“Simplicity is the last stage of sophistication”.
I find it amazing how this phrase attributed to the Renaissance Leonardo da Vinci can be more than 500 years old and still makes sense today. Specific trends aside, coffee is no different. Although many ingenious processes and equipment have emerged in recent years, the current situation in the specialty coffees indicates that a cup of pure coffee can be an exquisite product.
A few months ago we talked about the differences between specialty coffees and coffees that are commodities. All details in all stages reflect the quality of the final product and, of course, the prices of specialty coffees. Regarding sophistication and simplicity, perhaps the best example of all time comes from the Panama, more specifically from Hacienda La Esmeralda.
According to World Atlas of Coffee, coffee of the crop variety geisha (one of the many subspecies of the “arabic coffee ”) emerged in Ethiopia, but entered Central America through Costa Rica, liked the climate and soon spread. Its popularity has skyrocketed since 2004, when a Panamanian farm called La Esmeralda entered a contest with a lot of geisha and positively surprised everyone. Since then, the world has started to pay attention to this variety of crops, increasing prices significantly and generating a global movement of production and consumption. Just to give you an idea, around 2007 all records were broken when lots of that coffee (sold still green, at auctions) came to cost 130 dollars per pound, something like 520 reais per kg (at the time of the dollar, a dream compared to the current one), almost 100 times more expensive than coffees sold as commodities on a large scale!
Source: Pilot Coffee
Of course, I am not suggesting that sophistication must necessarily be linked to astronomical prices, but I like to see this situation as a case where everything seems to have been enhanced. For example, there is an almost endless number of specific conditions so that geisha is produced the way it is done at Hacienda La Esmeralda. From the characteristics of the region’s soil, the climatic conditions of the place and each harvest, the altitude at which the plants grow, manual harvesting, strict quality control criteria, meticulous processing… everything contributes to producing a unique coffee. taste. Not to mention the consumption habits that have become fashionable, which increase demand and generate market trends, etc., etc.
So many features make the difference. A short time ago Mari Mori and I had the chance to participate in a tasting here in Curitiba and I can say that even with high expectations about the geisha of La Esmeralda, the result was surprising. I tried in 3 or 4 different methods and in all of them I found a balanced, complex and complete drink, sweet, cheerful and delicate. It’s hard to believe, but it was all in a cup of pure coffee, you see. From some red berries picked from a farm in Panama came one of the most incredible drinks I ever tasted.
It seems that da Vinci really knew what he was talking about.
Top photo: Randomitus