A stellar Gesha coffee, perfumed florals, jasmine and orange blossom, along with a clean, honeyed sweetness. Fresh tropical fruits, red punch, herbal and black tea flavors, and brilliant acidity in the cooling cup. "Gesha" characteristics all the way. City to City+.
We've been waiting with much anticipation for our first 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 sweetness: 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 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 jasmine and sweet pea flowers, thus living up to the expectations. It's a potent ground coffee with lots of herb/floral tea complexity, and loaded with citrus smells - limeade spritzer, and Meyer lemons. The wet aromatics are where these smells reach their apex, a heightened floral smell is backed by a solid wildflower honey sweetness, rose water, and peach blossom tea. Like most coffees, when hot the full complexity of this coffee's cup profile is a bit difficult to sense, though floral notes and brisk acidity are apparent. But as soon as the temp begins to dip, you're greeted with the same level of intensity as the aromatic profile, City/City+ roasts showing star jasmine and kaffir lime, herbal tea notes, and honey sweetness. Fruit juice flavors like pomello, mandarin orange, and pink grapefruit linger. Acidity is high, riding the line between malic to citric. 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 in roasts beyond City+. With our sample roasts we found City+ to be about the optimal roast level for complexity and sweetness, but have even enjoyed Full City territory in previous years. Moisture content is average (around 11%), but the bean is dense and large, and I found that the coffee benefited from a handful of seconds beyond the completion of 1st crack, ensuring roast evenness.