

The coffee from Zhuo Wu Mountain Coffee Farm, produced by farmer Hsu Ting-yeh (許定燁), received a score of 89.77 from an international judging panel and was sold at roughly NT$14,000 a pound (0.45 kilograms). The four Taiwanese retailers who made the bid did so to “keep the good taste that came from Taiwan in Taiwan,” reported CNA on Friday (Sept. 3).

Hsu thanked the organizers for holding the event, saying, “This very first international auction for Taiwanese farmers has been both eye-opening and exciting,” reported the Global Coffee Report.

The Liberty Times reported that the high price for Zhuo Wu Mountain Coffee Farm’s coffee surprised even ACE staff, as other first-time sellers at the PCA, such as those from Yemen and Hawaii, only saw bids as high as NT$5,500. Usually, in ACE’s prestigious “Cup of Excellence” auctions, prices for coffees from major producers such as Brazil, Guatemala, or Honduras are considered “good” if they reach anywhere between NT$1,400 and NT$4,100.

Taiwan Coffee Laboratory’s Agriculture Researcher Neil Lin (林仁安) told the Liberty Times the excellent performance of Taiwanese coffee at the PCA may have stemmed from bidders’ curiosity for new products, scarcity, and the good taste and quality of the coffee.

Established in 2002, ACE is a nonprofit membership organization aiming to “create a more transparent and sustainable economic future for high quality farmers.” CNA cited the founder of Taiwan’s HWC Roasters as saying it is the most authoritative coffee competition and auction organization within the international gourmet coffee community.

This year, Taiwan submitted 19 different coffees to ACE for judgment before nine were selected for the PCA. Other notable bidders included renowned American retailer Blue Bottle Coffee, Japan’s Wataru, and Sulalat Coffee Trading from Saudi Arabia.