Exactly what it is that matters most when judging the merits of any particular type of coffee? It will always vary from one person to the next! Which is precisely why there are tens of thousands of different types of coffee available these days, as opposed to just one.
Instead, we’re presented with a rich (and often incredibly complicated) tapestry of coffees, each and every day. But there are nonetheless certain examples which, in professional circles at least, never fail to earn the kind of acclaim that goes over and above anything everyday. And when considering each of these examples like for like, there’s one specific type of coffee bean that consistently blows away even the most hard-to-please of critics.
Part simply, Geisha coffee beans are in a league of their own.
Chances are, you have tried and tested a fair few quality coffees in your life and can tell a premium product when presented with one. Which begs the question – how is it that one type of coffee can so clearly outshine all others? Especially when considering the fact that we all have different tastes – why is it that Geisha coffee beans have emerged as perhaps the best of the best?
Well, it’s quite simply because there is no other coffee in the world that is quite the same as Geisha coffee. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be an outright connoisseur, the moment you taste the stuff, you know exactly what all the fuss is about.
The second the water combines with the coffee, rich fragrances of sweet honey, jasmine, citrus blossom and beautiful floral notes burst from the cup like you wouldn’t believe. The flavour is extraordinarily complex though beautifully balanced, with a delicate acidity and a lingering finish with a characteristic note of bergamot.
Suffice to say, Geisha coffee exists to be savoured, not simply thrown down as an everyday drink of java.
“This cup not only had flavours 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.” - Ric Rhinehart, owner of Groundwork Coffee Co. and head judge at many leading coffee competitions.
“I am the least religious person here and when I tasted this coffee I saw the face of God in a cup”. - Don Holly, quality control manager for Green Mountain Coffee in Vermont
Even today, the precise origins of Geisha coffee beans remain something of a mystery. Or at least, in reference to when it was first grown specifically for the purposes of producing absolutely incredible coffee. Those who don’t take the time to look a little deeper into things will probably tell you that Geisha coffee beans come from Panama. Which today may be somewhat true, as Panama was the first place larger commercial plantations were set up to cultivate, prepare and distribute Geisha coffee beans on a wider basis. This started happening back in the 1960s, but it was actually back in the 1930s that the beans were first discovered in the mountains around the South-western town of Gesha, Ethiopia.
Hence, where the name comes from! Tall, robust and with characteristically elongated leaves, it’s relatively easy to single out Geisha trees from other more conventional coffee trees.
When Geisha coffee was first cultivated commercially in Panama, the project was a bit of a failure. Nevertheless, growers decided to have another go at producing Geisha coffee beans – this time at a much higher elevation and with the kind of soil it soon turned out to be absolutely perfect for this kind of coffee. Even so, it wasn’t until 2004 during the Best of Panama competition that Geisha coffee beans burst out into the open as a truly extraordinary product for connoisseurs.
Since then, the popularity of Geisha coffee beans has been growing ever since. And so too has the exclusivity and price of the stuff – this really is one of the most sought-after and prestigious coffees ever to have been grown commercially.
Over the years, Geisha coffee beans grown at a variety of different altitudes in different micro-climates have emerged presenting all manner of different aroma and taste profiles, which in most instances are every bit as mind blowing as every other. But in all instances, it is once again the same case where just seconds into the growing process, you know you’re in for something seriously special.
Just be warned that once you’ve had your first experience of premium Geisha coffee beans, it will change the way you look at coffee in general for the rest of your life!
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