Geisha Coffee

Geisha Coffee

Despite the name “geisha,” this exotic coffee variety comes from the Gori Gesha forest in Ethiopia. Demand for the cultivar keeps rising because of its rarity, exclusivity, and unique flavor profile. Is geisha specialty coffee worth trying? Let’s discuss everything you need to know about its recent craze from coffee lovers.

Is Geisha Coffee Worth Trying?

Geisha coffee is worth trying. It is full-bodied with fantastic floral and fruity notes. Mango, bergamot, jasmine, and peach are some of the samples hidden within. Geisha coffee’s flavor comes from the forest environment where farmers grow it, and the purity of taste comes from selective harvesting processes. It is a third-wave specialty coffee.

Altogether, it is one of the world’s most naturally sweet cultivars. It bears many of the deep, flavorful tendencies of other African coffees. Geisha is also moderately acidic, making it friendly for drinkers with sensitive stomachs. Not only is it an Arabica coffee, but it is also a genetic offshoot. Many so-called ‘Arabica’ varieties are hybrids. 

While Geisha coffee is worth trying, it can be costly. The cultivar’s rarity causes high prices, and it has relatively few distributors. The growing method is also meticulous, requiring extended labor and pristine environmental conditions. Sourcing yourself a bag of beans may cost sixty or seventy dollars. 

However, if you can get a cup of Geisha coffee, you’ll immediately taste the difference. There are many regions where farmers carefully cultivate it, from Colombia to Guatemala. Each brings its own set of flavors, notes, and culture to the mix.

Of all the regions, Panama Geisha coffee beans are the most expensive and reputable variety of coffee in the world. It is known for its mango and mandarin flavor notes. It repeatedly gets 90-plus scores in a 100-point scoring system adopted by Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) to evaluate coffee quality.

Geisha Icon

Geisha coffee taste is perfect for enthusiasts or coffee connoisseurs. Try a cup at a high-end cafe or brew some on your own. However you do it, it is worth sampling one of the world’s most unique and prized coffees.

Where Are the Best Geisha Beans Grown and Processed?

The area with the best climate for growing geisha coffee is Central America. Several countries and islands in the region, like El Salvador, Honduras, and Colombia, grow the cultivar. Of all of them, Panama produces the best geisha beans, but each area brings unique flavors and notes to the blend.

Let’s examine the growing process to see why geisha beans are so expensive. Like most Arabica coffees, it starts by picking the best coffee cherries by hand. Farmers scrutinize and select top-quality fruits. For geisha, the ripest ones are the sweetest. After the initial picking, the crop goes through more layers of quality inspection.

When processing time comes, farmers use either wet or dry methods to transform them. In the wet process, producers thoroughly wash the coffee cherries to remove the skin and pulp around them. Then, they put them in a pool of water, removing the fruits with less density. Finally, fermentation removes the last bits of mucus left on the beans.

The dry method involves sun-drying the beans for several weeks or months. After the allotted time, farmers peel off the cherry layers by hand. Throughout the drying process, workers rake the beans to absorb more flavors and prevent rotting. 

The processing mode varies depending on where the geisha beans grow, but most Central American farmers use the dry or “natural” method. The laborious several-week procedure is one of the reasons why the coffee is of excellent quality at a high price.

What Other Producers Harvest Geisha Around the World?

Central America may be the growing hub for geisha coffee, but it has widespread influence. Many farmers in Africa and Asia grow and produce beans with their original flair. While African makers have cultivated it since its discovery in Ethiopia, Asian producers have picked up the craft because of its growing popularity. 

In Africa, Tanzania and Malawi are two of the best-known cultivating regions. In Tanzania, farmers primarily grow peaberry geisha coffee beans. These have only one seed inside each cherry, producing a far more natural and old-school crop. The result is an earthy cup with vintage airs since peaberries were popular in the past.

Malawi is gaining traction for its geisha production. Farmers in the country grow their beans alongside bourbon, giving it an almost wine-like fermentation and quality assurance process. Malawian geisha is creamy, fruity, and moderately acidic. Many farms rest on the banks of Lake Malawi, which gives the coffee its rich mouthfeel.

In Asia, Singapore is a reputable geisha producer. Coffee farmers in the region cultivate beans that have natural fruit flavors and creaminess. As a result, cafes in the area insist that you should enjoy geisha without any milk or creamer, giving way to its natural taste. 

Singaporean geisha is still labor-intensive to produce but at a lower price point. It’s more accessible than expensive Central American coffees. As you can expect, the ease of access comes with a slight quality drop. Singaporean geisha is delicious but lacks the keen environmental touch and quality assurance other regions have.

Where Can You Find Gesha Coffee Beans Now?

Geisha coffee is purchasable online and in stores. Various brands like Volcanica, Third Wave, and Coffee ++ sell original blends using the beans. Hayman Coffee is one of the most notable vendors, shipping high-quality bags across Europe. Since farmers grow them worldwide, the internet is one of the most convenient places to find geisha beans.

Kirkland Signature is a brand that distributes to everyday retailers. Thanks to them, you can find Panama Geisha blends in stores like Target and Wal-Mart. Remember that the price for a bag of geisha beans is still high, even at budget stores. Convenient retailers also struggle with stocking shortages, meaning that geisha beans’ availability varies. 

In some regions, you can find geisha for sale in coffee shops. The trend grew significantly in Singapore, and thus there are many vendors in the area. In America, the beans are a bit too expensive for general brewing, so only high-end cafes will sell you a cup. Ultimately, the best way to find and source online and brew geisha coffee yourself.

Geisha is available in every form that other beans are. Whole-bean coffee is the most common form, but you can buy grounds, K-cups, and more

Ultimately, the seasonality and rarity of geisha beans restrict their availability both in stores and online. Since the growing season is between January and April, that is the best timeframe to buy Geisha coffee for yourself. Otherwise, you may end up on a waitlist, as these high-labor beans take lots of time and money to grow, produce, and distribute. 

Geisha Coffee Container

How Do You Brew a Proper Cup of Geisha Coffee?

Properly brewing a cup of geisha coffee begins with delicately storing the beans. They’ll maintain a full flavor if you keep them somewhere dry and dark. When you’re ready to make your cup of this famous coffee, only take exactly as many beans as you need. Geisha coffee is expensive, and ground coffee loses flavor quickly, so don’t overestimate your appetite. 

Select your favorite grinder, drip machine, or French press. The larger the burr, the more finely ground the mix will be, and the better it will taste. Use a good water ratio to keep the flavor strong. It’s about a half ounce per 300 ml of water. You can adjust the ratio for your desired depth and strength.

Water quality matters for the perfect cup, too. Never use boiling water. Let it cool for a minute before pouring. Filtering it will make a noticeable impact on taste, too.

Finally, most brewers and connoisseurs suggest enjoying geisha beans without additives. You don’t need creamer or sugar since the blend is moderately acidic and naturally sweet. The flavor is so delicate that adding other ingredients may mask it too much.

Follow the above rules to make a perfect cup of geisha coffee. 

What’s the Big Rush To Try Geisha Now?

Geisha coffee became so popular due to its recent successes in worldwide auctions. It is always a contender for the most expensive bean in the world. In 2018, Elida Estate’s geisha beans broke the record for the highest price paid at a coffee auction. Their beans sold for $803 and $661 per pound.

Geisha beans are also more available than ever since more farms are growing the laborious cultivar. Across Central America, Africa, and Asia, its rarity is slowly diminishing. More distributors are selling their products online and to stores where the average buyer can access them.

The exposure from all angles has opened coffee enjoyers’ eyes to the taste of geisha coffee. It sparked interest in connoisseurs as they tried every region’s brew to determine the best. As a rare genetic relative of Arabica coffee, it is purer than most hybrid beans.

For some, geisha’s popularity has to do with its name. Many consumers mistakenly think the coffee comes from Japan and is named after its feminine performers. As a result, the beans have a reputation for subverting and exceeding expectations. Enthusiasts are eager to correct peoples’ misconceptions about it.

Final Thoughts

We discussed geisha coffee, its popularity, and where to get it. Did you enjoy learning about this rare cultivar? Remember to brew your cup carefully with warm, filtered water and a thorough grind. Feel free to tell me your thoughts in the comments and share this article if you like it.

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