Yes, it is Esmeralda again
Roasters who bought Esmeralda at the now famous Best Of Panama auction a mounth or so ago paid $130 per pound. The same coffee could also be aquired directly from the farm, when and if available, at it’s regular price, which I don’t know. The retail cost to the consumer for the 12 oz bags from Counter Culture Coffee was $30. Is this price worth it? Ask yourself this, how much did you pay for your last hair cut? How much did you pay for a glass of wine the last time you ate out? How much did you pay for your cool shoes, boots, Abercrombie shirt? Stop worrying about the cost of damn good coffee.
I made a french press of the Esmeralda the other day, my first encounter with it, and I thought it came out a little under done. It seemed tea-like, but with a perfectly clean and crisp acidity and beautiful finish. The next day I had some as iced coffee and it was like the most fantasitc thing iced tea wished it could be, with a good coffee foundation to boot. Then when I made another press pot I over shot the mark and it came out bitter and a bit flat. Then I cupped it and it was the most delightful fruity chinese Lychee and pink fruit. Then the next day I cupped it and the after taste was a displeasing tartness. Later that afternoon it was a delicious plum. I’m torn. Do I like it or not? The fragrance is always the most fantastic coffee aroma I have ever known. The flavor changes on me from day to day depending on too many factors to grapple at once.
All coffees have a sweet spot when it comes to time, temperature, turbulance, and throw weight. It is never a simple mecanical excercise to hit the bulls eye. What I have found difficult with Esmeralda is that it is a moving target. This is simultaniously the best, and most fickle coffee I have known.
Maybe my expectations are that it must always be great. This hasn’t been my experience though. This morning I felt kind of like a chump in a room with 20 people cupping Esmeralda, and I was the guy who didn’t like the after taste. Every body else was like “I love the after taste, I wanna carry it around all day!” I was like “um, does anybody have any gum?” But after lunch, while giving samples to some wine experts, it was transending.
It just goes to show you, a Jaguar may be a fine automobile, but it will be in the shop often, and it will cost a fortune to get it fixed.