This is the third year we buy coffee from the Kieni cooperative and we continue to be very impressed by their quality. You can read much more about Kieni in this blog post from our visit there in January. It’s has a lively, juicy acidity and both blackberries and black currant in the aroma. But it’s also very clean and has a huge mouthfeel at the same time.
The Esmeralda Special, as you may know, is only sold on their own auction. We were lucky to get a small lot together with our friends Phil & Sebastian in Canada.
The prices this year were very high all around. The highest bid was at USD 66.00/lbs but what was more interesting was the high price all around and that the lowest price was an astounding $29.00. We paid $44,50 to Esmeralda (and then you can add shipping, coffee import tax, roasting loss etc.). You can see the whole auction list here: http://auction.stoneworks.com/ES2012/final_results.html
Yes, it is a very expensive coffee and yes, you could buy lots of other great coffees for much less. Some will say that the prices are driven up purely by the name or novelty of this coffee. But honestly there is not any coffees out there that matches the Esmeralda’s incredible aromas. There’s quite a few Geisha’s around (and a some that are similar and thus labelled Geisha) and we’ve cupped a lot of them. But nothing so far has been as aromatic, clean and defined as the Esmeralda. So to us, this is a coffee we just feel we need to be able to present to our customers here in Denmark, no matter the cost.
As an industry we have come a long way trying to make coffee a “noble beverage” (in the words of Georg Howell). But we’re still struggling to pay wine-like prices for the coffee we buy, because we still struggle to get consumers to pay those prices. For us the Esmeralda again and again has shown people that quality is worth paying for and that it is in general an under-priced luxury.
Due to the higher price this year, we’ve decided to sell it in 125 g. bags instead of 250 g. to make it accessible to more people. And please, if you’re in Denmark, make sure to brew it on bottled water of good quality.
Both coffees will be in stores on Friday the latest and is available through our webshop.