Cupping' event is much like wine tasting, but the beverage is coffee
A coffee aficionado visiting Blvd Coffee in Los Gatos recently said the most expensive coffee in the world is called Panama Esmeralda Geisha.
At between $50 and $60 for a 12-ounce bag, or $10 a cup, its fragrance, aroma and taste drew raves from coffee drinkers.
It has been ranked No. 1 in numerous "cupping" competitions, including those held in Long Beach and Seattle and by the Rainforest Alliance.
Humberto Olvera recently invited Todd Elliott from Tony's Coffees & Teas to host a cupping event at Blvd Coffee, 15525 Los Gatos Blvd., where the blend is available in small quantities.
A cupping is simply a coffee tasting party where participants use special sterling silver spoons to sip samples of such brews as Panama Esmeralda Geisha.
"Tasting coffee like this, you don't want to put anything in it," Olvera said. "Coffee like this is a whole new religion."
During the cupping event, Elliott explained that coffee is ranked--and priced--by its dry fragrance, wet aroma and taste.
As a subset, taste includes a coffee's acidity, sweetness, body and balance. "In the coffee world, the most prized thing is a clean, sweet acidity," Elliott said.
"Holy mackerel, that's got some stuff in it," taster George Paganini exclaimed. "This is as good as a wine tasting." Paganini was talking about a coffee called Sulawesi that's described as having "layers of caramelized sweetness, citrus and maple."
"I taste Tootsie Roll when I taste Sulawesi,"