Roaster's tasting notes
Wild Strawberry, Ripe Tropical Fruit, Cacao Fudge, Raw Honey, Oolong, White Florals, Lime and Papaya Finish
Geisha is a rare and highly prized Arabica varietal, thought to have been first discovered in South-West Ethiopia in the 1930s, and quite distinct from the Bourbon and Typica varietals that form the basis of most of the coffee grown outside of Ethiopia and Yemen today. The varietal was “re-discovered” in 2004 when a farm in Panama won a competition and attracted record bids for a Geisha lot. Since then, the varietal has gained widespread prominence in the coffee world, with connoisseurs paying ever-increasing amounts for the very small sizes on offer in any given year.
Geisha seed stock is not readily available to farmers and the extra effort required to tend to the unwieldy, sprawling plants, which often have unconventionally low yields, means that the arrival of Geisha in a new season is almost a celebration for the buyers who can afford to purchase it. More and more growers in Central and Latin America and beyond have begun to plant this varietal, but for farmers growing it, typically only a small fraction of land under cultivation is dedicated to Geisha. The varietal, when grown and processed well, exhibits an “outlandish” cup quality, with exceptionally floral aromatics and very distinct tropical fruit burst flavours.
The coffee we present here certainly bears all of these hallmarks. This truly exceptional coffee comes from Finca La Gabriela in Antioquia, Colombia. La Gabriela has been in the family for 4 generations and is at the heart of the Cafe Lumbus family coffee project. Cafe Lumbus is owned by Catalina Vasquez and her family. Catalina’s grandmother, Gabriela, received the 26 hectare farm as a wedding present from her parents. Gabriela and her husband took the opportunity to provide for themselves by growing food and coffee on their new farm.
Fast forward to today, and La Gabriela is now considered a sacred place for the family. As Cafe Lumbus has grown and developed over the last 5 years, the family have made La Gabriela their “Garden of Eden”, where they grow rare and exotic Arabica varietals such as Java, Maragogype and Geisha. These are grown separately from other high quality varietals that they also grow such as Typica, Bourbon, Tabi, Caturra and Pacamara, although you will find the regular varietals of Castillo and Colombia also grown on the farm.
These coffee plants are grown in the rich, red, fertile and slightly alkaline soil that is found on the nine plots of land that make up La Gabriela. Forty-five employees in total work on the farm. They are overseen by manager Fabian and his wife Dora who cooks for all the employees. While on the farm, workers here have access to free Wifi.
In common with other coffees which Amoret currently offers, there is a huge emphasis placed on selectively picking only ripe cherry; there are signs positioned around the farm to help workers understand the importance this makes to the quality of the coffee!
This exclusive coffee comes from just one plot on the farm which was exclusively planted with Geisha trees 5 years ago. The coffee is carefully picked and selected before being taken to the wet mill where it is cleaned, floated and separated. After this, the cleaned cherry is taken to La Gabriela’s own dedicated drying house, built on the farm itself. This enclosure has 100 small beds where the cherry can be laid out and dried slowly in around 35 degree centigrade temperature. The cherry is manually turned 5 times a day to ensure even drying and the process continues for between 15 and 20 days until the cherry is ready to be hulled.
In the cup, expect a complex, multi-layered experience. The coffee exhibits different characteristics at different stages of the brewing process. Just like the greens, the roasted whole bean exhibits glorious hints of sweet,juicy, fruity goodness, hinting at tropical fruit punch and pear cider. Upon grinding, a huge waft of wild strawberry and ripe tropical fruit make their presence felt. Upon brewing, some more attributes reveal their presence, with distinct oolong tea and white floral aromas mingling in with the tropical fruit perfume. Taking the first few sips while still hot coats your palette in a cacao fudge and raw honey sweetness and draws you deeper into the brew. As the brew cools, the full force of the strawberry and ripe yellow fruit intoxicates your palette, and slowly transforms into a sweet lime and dried papaya cocktail, ending with the cleanest finish I have ever encountered in a naturally processed lot. A colossus of a coffee and worth every penny of your hard-earned cash.
*** La Gabriela is a Rainforest Alliance Certified (RFA) farm ***
This lot sourced by the ever-wonderful Falcon Specialty Coffee.