Geisha coffee, also called Gesha, is one of the most exclusive coffees in the world. It originally came from Ethiopia and now the most well known comes from a specific region in Panama. It is well known for its incredibly distinct flavor and high price.
Panama Geisha is grown in the highlands of the Boquete region in the Chiriqui Province of western Panama. The particular coffee that won these awards was Esmerelda Special grown by the farm Hacienda La Esmerelda where elevations are from 1450 to 1700 meters above sea level (qualifying as Strictly Hard Bean (SHB)) on the slopes of Volcan Baru.
Geisha coffee exhibits a subdued yet intense floral and jasmine-like aroma and a distinct though delicate acidity, balanced and bright with shimmers of white wine and notes of berries, mango, papaya, and mandarin oranges. The long aftertaste/finish provides distinct bergamot-like notes.
Coffee growing regions are regions with a combination of microclimates in a very specific area, Volcan Baru, which is the tallest mountain in Panama, The coffee cherries actually trace their roots to Ethiopia, but the process of growing the cherries was brought to perfection in Panama.
The main reason the Geisha coffee is so special is actually the plant itself. The variation of the regular coffee cherry which was originally from Ethiopia provides special characteristics that sets the coffee apart. Aside from that, the process of drying and roasting the beans is also unique to Geisha coffee.
All the beans are hand-picked on the Volcan Baru mountain by locals. They are then dried for a bit more than a week (8 days, to be specific) or until the beans reach the ideal humidity.
The taste of the coffee is considered to be top-quality. In fact, most coffees don’t even come close when it comes to the taste. Experts have described the coffee to have a flavor that is unmatched by any other coffee in the world. The flavor is described to be almost tea-like, and fruity, with a smooth and silky texture.
The price of the coffee is probably the most popular characteristic of Geisha coffee, which is a shame considering the incredibly history, flavor profile, and process behind the coffee. But what is the actual reason Geisha coffee is so expensive?