Monday, June 09, 2008

envelopes

i'm a skeptical soul by nature. i meet people very slowly and trust them even more slowly. i don't know why. on the contrary, i consider myself something of an early adopter of new ideas, always on the lookout for the next major improvement or the newest promising trend. it's funny, but perhaps the internet helps magnify my particular personality mix: if i had to take new ideas directly from people i might never get past my impressions of that person's in-person persona, and down to the idea(s) they were espousing.

my point? i'm just thinking about new ideas and what people are thinking when it comes to the directions coffee is heading. someone i just met once said that coffee auctions are a price discovery mechanism, not quality discovery. at first blush that sounds heretical to the latest received coffee wisdom out there. but there is more than a nugget of truth to that when the usual top lots in auctions like the c.o.e. and b.o.p. tend to outpace their lower-ranked brethren, sometimes by obscene amounts, when surely the coffee at the top can't be that much more amazing than the number two, three, four and so on.

this is not a new discussion. it's actually just an example of ideas and how reading them sometimes gives me pause to think in new ways.

what are you thinking about in coffee? are we still edge-pushers? what's new in your coffee world?

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2 Comments:

At Monday, 09 June, 2008, Anonymous Stephen Leighton said...

I think your right in many ways that number ones are about ego, but for me the lower ranked lots are the real winners in these kind of auctions (I know I just bought a number one but its the first for a long time and I completely fell in love with it).

The auction process is about introducing the producer to the market place, and the roaster to quality coffee. the price on the auction page should not and for me isnt the prize for the farmer but the down payment on the long term gain for everyone (Producer, Roaster and most importantly the consumer).

I came up with a great analogy the other day (I know modest aren't I)

The auction is speed dating for the roaster. Some people never settle down and keep on speed dating. Some people settle down and settle into monogamy, and some do a bit of both. I think a bit of both is the best way to do it (I would wouldn't I) but this way you don't become stale and boring but you have some long term relationships to keep you warm at night.

I'm proberbly rambaling, I'll get my coat :)

 
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