Acatenango Gesha has perfumed florals, jasmine and orange blossom, along with a clean, honeyed sweetness. The cooling cup is complex, with fresh tropical fruits, red punch, herbal and black tea flavors, and brilliant acidity. This coffee cups "Gesha" all the way, and makes for a stunning cup of coffee. City to City+ recommended.
We've been waiting with much anticipation for our 2nd container of Guatemalan coffee, as not only did it hold our first Huehuetenango coffees of the year, but it was also transporting the prized lot of Gesha from the Acatenango region. We've bought this Gesha the past few years, and once again we're absolutely thrilled with the landed coffee. Floral scents, tropical fruit, intense sweentess: This cup is Gesha all the way. If you don't know the story of the Gesha cultivar, it is an old coffee type from Ethiopia that was brought to an experimental coffee garden in Costa Rica years ago as a specimen sample. It was distributed to a few farms for testing on small plots, but not much was thought of it until one of these, Esmeralda in Panama, separated it from the other cultivars and entered it in the national competition. It was so outrageously different, with fruited and floral character like a Yirga Cheffe coffee from half a world away. Now that the word is out, other small farms that received some of the seed have tried to separate their Gesha coffee as well, as is the case here. The results are always a bit different: the cultivar "expresses" itself differently in terms of cup flavors at each location, influenced by weather, soil, altitude and the like. And with this coffee from the region of Acatenango, we have a Gesha cup that expresses much of that floral intensity that's become synonymous with the "Gesha" name. Harvest was quite productive this year as the owner of the farm has dedicated more of his farm to this varietal, which after putting it to the cup test we've decided is a very good thing.
This year's Gesha lot has such a floral sweetness to it - perfume-like, sweet, complex, and 'fresh' - a set of aromatics I readily associate with Summertime. A set of attributes uniquely 'Gesha', and we're as bowled over by this years' lot as any. The dry fragrance is exceptionally floral, with strong notes of honeysuckle and jasmine flowers, thus living up to the expectations. It's a potent ground coffee with lots of herb/floral tea complexity, as well as smells of sweet citrus spritz and stone fruits. The wet aromatics are even 'bigger' if you can imagine, rivaling the experience of putting your nose directly into the bud of orange blossoms - seriously, almost as strong a retronasal reaction occurs! This heightened floral smell is backed by a solid wildflower honey sweetness, rose water, and chamomile tea leaf. Like most coffees, when hot the full complexity of this coffee's cup profile is a bit difficult to sense. But as soon as the temp begins to dip, you're greeted with the same level of intensity in floral notes and sweetness as the aromatic profile. City/City+ roasts have a nice star jasmine flavor to them with kaffir lime, herbal tea, and honey. It's 'zesty' too, with notes of pomello, Meyer lemon, and mandarin orange citrus flavors. Acidity is high, riding the line between citric and malic, and remains well integrated into the already complex profile. Much, much more is revealed in the cooling cup - tropical fruit flavors, punchy top notes, and various herbal and black tea flavors. This Gesha has surprisingly juicy body, and finishes beautifully with notes of Assam tea and even a light dusting of cocoa powder - articulate and clean. With our sample roasts we found City+ to be about the optimal roast level for complexity and sweetness, but even our Full City retained much of the "Gesha" profile.