Zoka's Snoka

September 8-9, 2007
This past weekend the great people at Zoka had the grand opening of their new store in Snoqualmie, nicknamed Snoka, the third Zoka store to date in Seattle. Jeff Babcock kindly invited me to come over and celebrate with them.
They were taking advantage of the occasion to break out the Esmeralda Special Auction coffee on the Clover, and had all kinds of activities, including coffee and tea cupping for the general public, really good free baked goods...even a bluegrass band.

I got to pull the name of the raffle winner of a half pound of Esmeralda Special out of a box, which was fun. Trish did a great job teaching people about coffee cupping, which the public really seemed to enjoy. I also took part in a tea cupping ceremony with Maki, their tea buyer...I had no idea tea could smell so good.

The weather was very nice, and I would have thought that all the great weather could potentially be not such a good thing for a coffee store opening, as in people might want to be outdoors and not drinking coffee, but there were lines literally out the door. Congratulations to Zoka on such a succesful event. May there be many more to come!


Coffee: The New Wine

As seen on CNBC's On the Money/(Ka-Ching) and NBC's Today Show...

Here's a link to a piece about our coffee done by CNBC reporter Michelle Caruso-Cabrera that aired on Thursday, August 16th on CNBC's On The Money.

A similar version aired on NBC's-Today Show on Saturday, August 18th. I haven't been able to find a link to that.

Footage used was taken at the Cupping in NY hosted by Daniel Humphries at The Tasting Room, at Café Grumpy in NY, at Coffee Klatch in LA, and on the farm in Panama.

Although we'd rather have emphasis put on cup quality vs Esmeralda Special auction sales price, we're still kinda pleased we were on the Today Show...


PT's Esmeralda Special - Highest Review Ever!

PT's Coffee Roasting Co.
Topeka, Kansas

Just this week Ken Davids, of CoffeeReview.com, cupped and evaluated PTs Coffee Roasting Co.’s roast of this very special coffee. And the results were astounding! Davids gave PTs roast of La Esmeralda Especial the highest score he has ever given a coffee in Coffeereview’s 10-year history. Davids gave a “97″ on the 100 point scale. Only the third time in 10-years a coffee has recieved such high marks. Very rare praise indeed!

Panama Esmeralda Especial
Reviewed: August 2007
Overall Rating: 97 points
Aroma: 9
Acidity: 8
Body: 8
Flavor: 10
Aftertaste: 8
Roast (Agtron): Medium (51/65)

Origin: Boquete growing region, western Panama

Notes: Coffee from trees of the botanical variety "Gesha" or "Geisha" grown on farmer Price Peterson's Hacienda La Esmeralda in Panama has for the last several years consistently broken records paid for a green coffee: A 2007 lot sold at auction this for an extraordinary $130 per pound. This lot of Gesha is from the same fields, crop and variety as the record-breaking auction lot but was sold outside auction. With its bold, boat-shaped beans and distinctive floral and chocolate cup, the Esmeralda Panama Gesha continues to be one of the world's most unique coffees. Tactfully roasted at PT's Coffee, where the motto is "without the love, it's just coffee." Visit http://www.ptscoffee.com/ or call 888-678-5282 for more information.

Blind Assessment: Sweet-toned aroma dominated by a distinct honey character. In the cup syrupy mouthfeel, giddily and complexly lush with cherryish fruit, floral, and dry, brandyish chocolate notes. The finish is deep, honeyish sweet, and long.

Who should drink it: A coffee both breathtakingly pure and intriguingly complex.

Specialty Coffee Convention of Japan

July 27, 2007-August 3, 2007

We had the fortune of attending the Specialty Coffee Convention in Japan for the second consecutive year. This time around the convention was held at the Tokyo Big Site, an architecturally stunning building, and usual for Tokyo, everything there is architecturally stunning...
The World Barista Championship going on next door definitely added spice to this year's event. Congrats Heather, and Mike, we are so pleased for you!

Mr. Tatsushi Ueshima, President of UCC, at the Panama booth


New York City

July 26, 2007
Cupping Panama's in New York City!!!
On July 26th we were greatly honored by having a cupping of Panama coffee's hosted by Daniel Humphries at The Tasting Room in NYC. A group of some of the nicest people you could ever meet attended a tasting of some Kotowa Organic, Carmen Estate, Esmeralda Special and Diamond Mountain.
Daniel, we can't thank you enough! The event was well planned and ran smoothly. We had roasters, importers, cafe owners, baristas...even a photographer and a crew from CNBC... Barry, Bob, Alan, thanks for making it, I know it was a long haul.

Daniel Humphries weighing beans, Photo Courtesy of
Leigh Van Duzer
More photos of this event here and here.
Café Grumpy
That same evening, my brother Daniel and I were invited to do a slideshow/presentation at Café Grumpy, as far as we know, the only café in NYC that sells Esmeralda Special on a Clover. We had to take a picture of the sign on the sidewalk...

Photo Courtesy of Barry Levine, Willoughby's

Wow! Thanks for having us, Caroline (and Ed and Jay)!
To the kind folks at CounterCulture, dinner was incredible...thanks again!