The History of Panama Geisha Coffee: Origins to Present Day

coffee news, coffee blog, coffee capsules, whole bean coffee, ground coffee, specialty coffee, speciality coffee, geisha coffee, Geisha Coffee Beans, best coffee in the world, Best Coffee Beans in the World, best coffee beans, best coffee, Panamanian Geisha coffee beans, panamanian Geisha coffee, panama geisha coffee beans, Panama Geisha Coffee, panama geisha, panama coffee,

In the world of gourmet coffee, few names (if any) carry the same prestige and pedigree of Panama geisha coffee, widely considered the best coffee beans in the world. This highly regarded commodity has achieved a cult-like following in recent years, impressing even the most seasoned connoisseurs with its unique flavour profile and exceptional quality.

But as is the case with most ultra-premium products, true enjoyment and appreciation begin with understanding its history and heritage.  Something that rings true with Panamanian Geisha coffee beans, which contrary to popular belief has no connection whatsoever with Japanese culture.


The origin of Panamanian Geisha coffee can be traced back to Ethiopia - the true birthplace of coffee. The Geisha variety - also known as Gesha coffee - was discovered in the 1930s in the Gori Gesha Forest, in the western part of the country. The indigenous Ethiopian farmers were the first to cultivate and appreciate the unique qualities of Geisha beans.


The journey of Geisha coffee to Panama than take place until a couple of decades later. In the 1950s, the Costa Rican government initiated a coffee exchange program, through which they sent Geisha plants to various Central and South American countries.

In Panama, specifically, a small number of Geisha plants were brought to the renowned Boquete region, located in the fertile soil of the Chiriquí province.


For many years, these Geisha plants were little more than a novelty in Panama. They were an interesting addition to the existing coffee varieties, but were not given much attention or significance.

In fact, it wasn't until the early 2000s that the Geisha beans would start to gain recognition for their extraordinary characteristics.


The turning point for Geisha coffee came when Hacienda Esmeralda, a coffee farm in Panama owned by the Peterson family, entered a competition in 2004. They submitted their Geisha coffee to the Best of Panama competition, a prestigious event that draws attention from coffee experts worldwide.

To the surprise of everyone in attendance – including themselves – their Geisha coffee won the competition with an unprecedented score of 94.1 out of 100, shattering all previous records.

The Geisha coffee produced by Hacienda Esmeralda was recognised for its unique enchanting flavours and aromas - jasmine, bergamot, tropical fruit – creating something nobody at the event had experienced before.

This unexpected and sudden success ignited a global obsession with Panama Geisha coffee, which has remained ever since.


Overnight, Panama Geisha coffee became the talk of the coffee world. Its fame quickly spread to high-end specialty coffee shops, where it commanded the kinds of prices never before seen for premium coffee.

Geisha auctions became the norm, attracting bids that reached staggering amounts, as specialty coffee traders competed to claim some of the limited stocks available.


The extraordinary success of Hacienda Esmeralda inspired other coffee growers in Panama to explore the true potential of their Geisha plants. Farms throughout the Boquete region and other parts of Panama began investing heavily in cultivating and nurturing their Geisha crops.

This focus on quality and attention to detail propelled Panama Geisha coffee beans to new heights, solidifying its reputation as one of the finest coffees in the world.


Today, coffee farms in Panama have become tourist attractions, with visitors flocking from all over the world to see how this remarkable commodity is produced. Consistently high demand for Geisha coffee has enabled farmers to invest in sustainable practices, benefitting local communities and the environment.

From its humble origins, Geisha coffee has embarked on a remarkable journey that single-handedly change to the global coffee history forever.

Something to think about, next time you sit down to savour a cup of this true one-of-a-kind coffee variety, considered by many the best coffee in the world!

You can now order freshly roasted 100% Panama Geisha coffee from Hayman’s online store. It is available in different size options, from a small 100g (3.5oz) box to a large 680g (24oz) one. You can also choose different formats, as our Panama Geisha is available as whole bean, ground, coffee capsules compatible with Nespresso®* machines, and coffee pods compatible with Keurig K Cup coffee maker (incl. Keurig 2.0 models)** – click here to order your Gesha coffee now, we offer free worldwide shipping!


* Nespresso® is a registered trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., unrelated to Hayman ®. Our espresso pods are not created or sold by Nespresso®. 

** Keurig and K-Cup are registered trademarks of Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. unrelated to Hayman®. Our pods are not created or sold by Keurig®.