The Roasterie

Esmeralda Especial Best of Panama

Location: Kansas City, Missouri

Origin: Boquete growing region, western Panama

Roast: Medium

Est. Price:

Review Date: October 2007

Agtron: 44/58

Aroma: 9

Acidity: 8

Body: 8

Flavor: 10

Aftertaste: 9

Blind Assessment:

Lush, deeply fruity aroma: chocolate and red-wine-toned cherry. In the cup silky mouthfeel, richly balanced acidity, lavish cocoa, candied lemon, red wine, brandied cherry notes. Deep, flavor-saturated finish.


This striking, celebrated coffee once again took first place in the Best of Panama competition, where as a green (unroasted) coffee it attracted a score of 95.3 from an international jury and a breathtaking price of $130 per pound at Internet auction. Produced from trees of the rare, Ethiopia-originated Gesha variety at an elevation of approximately 5,000 feet by farmers Price and Daniel Peterson on the Hacienda la Esmeralda farm. With its bold, boat-shaped beans and distinctive floral, cocoa and wine cup, the Esmeralda Panama Gesha continues one of the world’s most unique coffees. Try it at least once if you can afford it and if you can find it (at publication date The Roasterie supply is sold out). This winning lot of Esmeralda Especial is Rainforest Alliance certified, meaning that it was produced following sustainable ecological and socio-economic criteria developed by the Sustainable Agricultural Network, a coalition of independent, environment-focused non-governmental organizations. The Roasterie is a leading, quality-oriented specialty roaster that specializes in building ongoing relationships with growers and that emphasizes its commitment to “air roasting,” a technology utilizing a column of hot air rather than the conventional turning drum to agitate the roasting beans. Visit www.theroasterie.com or call 800-376-0245 for more information.

Who Should Drink It: An extravagant coffee, both for the senses and the pocketbook.

This review originally appeared in the October, 2007 tasting report: 2007 Prize-Winning Coffees from Central America and Colombia

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