Rose / Honey / Lemon Tea
Gesha, the most sought-after variety in specialty coffee today, has an epic story to match its legendary status. In 1936, the Kenyan Director of Agriculture tasked Captain Richard Whalley with collecting ten pounds of wild coffee seeds from around the Gesha Mountain, in what is now Ethiopia. These were to be contributed to a census of the hundreds of regional micro-mutations of the wild coffee in its place of origin, the forests of Ethiopia. The ultimate goal was to find the most viable genetic strains to spread throughout Britain’s colonies in the New World. The seeds were eventually spread to Costa Rica, via Tanzania.
The contemporary legend begins on Finca La Esmeralda where, in 2004, the Peterson family won the Best of Panama competition for what was the first 100% Gesha lot ever produced. Previously, the family had discovered that their Gesha trees, which were mixed in with other varieties, were showing the greatest resistance to coffee leaf rust. Daniel chose to spread the variety throughout the farm, and as a result planted it at higher elevations than ever before. For the 2004 competition, they chose to separate lots by region of the farm — one of which was a high-grown pure Gesha lot which went on to win the competition and set a record price for coffee.
These events led to the discovery of Gesha as we know it today. It is a variety marked with unparalleled aromatics. The cup is generally very bright, with sparkling citric acidity. The low supply and uniquely rare cup experience have driven the market for this variety incredibly high.
This lot we are offering comes from a farm in Acatenango, Guatemala. It was grown on a family-owned farm established in the 1940s. Gesha seeds were first planted on this farm in the 1990s, well before the legendary events of La Esmeralda. These seeds likely were spread through the same channels that lead them to the Petersons. The producers of this lot own 350 hectares — 150 of which are dedicated to coffee production, with the remaining 200 left as natural forest.
Post-harvest, this lot has been washed using disk-depulpers and allowed to ferment for 24 hours. It was passed through long washing channels for density separation before heading to the patios for drying.
This offering carries all the typifiers of the classic Gesha. The aromas are highly floral, with notes of rose and jasmine. In the cup you will find notes of white grape and honey with a sparkling citric acidity that reminds us of lemon tea. The body is slightly higher than what is found in many newer Gesha crops, which aids in supporting the brighter tones.
* Our production of this offering is limited to seventy-five 8-ounce jars. The final roast will be done on Monday, December 19. All online orders will ship from this batch.