General Esmeralda Gesha Roast: Pungent roast flavors of 2nd crack do harm to what this coffee is really about. This is a "2nd Crack is Taboo" coffee. Try to get it to a City or City+. Full City still has great aromatic complexity and perhaps more balance and body, but much less floral character
We have offered Esmeralda Especial Gesha for a decade now. Gesha (often spelled, wishfully, as Geisha) is a cultivar with strong Ethiopian roots. It's rare that a coffee variety announces itself so clearly in the cup flavors as the Gesha cultivar does in Panamanian coffee. Extremely floral in the aromatics, with loads of tropical fruit, light bodied and delicate on one hand, yet extremely flavorful and long-lasting on the palate. There is no other coffee quite like it. And other farms that have cultivated Gesha don't often attain the cup quality of the best Esmeralda Gesha. The Esmeralda Gesha makes blind cupping almost senseless, since I can identify its amazing fragrance, aroma and cup flavors immediately when I come upon it in a "blind" cupping! It is that dry fragrance that lets you know right away what is coming when the water hits the cup: incredible sweet floral, citrus blossom, sweet honey perfume atomized into the air. In terms of intensity, fruited and floral aspects, wet-processed Ethiopians and Kenyas are more in league with Gesha than any other Central American coffee. But it is difficult to price this sort of cup character. And when it is as exotic ...no, extraterrestrial ... as the Esmeralda Gesha, it is even more hard to quantify. In tasting the Gesha coffees, the cup flavors might seem less intense than the extreme aromatics. As the cup cools, perceived intensity and brightness will increase exponentially.
Aromatically, Gesha from Esmeralda is always a treat. Sweet dark berry aromatics with a floral accent, almost like fresh hopped beer. The wet aroma has jasmine and ripe cherry notes, honey, brown bread, and soft milk chocolate at slightly darker roast levels. The cup has a light-yet-juicy body. Interestingly, after these knock-out aromatics, the first sip of the hot brew can be a little bit underwhelming. Wait for the temperature to drop a few degrees and it really "opens up." The sweetness and fruit juice aspects of this years Esmeralda are astounding. Interestingly, this coffee is slightly inverted this year: the first flavors on the palate are super sweet stone fruits - peach, apricot followed by a juicy tartaric acidity like white grape. Then on the finish and in the "afternose" there is jasmine accents. Usually the floral comes first, then a wave of sweet fruit. The cup has a better structure, well-knit flavors, brightness and body.Note that we have found a few quakers (light-color beans that do not roast, they come from under-ripe coffee cherries) in this years coffees. In reality, there has always been a bit of this in Esmeralda Gesha lots, and just remove the 1 or 2 you might see in your roast before grinding and brewing.