David Letterman famously said that without coffee, "I'd have no identifiable personality whatsoever." Imagine, then, the personality in coffee worth over $50 a pound. Among connoisseurs, these unblended gourmet coffees receive the same regard as rare fine wines.
The Guatemala Special Reserve El Injerto is the latest coffee to set roasters astir. This year's crop set wholesale auction records, going for $25.20 per pound. (Average coffee sells for just over a dollar a pound.) This high-altitude bean yields a lively, acidic coffee with strong citrus notes (about $50, www.terroircoffee.com).
For the cup that Coffee Review called "perfumed perfection," look for Panama Esmeralda Especial. Declared "Best of Panama" for three years running, the Especial mixes African seeds and Central American soil to produce a cup with strong berry flavors ($100, www.haciendaesmeralda.com).The world's priciest coffee hails from Indonesia. All Kopi Luwak beans have been eaten by the palm civet, a raccoon-like mammal. Workers collect the animal's droppings to find beans that are then cleaned and dried. The coffee's hefty price tag ($200 for a one-pound gift set) is part novelty, part biology. The civets "don't just scarf any [coffee] cherry they find," says Todd Davis of AnimalCoffee.com. "They find which ones are best and ripest." A sip of Kopi Luwak virtually guarantees personality of the most identifiable sort.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
This is the article I wrote this week. It's gotten cut down some, but they left the Letterman quote untouched, which was all I really cared about. I'll post a link to the real deal once it's up.