Geisha has secured its place as the legendary variety that ignited a fire within specialty coffee. It was the first rallying point for those who believe you can never “arrive” at excellence in coffee - the variety that changed our paradigm around what currently defines high end and opened our thinking to imagine what it would continue to become.
Geisha had a long and storied journey before being re-discovered in Panama at the turn of the century. In the mid 1900’s it was taken from the forests of Western Ethiopia near Sudan, the homeland of coffee, distributed as a test variety to farmers in Costa Rica, then slowly made its way to Panama. It slipped into quiet obscurity until it was re-discovered by a dairy farmer in Panama, carefully cultivated, and entered into the 2004 Taste of Panama Competition. It won by a landslide and has received world fame since. This variety has evolved to retain some of the most prized characteristics of the mother tree while also developing new attributes and flavors.
The Gesha Village project, run by Rachel Samuel and her husband Adam Overton, has brought this varietal back to the Bench Maji region of Ethiopia to bring us an insanely sweet and juicy cup. We taste lots of floral notes like Jasmine and Rose as well as distinctive tropical fruit like açaí berry and pomegranate.
The prodigal variety, changed by its travels, has come back to its native soil.