Better tasting coffee, exquisite experiences for our customers, more money paid for farmers
One of the most exciting aspects of our work with farmers is that we can now access extremely rare microlots of coffee. Over the next few months, watch for a spectacular selection of nano lots. The first in our lineup is a very limited release of 10 pounds of Geisha from a dear friend of ours, Roberto Suarez. His farm, Finca Suarez, is situated in Boquete, Panama with its famously favorable soil and climate. We wish we had some of his coffee to share with you, but by the time you read this, it will all be gone! Luckily, we have more Geisha lots on the way.
Geisha (or “Gesha”) is the name of a town in Ethiopia where this variety of coffee was “discovered” in the 1930s. It gained prominence in the early 2000s, after being cultivated in Panama, where high altitude, rich soils, and careful cultivation combined to create some of the most stunning flavors ever documented in coffee.
You may be wondering, with prices like $45 for an 8 oz bag of Finca Suarez Geisha, “Why is Geisha soooooo expensive?”
We’ve written previously about the reasons for the high price of coffee, but the Geishas are definitely in a league of their own.
Flavor: The obvious reason that Geisha is so expensive is because it’s so good! Frequently, Geishas have garnered scores of 95+ by respected coffee graders.
Yield: The Geisha plant yields a lot less fruit than some other varieties like Caturra or Catuai. The plant is temperamental and difficult to grow. Low yield can correspond to better flavor. The tree puts all its goodness into fewer cherries.
Demand: Because Geisha scores so high *and* yields so little, it’s actually not all that easy to buy Geisha at any price. Asian countries, especially Japan and Korea, have a leg up in getting the beans due to a favorable currency exchange rate and extremely food-centric and coffee-literature cultures. Japanese and Koreans spend a significantly higher portion of their disposable income on food, and coffee is all the rave right now.
For these reasons, our Geishas, which are all Direct Trade, cost up to five times as much as our other Direct Trade coffees. Keep your eyes and taste buds open for small batches of Geisha appearing on our shelves for the next several weeks. We’ll also have some Geishas on “tap” on our Slow Bar if you’d like to try just a taste of this rare and distinctive variety.
While the Finca Suarez Geisha (washed) isn’t coming back until 2016, starting next week, we’ll have one Geisha or another at all times, always in very small batches. Enjoy!