Hacienda La Esmeralda works its magic for the second year in a row.

In today’s “Best of Panama” Specialty Coffee online auction hosted by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and the Specialty Coffee Association of Panama, green specialty coffee beans from the Hacienda La Esmeralda estate sold to Volcafe Specialty Coffee, LLC for the extraordinary price of US$20.10 a pound. The winning bid is due to the high quality of this prize-winning coffee, which was sought by several bidders. In comparison, commercial-grade coffee currently trades in commodity markets for around US$1.20 a pound. Specialty coffee is defined as a coffee that has no defects and a distinctive flavor in the cup.

Hacienda La Esmeralda recently won first place at the SCAA’s Cupping Pavilion competition in April 2005 and first place at the Rainforest Alliance Cupping competition in 2004. Last year, coffee from Hacienda La Esmeralda set an online coffee auction record when it sold for US$21 dollars a pound.

Who, you might ask, is this buyer… this Volcafe? One of world’s largest coffee traders, Volcafe buys and sells some 15% of the planet’s coffee supply. All this goes to say that, it’s possible some of this year’s top auction lot may show up at a roaster near you… And if it does, you’ll pay dearly for it.

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