What is "Gesha"? Great question! Gesha (or Geisha) is a varietal (or plant type) of coffee bean, discovered on a global stage in 2004 during a coffee competition in Panama. The Gesha varietal, originally from Ethiopia, made its way to Panama and was discovered by a farmer who separated the coffee out from the other lots and took a risk by entering the extremely unique coffee in the competition. That Gesha lot won the competition and created instant demand. The coffee created huge waves in the coffee scene and was quickly recognized as one of the most unique and special varietals within coffee. The story above led to record breaking prices for the Gesha Varietal within coffee (some lots have been $100/lb of green coffee and up) and created a lot of conversation around farming.
Earlier in 2013, before Craft & Mason was officially started, still in the planning stages, we had the opportunity to purchase a small amount of this varietal. It was our first official bean purchase and we have been waiting to release this special coffee! Our Geisha is from grower Julio Menedez Perez who runs the Finca El Zapote farm in the Acatenango region of Guatemala. This coffee is grown at 1600-1800 meters and is fully washed. We are thrilled to be able to offer Julio's Geisha as a limited offering at a reasonable price point. This coffee is roasted light because we love the delicate flavors. This coffee has a tea like quality and smells like Jasmine in the cup, flavor is light and flowery, with jasmine and lime on the finish with a honey sweetness. It is a great example of the work that farmers like Julio are doing in Guatemala and the possibilities that exist when we can source coffees that are purchased directly from the farmer.
Bringing the farmer into the value chain of coffee might be the single biggest thing that excites us. Purchasing lots such as this create a framework that allows farmers like Julio to create special lots of coffee and maintain the ability to support his family. We are thrilled to see that farming within specialty coffee has undergone dramatic and exciting changes over the last 15-20 years and can't wait to see the passion and innovation that farmers continue to bring to coffee. We are excited to be a small part of that.