Geisha, no not the female performer from traditional Japanese. Unless you’re a serious coffee aficionado this name probably doesn’t mean too much to you. Don’t worry, that’s okay. It’s not as famous as the other coffees I’ve reviewed from Sea Island Coffee – their Jamaica Blue Mountain and Kopi Luwak. However, if this Geisha is like some of the ones that I’ve had in the past, you’ll want to stick around and learn a thing or two about it.
In Central America, specifically Costa Rica and Panama, Geisha is one of the most sought after types of coffee trees. Geisha’s have won all sorts of awards in the coffee world and the result is that it’s been sold at auction for $130 a pound. That’s $130 for a pound of green beans, coffee beans that haven’t even been roasted. Legend has it that the Geisha found in Latina America descended from Ethiopia where coffee more than likely originated. Research teams have been traveled deep into Ethiopia’s forest looking to match DNA from the Central America variety, to see if the two are really related.
It is grown on the Coffea Diversa plantation in Costa Rica, close to the Panamanian border. The plantation is incredibly special as it grows the largest number of different coffee varieties in the world. Coffea Diversa has pioneered the botanical garden approach to coffee cultivation in which aspect the Estate remains unique.
Geisha, one of the Ethiopian wild coffee varieties, is an ancient and very rare coffee variety. It has a soft, delicate profile with quietly complex aromatics that reward patient attention with notes of lavender, cocoa and hints of molasses.
Single Estate Name: Coffea diversa Garden
Region: Biolley, Southern Costa Rica
Altitude : 1200-1350 meters above sea level
Use of Shade Trees: Yes, Cedar, Inga and Erytrina shade trees
Total Rain per Year: 4000m
Processing Method: No mucilage removal and natural processing
Drying Method: Sun-dried
Flowering Period: February-March
Harvesting Period: October-February
Packaging: Vacuum packed 10 kg bags
This Geisha greeted me with a rich, sweet and spicy aroma. The kind of aroma that told me that this was a coffee to enjoy and experience. There hints varied from woody to melons to a mix of sugar and spices.
The coffee was smooth, with a thin body but was full of flavor and acidity.
A sweet syrup flavor flowed over my tasted buds, followed by a spicy, nutty flavor in back. There were hints of honey. It didn’t have the most flavors or hints, but the way everything worked together it was one of the most delicious sips that I’ve had in a while.
A half pound of Sea Island Coffee’s Geisha is £12.98 or about $20. It’s not cheap, but I have seen this variety fetching higher prices so if you want to try a Geisha, this is one to check out.
I have no complaints about Geisha, Costa Rica from Sea Island Coffee. It earned a high score of 4.25 on the Daily Shot Of Coffee scale. My recommendation is simple – try it!