Esmeralda

This past week has been eventful. Thanks to the incredible generosity of Alistair of the Elysian Room I got the chance to taste both the number three and number one Panamanian auction lots for 2005. Yes, I got to try the Esmeralda Special and the Carmen Estate. These coffees are incredible.

The Carmen is a coffee that could be compared to other top Central American coffees. It has a similar profile to Intelligentsia’s Tortuga from Honduras, although I find the Tortuga to be more bright in the finish than the Carmen. It is a wonderful coffee, excellent for the evening. I didn’t really manage to get any sort of tasting notes when I was drinking it, and I must say my palate is still developing… I am nowhere near the level of where I want to be, so I won’t get too detailed.

The Esmeralda is beyond coffee. I managed to get a total of about 10 oz., pressed by Drew at Elysian. 19g/3.5 minute extraction in a 12 oz Bodum was the first press, the second one was the larger press with 45g (30 oz press?). I spent almost a minute just getting my head around the aroma. Being in a coffee shop, I am guessing my perception of a “coffee” smell would have been diminished, but the dominant aroma seemed to be something like oolong tea, surprisingly flowery. It has substantial body (at least, this is what I found… I have seen comments saying it may be less than other Centrals… I thought it was fairly heavy) and is very smooth. The Esmeralda almost comes across as not being coffee. More like tea. If you ever get an opportunity to try this coffee, go out of your way to taste it. Seriously.

Other than the tastings, I have been busy with school. It’s midterm time at UBC. Tomorrow is a physics exam. Should be alright.

There’s some great bands coming to Vancouver still. It’s never ending here. I hope to see Shout Out Out Out Out, Stars, and Broken Social Scene. On Thursday night, Luke Chable, a DJ from Australia is spinning records, and I really want to see him, but financial and sleep factors are restricting. It’s too bad… he’s just finished up a collaboration with local breaks gurus Shiloh. Gah. I’ll console myself by getting out to see Stars in November. Mmm… Stars.

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On tap

49th Parallel El Salvador La Montaña
Excellent coffee for everyday drinking. Well expressed acidity and classic El Salvador profile.

Bulleit Bourbon
By far the best bourbon available in BC for the price. $35 for a bottle gets you the highest rye content bourbon on the market. Lots of spice and typical bourbon corn sweetness. Excellent on its own, but also makes a mean Old Fashioned. Better than Knob Creek in my books and pretty close to Woodford Reserve.

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