$4,100 a pound - 2021 Lamastus Estates Auction, Panama

--- (Boquete, Panama) August, 2021. Announcing their first independent coffee auction, the Lamastus family was unsure how it would go. Would everyone hear about it? Would there be any technical glitches? The auction went off without a hitch, and you could say it ended up being a knock out of the park.

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“Build it and they will come” they thought. They announced the auction, set for August 18th, 2021, and even wrote out auction times based on other regions - Los Angeles, New York, London, etc. Anticipating people would want to bid from around the world. Ambitious? Maybe. The Lamastus Family is not new to auctions, or to success, but creating their own auction - separate from the Best of Panama would in fact be a step of faith. The Best of Panama - in its 25th year - auctions coffee from all of Panama. Mike Perry, Klatch Coffee founder and green buyer, one of the 19 international judges. This year is Mike’s 12th time being a judge.

Prior to the Lamastus auction, potential buyers were able to receive samples of the coffee. Mike was sure to get his sample. He’s been working in a direct trade partnership with Wilford Lamastus for years. The two have shared experiences in both the US, Panama and across many “WhatsApp” chats. “What’s the crop looking like this year so far?” Mike might ask. Wilford is good about communicating what they’re experiencing onsite as well as what new innovations they’re trying this year. “We’ve been through 10-15 new experiments so far with our ASD” he might say. Innovation is at the heart of their success, although it is not the only thing.

At their auction this year they featured 26 lots - which are from three different estates. The coffees featured had varying microclimates, and innovative processes such as ASD, Native Yeast, Carbonic Maceration, and others. You would think Wilford and Wilford Jr. were scientists or engineers the way that they work on various experiments and pull on different variables with each season and each crop. The successes they have do not lend themselves to “sit back” or be content in what it is that they do - but instead, push them to work harder. “Coffee is never finished” - a motto Lamastus and Perry families share. The pursuit of improvement and innovation is not only what unites the two - but also what pushes each family (and their teams) every day.

The winning lot - purchased at a whopping $4,100 a pound - comes from the Elida estate. A Geisha varietal which is processed via the ASD Natural process. Anaerobic Slow Dry Natural processing is a story in itself - you’ll want to learn about - read more here. The process brought the Lamastus Estate their first ever world-record-setting auction price in 2019, The Best of Panama Elida Geisha Green Tip ASD - at that time - $1,029 a pound. The story of that coffee became known as the $100 cup of coffee. Klatch Coffee was one of the auction winning bidders. The story was heard from the nationwide broadcasters such as CNN, ABC, NBC, CNBC, and a multitude of editorials such as Forbes picked it up too.

Each season Mike is sure to see what samples Lamastus has to offer. Two of the coffees he purchased from Wilford this year are from the same estate as the auction winner - Elida Estate. They are the Panama Elida Natural Catuai and the Panama Elida ASD Natural Catuai. The second of these, is both the same process and of the same estate as the auction winner. You could call them cousins - or siblings. We’ve been delighted to offer coffee from the Elida Estate again this year. We think you’ll enjoy these coffees. Please let us know what you think, let’s keep the conversation going.

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