MarkP wrote:Nick and I talked a lot about this yesterday on the phone. My take - I think people are still taking stock of this new record, and figuring out what to say - ie, a bit of shock going around.
My own opinion? Well, I always thought Esmerelda was overpriced and overhyped for a yemeni-import grown in Panama (hence the different taste). It was an excellent coffee, just not worth the projected $45-60 retail pound price.
This one should be what, at least $100 a lb retail roasted per lb? Using the conventional formula at least.
On one hand, the argument goes it's great for coffee, for those who want those individual coffees recognized for their excellence, for food pairings, for popping eyes when sips are taken, for moving coffee into that wine paradigm.
On the other hand, many often forget that coffee is perishable, where wine is not. Coffee stales as green (yes, I'm in George Howell's camp on this one). Coffee stales after roasted. You can buy a $40 Burgundy or meaty, tannic merlot, sit it in your poor-man's wine cellar for five years, and get a treat as it ages. You can buy a $100 lb of coffee, and you better use it within 5-7 days, because it's going to die a quick death otherwise.
That factor alone makes no legit coffee, IMO, worth $100 retail pound costs. Not even $60.
Congrats to Inny, Michel's, and Vince for the coup, and no doubt putting their companies on the tongues of many. But to me, it's just too much. Heck, I thought Esmerelda was too much. What did the second place go for - what, $8 or thereabouts?
malachi wrote:From what I hear, two judges gave it a perfect score.
malachi wrote:Over-hyped? No way. The Esmerelda deserved every bit of the hype. One of the greatest coffees ever.
malachi wrote:At a certain point, the quality becomes high enough that it's one of those experiences where the question ceases to be "is it worth it" and instead becomes "can I afford it." Eating at El Bulli, going to Alba for the truffle harvest, drinking a bottle of Margaux from a great vintage... the question of value is simply thrown out the window.
malachi wrote:And, regardless, I find it really frustrating that all the discussion of the auction centers on the price paid for this coffee. Yes, it was a record price. It was also a record score. In other words, not only has the market said this is the most expensive auction coffee - it's also said it is "the best." And that, my friends, is both a bold and exciting statement!!!
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