Panama’s Elida Estate has Surprise Cameo on Billions

Has specialty coffee finally reached a pop-cultural tipping point?

Famed Panamanian coffee farm Elida Estate had an unexpected cameo in season six, episode four of the television series Billions. In the scene, Mike Prince, played by Corey Stoll, offers Kate Sacker, played by Condola Rashad, a cup of “Elida Geisha” prepared with a Chemex. With a listed price of $600, we can only guess it’s meant to be a Best of Panama-winning auction lot.

The cameo is a welcome change from Hollywood’s typical modus operandi of using Kopi Luwak to denote high-end, luxury coffee. In addition to the ethics of force-feeding animals coffee cherries, coffee professionals are almost universally against Kopi Luwak simply because it tastes bad. There’s nothing about passing through the digestive tract of an animal that will improve a coffee. Having tasted kopi lowak once, (an allegedly “ethically-produced” lot) let it suffice to say it wasn’t an experience I plan on repeating.

Elida Estate’s coffees, however, rank amongst the best coffees in the world. Those lucky enough to taste an auction lot from any of the Lamastus Family’s farms know it’s truly a transcendent experience. If we had billions, we would be drinking it every day too.

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