Esmeralda = emerald in Spanish, OK?
The Esmeralda That Was
Esmeralda is one of the coffees widely regarded as one of the world’s best; its reputation is that of a modern-day Jamaican Blue Mountain. Last year, my curiosity got the better of me and I arranged to procure some from Paradise Roasters. In blogging about it, I introduced it as follows:
I probably don’t need to write too much about this one. If you have been living under a rock, or if you just happen to be one of the few people who doesn’t follow the coffee auctions, you might not know that this is currently the world’s most expensive coffee. Previously, that dubious honour went to kopi luwak. (I’ll spare you the jokes – google it if it’s news to you.)
Esmeralda has an impressive back story; in a nutshell, the gesha varietal that makes up the Esmeralda Especial lot seems to have basically gone extinct except for a few random rediscoveries in Panama. It just so happens that this particular farm’s gesha offering has won something like four Best of Panama auctions and every single other cupping competition it has been entered in. In terms of scores, the consensus seems to be that it’s a 92 at a minimum, with some tasters going as high as 97!
The 2007 Paradise Roasters lot displayed a predominant and intense mandarin flavour in all brewing methods, …