The Geisha variety’s unlikely origin story begins somewhere close to the town of Gesha in remote western Ethiopia. Coffee berries were picked and transported to Kenya, then to Uganda and Tanzania, and finally across the ocean to the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center in Costa Rica where attempts to cultivate the trees earnestly began in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Planting there, and shortly thereafter in Panama, was largely abandoned due to low productivity and poor quality. It’s generally accepted today that the variety is fickle, and that its best attributes are highlighted by a combination of elevation, rainfall, soil and nutrient composition, and a myriad of other environmental and horticultural factors. It seems apparent that either early trials lacked the necessary conditions to produce the sweet, floral attributes now recognizably associated with Geisha, or that those attributes simply weren’t valued the way they are today.

This particular Geisha, from Cerro Azul in Valle del Cauca, exhibits the expected longberry seed type and is dried precisely. Surprisingly, the density is very average-looking, despite the high elevation, which makes me wonder if the shape of the seeds affects the way it settles in the graduated cylinder. As with all long shaped type seeds, the risk of tipping in the roaster are an ever present danger and care should be taken to apply heat evenly when roasting.



Both roasts of our gesha performed nicely on the cupping table, but amplified different attributes of this cultivars dynamic acid structure. Our first roast, PR-439 was very floral with notes of jasmine, rose, and nasturtium with a lovely dark chocolate. Our second roast, PR-440, had a bit more sweetness and balance with a lot of peach nectar, lavender, and pink grapefruit.


This delicate Colombia Geisha was, by all accounts, most enjoyable when brewed through a paper filter and sipped. By and large, the coffee’s nuanced complexity was less apparent the day after the roast on the cupping table than it was in our Chemex brews, which were both sweet and lush with a lot of the floral and stone fruit notes we’ve come to expect from this celebrated, extraordinary cultivar.

Origin Information

Luis & Rigoberto Herrera, Cerro Azul, Granja La Esperanza
Trujillo, Valle del Cauca, Colombia
May - July | October - December
1,800 - 2,000 meters
Sandy loam
Depulped without water, then fermented underwater for 19 - 22 hours, fully washed, and mechanically dried.

Background Details

This coffee is sourced from a family owned estate located in the municipality of Caicedonia within the Valle del Cauca department, Colombia. The Granja, consisting of four distinct farms (Cerro Azul, Las Margaritas, La Esperanza, Potosi, and Hawaii), is managed by Rigoberto and Luis, two of eleven siblings following in the footsteps of their grandparents who began cultivating coffee in Valle del Cauca in the 1930s. Rigoberto and Luis meticulously manage the various micro-climates throughout the four farms to ensure optimum adaptability and exceptional cherry maturation for the Gesha variety at Cerro Azul. The brothers have also embraced innovation at their wet and dry mill to reduce water and fossil fuel consumption. Beyond coffee, the brothers focus on creating gender balance in the workforce, dignified wages, and educational opportunities for workers and their children.