"When Geoff Watts, the buyer for Intelligentsia, tasted Hacienda La Esmeralda Special at the Panama coffee competition, the coffee was so aromatic he said he felt as if streams of light were pouring out of it. But the remark that got the coffee world's attention came from Don Holly, quality control manager for Green Mountain Coffee in Vermont. When Dontasted Esmeralda Special for the first time, he said the coffee was so transporting that when he tasted it, he 'saw the face of god in the cup.'
"From the first moment the judges leaned over the small white porcelain 'cupping' bowls and sniffed, Esmeralda Special demanded their attention. The coffee hit them over their heads with a crazy perfume bath of floral and citrus. Within this heady brew, they detected fragrances no one had ever smelled in Panamanian coffee: ginger, blackberry, ripe mango, citrus blossom, and exotic bergamot. Many commented that Esmeralda Special was bursting with the kind of good acidity--coffee buyers call it brightness--that is rare in Latin America, but common in the best coffees from East Africa.
"Esmeralda Special quickly became one the biggest things to happen in the specialty coffee world. Soon high-end retail customers were spending crazy amounts of money for this rare little bean."
--From God in a Cup