Green Coffee Auction - Frequently Asked Questions by Growers

Updated November 30, 2018 


What is the Hawaii Coffee Association Online Green Coffee Auction?

It is an internet auction in which lots of green coffee from Hawaiian coffee growers are offered to preregistered coffee roasters and distributors.

When will the auction be held?

On May 14, 2019

What is the relationship of the Green Coffee Auction to the HCA Cupping Competition?

Growers can use their scores in the HCA Cupping Competition as a baseline for increasing their scores in the Green Auction cupping. However, there will be a Green Coffee Auction cupping before the auction. Entry into the auction requires a 84+ score based on SCA standards.

How do I get my coffee into the auction?

Fill out the registration form, pay the $25 per lot fee, submit your coffee, and get an 84 + cupping score

What is the minimum I can enter?

One 63 pound bag of green coffee (50 pounds for auction, plus 10 pounds for samples and 3 pounds of green coffee for cupping)

Can I enter more than one variety of coffee?

There is no limit on the number of varieties. For each different coffee you have to provide 13 extra pounds of green coffee (10 pounds for samples and 3 pounds for cupping)

I have Kona Typica will I be able to get a 84+ score to enter the auction?

There is no reason that a Kona Typica can’t score as well as other coffees. You may have to improve your picking and processing e.g. pick red, sort, use commercial yeast, store in grain bag and etc. Get a cupping score on your coffee and then improve it.

What are the lot sizes?

Lots can be any size so long as they are at least 50 lbs.

Can I offer more than one lot?

You can offer as many lots as you wish. For each lot you must pay the $25 entry fee. If you had 313 pounds of the same coffee, you could offer it in any combination up to a maximum of 6 different lots. You have to decide the best way to sell your coffee, generally large roasters want large lots, and small roasters want small high end lots.

How much coffee do I have to provide if I want to enter two or more lots of the same coffee?

For each individual coffee we need 10 pounds for samples and 3 pounds for cupping, no matter how many lots of that coffee you enter. Two 50 pound lots of the same coffee requires 113 pounds of coffee, three 50 pound lots requires 163 pounds, and etc.

Does the coffee have to be HDOA Certified?

No, but certification is an incentive for higher bids.

Does the coffee have to meet HDOA certification standards?

Yes, the cupping panels will be checking for moisture and defects. If the lot is not between 9 and 12 % moisture or has too many defects it will be rejected.

What about certified organic coffee?

If the beans are certified organic it will show on the lot offering. Certified organic coffee should receive higher bids.

Should the coffee be graded?

It does not have to be graded but fancy, extra fancy and peaberry grade coffees will receive higher bids.

Do I have to provide coffee beans for samples?

Yes, the most important criteria for roasters and distributors will be their cupping of your coffee.

Who gets the money from the sales of samples?

The money earned from samples will be used by the HCA to offset the expenses of advertising and promoting the auction.

What is the maximum amount of coffee or maximum lot(s) I can enter?

There is no maximum amount or number of lots.

When do I have to submit my coffee lot(s) for auction?

In the first part of March 2019.

When will the coffee be cupped?

In March 2019.

Who will cup it?

There will be two blind cupping panels. The first panel will score all coffees. The second panel will score all coffees that the first panel scores 84+ on the SCA scale.

What happens to my coffee if it isn’t 84+?

You may pick up the coffee lot(s) you submitted less the coffee used for cupping. We will also provide you with your cupping scores.

Can I set a reserve price for my coffee?

Yes, we recommend that you set a reserve price under which the coffee will not sell.

Is there an auction fee?

Yes, the HCA will receive 10% of the total sales amount.

If my coffee sells in the auction when will I get paid?

The HCA will collect the payments. You will receive a check from the HCA soon after HCA gets paid.

If my coffee doesn’t sell in the auction what happens to it?

You may pick it up less the coffee used for samples and the coffee used for cupping.

Who pays for shipping my coffee after the auction?

The buyer pays for shipping.

Who prepares the coffee lot(s) for shipping?

The grower needs to submit a shipping ready lot including the sample and cupping coffee. Shipping ready lots must have the beans in a plastic grain bag, inside of a burlap bag. The plastic bag should be twisted shut, folded over and secured with an electrical tie. Growers must also provide two additional plastic grain bags for each sack of green coffee to meet HDOA shipping standards.

The HCA will take 13 pounds of coffee from each lot and reseal the bag.

The buyer will have its carrier pick up and transport the lot.

Who will bid in the auction?

Potential bidders will fill out a bid registration form. The HCA will approve all bidders. We expect established roasters and distributors from all over the world to register as bidders.

Will the sale prices, cupping scores, buyers names, and growers names be published?

Yes the growers name, the final bidders name, the final sale price and the cupping score for all coffees in the auction will be published. Bids and bidders names up to the final bid will not be published. No information will be published for coffees with a score below 84+.

If a bidder doesn’t pay what happens to my coffee?

We will offer it to the second highest bidder. If no bidder wants it, you may pick it up less the coffee used for samples and cupping. Since we will be vetting all bidders we do not expect this to happen.

If there is coffee left over because a bidder or grower didn’t pick it up what will happen to it?

We will offer it to a charity.

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