A fascinating inside look at the high-stakes world of specialty coffee In 2007, La Esmeralda Special, a crop of Geisha-variety coffee beans from the hills of western Panama, set an auction record when it sold for $130 a pound wholesale. What made this coffee so special? And just who were the bidders who drove the price so high, who 'saw God' in a cup of joe? Journalist Michaele Weissman decided to find out. Tagging along with coffee buyers from two of the country's most renowned specialty roasters, she embarked on an odyssey that would take her all the way to Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, and deep inside today's coffee-geek culture. Along the way, she attends a coffee cupping competition in Nicaragua, where judges detect flavors like tobacco and blueberry as they sniff, slurp, and spit. She visits remote coffee plantations and describes how direct coffee-buying deals are helping growers improve their lives. And she introduces us to a celebrity barista who scoffs at Starbucks and serves $12 lattes. For anyone who loves coffee, God in a Cup provides an unprecedented close-up look at the people, passions, and obsessions behind today's super-premium coffee culture. Michaele Weissman (Chevy Chase, MD) is a journalist and author whose work appears frequently in publications such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.