East Bay View (a blog about several things)

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Friday, June 29, 2007

The most expensive coffee ever (cheap version)

The most expensive coffee in the world is Indonesian Kopi Luwak. Its selling point is that the beans are eaten and excreted by palm civets (cat-like mammals). Many coffee aficionados, however, believe this product to be crap, in more ways than one.

The really good stuff is sold at auction. This year, the first lot of Panama Geisha La Esmeralda Especial raw beans sold for $130 a pound, destroying its own 2006 record of $50.25 a pound. I presume the Esmeralda that Mokka, ten minutes' walk from my house, started selling (for a limited time) today isn't from that lot, because then they'd be broke. It's still like no coffee I've tasted before -- its fragrance is more reminiscent of tea. The beans are roasted by Equator, who also supply the French Laundry. Usually I prefer a darker roast than theirs, but I suspect that might not be appropriate for this coffee. And I have no trouble appreciating the sour, fruity, luminous qualities of this drink. If your coffee priority is brightness rather than body, you might find this extraordinary. At $3.50 for a 12 oz. cup, it's an economical way to experience this notoriously expensive bean.

3075 Telegraph @ Dowling



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