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Friday, August 23 2019 @ 11:30 pm EDT

$130 Per Pound? Holy Asian Palm Civet Crap!

Food & Drink Yesterday there was a live on-line auction of the "Best of Panama" coffee. While the auction was going on I called and spoke to Price Peterson, the owner of the Hacienda Esmeralda, when the price went over $50.00 per pound and it became apparent this auction was going to set a new world record for coffee sold at auction. Then I spent the rest of the early afternoon monitoring the auction and it closed out at 1:45 pm with the Hacienda Esmeralda lot selling for $99.99 per pound. But it turns out that there was a technical glitch in the software being used for the auction. Since no one had considered it possible the coffee might sell for more than $100 per pound became impossible for bidders to place a bid above $99.99. So they decided to close out the bidding on all other lots except the Geisha variety from the Hacienda Esmeralda, which eventually sold for an astonishing $130 per pound. But even at this price the Hacienda Esmeralda coffee is not the most expensive coffee in the world. (more)

"Kopi Lukak" means "Rodent Crap" There is an exotic variety called Kopi Luwak which is "made from coffee cherries which have been eaten by and passed through the digestive tract of the Asian Palm Civet" and can sell for as much as $600 per pound. Personally I think the locals just started doing this as a practical joke on the tourists, but what the heck. This coffee and the producers of a a few other exceptionally exotic coffees never put them up for sale at auction. They simple make them available at an established price and anyone who wants to pay that price can buy it. Have a nice rodent-crap filled day. There are other very expensive and exotic coffees such as the Jamaican Blue Mountain, but according to coffee conissours there's really not that much of a difference to set them apart from other coffee, taste-wise.

World Record For Coffee Sold At Auction: In any case, the Geisha variety produced by the Hacienda Esmeralda which sold yesterday at the live auction is now officially the world's most expensive coffee ever sold at auction. I did some quick research and coffees that are considered to be "excellent" and "gourmet" coffees generally score in the high 80's and low 90's for SCAA cupping scores. This coffee sold for such a high price because it scored 96 on a 100 point scale - it's simply something special.


Volcan Baru (Photo Credit)

Grown At Altitude: According to Price, this particular Geisha variety has to be grown between 1,500 and 1,600 meters (about 5,000 feet) altitude in order to get the spectacular and special results they acheive. Grown below 1,500 feet this coffee turns out to be a "good, but nothing special." He said "we're trying to figure out what gets triggered genetically in this plant at these altitudes" that makes it special. The Hacienda Esmeralda is located on the sides of the Volcan Baru. With a summit at 3,475 meters, Volcan Baru is the highest point in Panama. I mention that because someone wrote me asking "how can they be growing coffee above 5,000 feet when the higest point in Panama is Volcan Baru at 3,475 feet?" Meters, my friend, meters. Volcan Baru tops out at 11,400 feet.

Congratulations Are In Order: To Price, his family, and the rest of the coffee growers in Panama. Thanks for giving us this "good news" story, and for doing it would having to get any rodent excrement involved in the process...

Copyright 2007 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. As usual, go ahead and use whatever you want as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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