Royal New York

In Memoriam: Abba Bayer (1923 – 2022)

Last week we lost a dear friend, his name was Abba Bayer. Abba was 98 years old and lived a full life with his lovely wife Eileen by his side every step of the way.

One of my first memories of Abba was when we were starting Royal New York over 27 years ago. Whenever Richard Borg & I had reached an impasse with understanding coffee terminology, current Colombia pricing, crop seasons, or even what Papua New Guinea taste like, the answer was always, “Let’s call Abba”. Richard was already familiar with Abba, who was a well-known coffee broker in NY for J.W. Phyfe. I soon grew to know him on both a personal and professional level.

As our business grew and we could hire more people, it almost seemed like a rite of passage that a new trader would encounter this humble, engaging, and seemingly omniscient man. Abba was a contemporary of my father, who was also a coffee broker. Although I never got to sit down with both of them together, I had some sort of connection with him and I can only hope that he had one with me.

Abba was many things, a World War II veteran who spent 4 years in the South Pacific, a loving husband, father of two girls, Patricia & Elizabeth, just to name a few. On a professional level, Abba was arguably the most prominent contributor to the Green Coffee Association and the success of our industry. The myriad of contracts, standards, and books that were written about coffee have some sort of thread connecting us all to Abba.

So the next time you drink a cup of coffee, raise your cup to a true “coffee man”.

Jaime Schoenhut