Today’s Globe and Mail (Canada) reported on the arrival of the $15-a-cup (CAN$) Hacienda la Esmeralda Especial at Vancouver’s Caffè Artigiano: globeandmail.com: Pay up and smell the coffee. [alternative link: The Tyee — Coffee Hits $15 at the Pump.] Kopi luwak pretenders, take notice.

The Panamanian coffee won the 2007 Roasters Guild Cupping competition at the 2007 SCAA annual conference. The coffee was sold in an online auction for a record $130 a pound to a consortium of roasters, including Coffee Klatch Roasting, Groundwork Coffee Company, Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea, The Roasterie, Roastmasters.com, Zoka Coffee Roaster and Tea Co., and 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters. That last British Columbia roaster supplied Caffè Artigiano for exclusive retail distribution of the coffee in Canada.

In unrelated news, thanks to the aforementioned The Roasterie for recently supplying me with a test batch of their Super Tuscan Espresso blend — recently rated a 90 on Kenneth DavidsCoffeeReview. It produced some great crema at home at one week after roasting — even if it was a touch too mellow and muted to rank among my favorite espresso profiles.

Even if the Italians don't call their wine, 'Super Tuscan'... The Roasterie Super Tuscan Espresso home brewed