added to the ways we now know the panama esmeralda: stale, overroasted and unbearably forced through a lever device!
we could safely call it an evening of ignominy and crestfallenness, wherein enthusiastic coffee persons from as far as atlanta trekked to the bloghouse for the preeminent experience of cupping this year’s lady ez next to last year’s lady ez — except the wildly vacillating temperatures in the cypriot’s studio, it turns out, weren’t so ideal for storing the sealed, green, 2006 preciousss. on to the water comparisons, then, wherein the region’s notoriously soft stuff was to be eclipsed by a more mineralized version — except the only commercially available espresso blend in town suitable for test shots turned out to have been roasted two weeks ago and painfully showed its age with a cup o’ musk. well, then. let’s put the mesmeralda through the single-origin-illuminating lever device! — only the best we got was .75 ounces of tea-like oranges. the worst was more like bleached grapefruit lozenge.
but, uh. the cheese was good.
perhaps we’ve become snobs on EPO. because the year-old ez, in actuality, wasn’t rude or nasty. but where a massive honeysuckle bouquet once mauled you in the lower cortex, the aromatics are now flat, the bouquet wilted, the smooth earl gray tea now a reheated cuppa — even though we roasted monday. the cypriot, you could say, had besotted her. guilt also rests upon this blog for pushing the hot-air roast a bit far, on solis jake for arriving late, on c-n-c’s shannon for slurping too loud and on the zombie for showing up the wrong year. grrrr.
the larger questions remain: how does this year’s rock star coffee hold up against the mellifluous wonders of our first taste? what would counter culture’s 2007 second pick be like with a minute longer in the roaster? would freezing the green have preserved last year’s most fragile floral high notes? should such difficulty making empirical, year-to-year comparisons force this blog to think more philosophically about the nature of a harvest? a taste capsule in a particular time and place? an agricultural aesthetic that can’t be appreciated in a vacuum but pursued anew as it’s renewed? is this blog starting to sound like jon lewis and his backyard weed? yeah? anyone for world peace?
the answer to all those questions is: maybe.
this year’s mesmeralda continues to impress, of course — but not in a massive way that might astound a neophyte. this crop leaves its imprint on a more patient palate, which sort of begs the old obscene price question: who is this coffee for? besides, this blog suspects that what sips actually pleased tonight were embellished by the influence of the cypriot’s bejeweled terrakeramik demis, which filled an entire plastic tote and littered all the horizontal surfaces.
sigh. the experiences can’t all be stellar, or we might run out of adjectives. also, it’s an internet-driven snobism, no? which means that at least it’ll all look good in the pictures.