The Taiwan Coffee Laboratory, on behalf of the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan R.O.C. (Taiwan) and Taiwan Coffee Association, has partnered with the Alliance of Coffee Excellence (ACE) to host the first Private Collection Auction of Taiwanese specialty coffee.
The auction will feature nine winning coffee lots, all of which scored 86 points or more. These lots represent three varieties: Geisha, SL34, and one unknown. The lots also represent three processes including honey, natural, and washed.
Ting-Yeh Hsu from Zhuo Wu Mountain Coffee Farm produced both the first-place lot, a natural Geisha, and the third-place lot, a honey Geisha.
Originally a tea farm, Zhuo Wu Mountain started growing coffee in 2001. Over the past 20 years, its coffee production increased with the farm now covering six hectares of land.
The farm is located at a 1200 metre altitude which creates a low temperature environment that increases the sugar content in the coffee. Through using natural spring water, carefully selecting the coffee varieties and applying a range of processing methods, the farm says it produces coffees that are clean and smooth tasting.
Taiwan has been growing coffee for more than a hundred years with its natural environment of elevated mountain ranges and microclimates that support different coffee varieties and processing.
“With a diversity of coffee varieties, and the many thoughtfully detailed processing steps found in these different farms, we found a wide range of flavour profiles and experiences when cupping the samples,” says Scott Conary, Head Judge.
“Flavours ranged from unique and juicy tropical fruits, dark sugar sweetness, and intense floral notes, to interesting umami and spice experiences that made these coffees really stand out.”
A panel of 26 judges from five countries selected the nine lots, out of 19, that will be part of the auction. An additional six coffee lots that scored between 85 and 85.99 will also be included in the sample sets and are available for sale directly through Taiwan Coffee Labs.
“Though the volumes are small at this moment, you can be sure of the offerings being scaled up in the future once the world experiences them. Meanwhile, you should take the opportunity to experience these limited gems, that show the inherent value of coffee production in Taiwan, and a glimpse into the future!” says Conary.
The Taiwan Coffee Laboratory has been working with central and local governments to organise national coffee evaluations and regional competitions. They have thus seen a significant increase in cupping quality and volume of locally grown specialty coffee.
The auction is designed to honour the work of the local Taiwan coffee producers and to share their prize coffee with the rest of the world.
“Our hardworking coffee farmers, ever curious and ever responsive to market demands, are incredible professionals. They experiment with varieties, grafting, pruning, harvesting, processing, [and] fermenting, always remaining fully committed to their craft,” says Krude Lin, President and Founder of Taiwan Coffee Laboratory.
This partnership between the Taiwan Coffee Laboratory and ACE was established as part of ACE’s mission to recognise and reward exceptional coffee producers, driving farmers access to premium markets.
“Taiwan is probably the most saturated place in the world in terms of specialty coffee culture. 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,” says Lin.
“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 ever more regular interactions and philosophical exchanges between the consumer market and the farms now allow both to more clearly explore cup qualities for all.”
The auction will be held on 31 August 2021. For more information, click here.