There is no other coffee quite like it. It is an extremely aromatic coffee, which you notice as soon as the water hits the cup – you can detect the sweet floral, citrus blossom, jasmine and sweet honey fragrances immediately.
A bergamot-like finish and a distinct though delicate acidity are typical for its cup profile.
Ric Rhinehart, a professional coffee cupper, owner of Groundwork Coffee Co. and head of the SCAA summed up the experience of judging the Esmeralda Special at the 2006 Best of Panama as follows: “This cup not only had flavors that matched the aroma in intensity and complexity, but added in a perfectly attenuated acidity, solid body and an overall sweetness that made for what may be the most complete cup of coffee I have ever had the pleasure of tasting.”
Geoff Watts, green buyer for Intelligentsia: When he tasted Esmeralda Especial, the coffee was so aromatic, he said he felt as if streams of light were pouring out of it.
Don Holly, quality control manager for Green Mountain Coffee in Vermont, at the 2006 Best of Panama: “I am the least religious person here and when I tasted this coffee I saw the face of God in a cup”.
Some call Panama the birthplace of the Geisha coffee. Well, the bean of course did not originate there, but Panama is definitely the place where it was commercially grown for the first time, made known to the world and where, at least for now, it found its perfect home.
The Geisha varietal was introduced to Panama by Don Pachi in the 1960’s, back then an employee of the Ministry of Agriculture, who brought it from Costa Rica as a varietal with resistance to leave rust and shared it with his neighbors. The resulting trees however, with their low yield and mediocre taste were considered a flop.
But then the varietal got the chance to really show what it can do, by being planted and grown at high altitude (about 1.600 mts and up) and in a climate and in soil that would later turn out to provide its perfect home. It began to call the attention of judges and other international coffee connoisseurs, for the first time at the 2004 Best of Panama competition, and continues to surprise ever since, with a flavor and an aroma profile so different from anything else coming out of Central or Latin America.
More and more farmers are starting to grow Geisha coffee on their Fincas. Due to the before mentioned multitude of micro climates the variety in taste and aroma profiles of different Geishas produced in Panama is amazing.
The Geisha plant is very elegant – it grows very tall and with elongated leaves, cherries and beans.
Fact is – the Geisha varietal is a truly astounding coffee!