On Geishas (or Geshas)
I suppose now is not only the season for cheer but for Geishas as well. There has been an awful lot of talk and releases of Geishas. Recently, Starbucks has released a Costa Rica Finca Palmilera Geisha selling for $40 per pound, Verve has released two Geshas; Panama Elida Green Tip Gesha, as well as, Finca Los Lajones Gesha, and CoffeeReview.com cupped a K-CUP Geisha that scored a 91! (yeah, you read that last line right)
With so much Geisha action, I felt I had to get in on it. Portola Coffee Lab had had the Natural processed Panama Don Pachi Geisha a short while back, and I thought that I had missed out. However, this past Friday they announced that Jeff Duggan (owner of Portola) had bought the “Entire Lot” of Don Pachi. Last year, this Geisha auctioned off at $111/lbs. They Roasted the beans on Friday and were serving it at Theorem, and selling at 58g for $22 or 8oz for 60 ducks. Because I wouldn’t be able to make the Brew Bar Hours at Theorem I decided to buy a 58g container. Now some people might think that paying $22 for 56g of coffee is a little nuts (like my partner’s family, my family, and my friends). Multiply this by the fact that I’m broke and add the suggested usage of splitting 58g between two pour-overs. Then, you’ve probably calculated me as insane by now. However, you probably forgot to factor in that this coffee is also INSANE! so it pretty much cancels out my insanity.
"Even if I never brew this coffee"
It would be worth every penny. The dry aroma is off the charts. My ability to pick up on dry aroma has always been weak. Every now and again I’m able to really focus in on the dry aromas. However, with this Geisha it isn’t necessary. The dry aroma is so potent. Even my partner who usually abstains from caffeine (aside from the occasional, or rather, almost daily boba) was able to pick up on some scents. I was able to pick up Vanilla, Whiskey, Canned Pineapple, Brown Sugar, and Banana.
My partner and her family were able to pick up on similar scents like Vanilla, Whiskey, Oak, and Chickory. She was quite impressed by the aroma as well.
A few of my co-workers picked up on scents like Grape and Habanero.
"You’re talking to the foo that eats coffee beans"
Now in a method that is unorthodox (but revolutionary) my friend likes to eat coffee beans. Most people think he is nuts, I think he is a visionary. I dream of the day when we will look back and try to remember the days when we cupped without eating the beans first. Even in his ill state he was able to taste a brown liquor when he eat one bean.
Knowing that I do not have the proper equipment to do this coffee justice and wanting to share this experience I decided to take this coffee to work and share it with the head roaster and another co-worker. Wanting to spread out the coffee as much as possible we decide to forego the suggestion of splitting it into two pour-overs and we decided to brew 16 g with 8 oz of water in a Chemex. We tested this out on a Mexico 3rd place COE coffee. We liked the results and went forward with brewing the Geisha in the same way.
The notes of this coffee were amazing! At first you get a frontal assault of spice, a myriad of cinnamon, ginger and other warm spices. This assualt subsides and introduces you to a delicate body with jasmine and lilac notes, all the while, vanilla is playing softly in the background. As the cup begins to cool the spice turns to a brown sugar sweetness and brown butter savoriness and body. They mouth-feel is butter and the finish throughout the cup is makes you think that this coffee has been aged in a rich oak wood barrel. Or to put it in the words of a my co-worker “Knee buckling”
If you have not had the pleasure of having this coffee run (don’t walk) to Portola to scoop some up. I also have plans to pick up one of Verve’s Geshas so be on the look out for that review!