Flavor Profile Apricot, jasmine, lemon, and rose water
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This is a traditional washed Gesha cultivar coffee from Huila, Colombia, produced by Juliana Guevara and Wbeimar Lasso on their estate, La Terraza.
The flavor profile is floral and sweet, with notes of apricot, jasmine, lemon, and rose water.
Our roasters found the coffee benefits from a cautious approach to heat during late-stage Maillard reactions and note the best flavors take a few days to emerge after roasting.
When brewed, our baristas enjoyed a wide range of espresso extractions with higher doses and longer extraction times, while we preferred pour-overs using a finer grind and flat bottomed brewer.
Taste Analysis by Chris Kornman
“Don’t forget the flowers,” croons Jeff Tweedy on one of my favorite tracks from Being There, as he describes the various carnations and daffodils he acknowledges both characters in the song will surely forget.
The song replays in my head from time to time thinking about the Gesha cultivar, and the expectations that have been built up around it over the last two decades. The contentious relationship of the song’s characters could be twisted into an interpretation of fussy coffee tasters, whose patience is continually tried by the lack of flowery flavors they so desperately seek.
2024 is the 20th anniversary of the first Hacienda la Esmeralda victory in Panama’s annual competition where the variety was reintroduced to the world after a decade of slumbering in silence in Central America. I first tasted the legend in 2006’s auction, the year it broke triple digits at the auction. It was the most floral thing I’d tasted since flowers.
In the years since, Gesha’s made its way around the world and back again, and I’ve honestly gotten a little bored with it. Gasp, shock, the horror, the privilege. I know. Roll your eyes, go ahead. Anyway, all this is to say that it takes a fairly special one to really grab me. Cue the sales pitch.
What Wbeimar Lasso and Juliana Guevara have done with this storied coffee tree is simply to plant it, care for it, and process it in a straightforward and traditional fermented and washed style reminiscent of the early days of its glory, and I’m quite taken by it.
Having tasted it in a couple of roasts over a few cupping tables and pour-overs lately, I’m a little bit surprised every time. The coffee can be a bit of a shapeshifter, showy rosewater and lavender in one place setting, tropical guava and syrupy sweet honeydew melon in another. It comes across a little shy sometimes, only to open dramatically as it cools, keeping you captivated as you taste.
The classic notes are all here, of course, mandarin orange, jasmine, honeysuckle, etc., etc., but I think it’s the composure and clarity and the intrigue of its secret flavors – the ones that only emerge as you return for just one more sip – that captures my attention… to the effect that “one last sip” rarely ever is.
Source Analysis by Chris Kornman
This cheeky little jewel of a coffee almost slipped right by us. Amid a chaotic sourcing project, assembling a container-load of coffee from various sources and for various destinations, we busily went about approving coffees offered to us from a familiar source – Terra Coffee SAS – under the export guidance of our partners at Mastercol.
Just as we were about to hit the “ship” button, a small set of samples labelled “Terraza” came across the sample room, and Royal Coffee Trader – and relationship manager for Mastercol – Amanda Amato and I scrambled to cup them. This humbly delivered Gesha was an absolute standout and we quickly added it to the container.
Terraza is the name for the farm owned and managed by Juliana Guevara and Wbeimar Lasso – the duo behind Terra Coffee. It’s basically a variety garden, and while we hope to offer their Pink Bourbon, Caturra, and Chiroso cultivars in the future, we figured we could go big, full Kramer, with the entrance.
Wbeimar Lasso, a Colombian Cup Tasters Champion, agro-industrial engineer and third generation coffee producer, is also a bit of a tinkerer with processing – notoriously responsible for multi-fermentation stages coordinated across small farms in Huila – delivering us some of our most unique and interesting coffees with consistency and regularity.
So, it came as a bit of a surprise to me that this is a very traditionally washed coffee. No particular idiosyncrasies in processing required, other than care and precision. Coffee cherries are depulped, fermented 36-48 hours, and dried – mostly in the shade – for 20-30 days.
We’re thrilled to be showcasing this new, intimate and innovative project from Terraza Coffee Estate, and can’t wait to see what comes next from the creative team at Terra Coffee.
Green Analysis by Isabella Vitaliano
Gesha – the idea of a pinnacle coffee experience for many of those as coffee-obsessed as we are at The Crown. Our Gesha offerings in the Crown Jewel line can range from a bit flamboyant to a little bit softer spoken but fascinating. I find this coffee hitting somewhere in the middle with a highly botanical cup profile – a word I will gladly steal from Doris’ roast analysis.
We have an even spread across the board with most of the screen sizes hitting the 16-18 range. An average and expected total moisture content and a solid water activity range you can see in the specs that extra care has been taken to make sure this coffee is great. With the density sitting a little bit below average, take extra care in the roaster to avoid any toasty flavors.
Loring S15 Falcon Analysis by Doris Garrido
The Gesha cultivar is well known for its great flavors, and the florals are the first thing I look at when tasting. In this coffee, I found a delicate botanical flavor that exceeds anyone’s expectations. Of course, since roasting can be game-changing for a delicate coffee like this, I have experimented with it myself in the past when I leave a fruity floral Gesha being just a normal washed coffee after wrong decision during roasting. On this analysis, I am trying to explain what I did hoping that my notes can be useful to other roasters.
I have run the Loring at 55% of its capacity with 18lbs of coffee. I was aiming for a balance between drying and yellowing phases and a short development to maintain the florals.
On the Loring roaster, most of the time I roast applying heat initially, reducing it gradually during the Maillard stage and paying close attention to the rate of change. I look for specific pace during development, depending on specific variables in the coffee.
For this this Colombia Gesha I wanted to start gentle, managing the yellowing slowly until reaching first crack and give it a short development.
I charged at 408°F, and reached the turning point at 147.1°F. At this point, I began applying 90% of the heat power. After 4 minutes and 24 seconds the drying phase was according to my plan. I was now in Maillard, I knew that any decision there could impact the precious jasmine flavor I got on the first sample a tasted. Around 360°F, caramelization was about to begin, and I started looking at the rate of change: 21 degrees per minute. It was time to slow down the roast speed. Drop 5% first and wait. When I noticed the speed increasing again, I adjusted further to maintain a rate of 15 degrees per minute until the first crack occurred. During development, I gradually reduced the heat by 10% until I reached 33% gas to finalize the roast. I used 1:21 of development and a final temperature of 407F, a little higher than I envisioned but did not bring any toastiness at the end.
I cupped the coffee right out of the roaster, and it tasted good, but not perfect. I started planning the changes I wanted to make on the next roast. I cupped again the next day, and found just a slight improvement. Four days passed and I cupped again, the jasmine was there but still wasn’t enough. That day I did a second batch and slowed down the roast a little more. On day five off roasting, I cupped it again and it was just incredible. The botanical flavors were there, the jasmine creeping into both the aroma and the taste, just incredible, light in body, with honeysuckle sweetness, a delicate lemony acidity, and an expensive tea-like taste. Now I am waiting to taste my second roast, hopefully it is going to be good even with the changes I made. I recommend waiting for the coffee to rest a few days before cupping. Do not rush like I did this coffee will open beautifully. Come to the crown and taste this coffee as our new espresso, and if you want to taste it as pour-over, it is already being featured in our tasting collection.
Aillio Bullet R1 IBTS Analysis by Evan Gilman
Unless otherwise noted, we use both the roast.world site and Artisan software to document our roasts on the Bullet. You can find our roast documentation below, by searching on roast.world, or by clicking on the Artisan links below.
Generally, we have good results starting our 500g roasts with 428F preheating, P6 power, F2 fan, and d6 drum speed. Take a look at our roast profiles below, as they are constantly changing!
The storied Gesha strikes once again, and in such a striking way. These are certainly rare coffees, so I don’t take my roasting of them lightly, other than in the color of the final product. With a gentle start, these coffees can really sparkle in the cup.
With that in mind I charged at 455F, which is a fairly low temperature for charge on the Bullet for a 500g batch. I only used P9 for the ramp up to the peak rate of change, opting for P8 almost all the way until first crack. My changes here were mostly to the fan speed, first to F3 at peak rate of change, then to F4 well before first crack, in order to really slow down the roast in later stages of development. Just before first crack, I lowered power to P7, then quickly to P6. At first crack, I used my maximum usual airflow of F5 to slowly develop this coffee until dropping it into the cooling tray at 9:10 / 397F.
The roast was on the lighter side, but certainly not lacking in development with 17% of time spent post-crack. I did experience a brief but controlled spike in rate of change after first crack, but didn’t get any off flavors in the cup. Oh no, friend, much to the contrary.
Just as my colleagues above have noted, juicy mandarin orange, candied violet florals, jasmine tea, and a zesty orange finish greeted me at every sip. This coffee stops short of being a burlesque of the style and ends up being just plain elegant. There is a reason that these coffees command such rapt attention. Attempt to sip this one slowly to savor, but don’t be alarmed if the level of coffee in your cup diminishes more quickly than expected!
You can follow along with my roast here at roast.world: https://roast.world/egilman/roasts/YMIf0_svhjfTsMfjsQ7gv
Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Isabella Vitaliano
Our current Ikawa practice compares two sample roast profiles, originally designed for different densities of green coffee. The two roasts differ slightly in total length, charge temperature, and time spent between color change in first crack. You can learn more about the profiles here.
You know the trends that come and go; they rise as quickly as they disappear. We have seen a lot of trends in coffee but Gesha is not one leaving anytime soon. In some forms of this variety, you can find a flamboyant and wild profile. It captures you in its ostentatious display and at times can leave you overstimulated.
This coffee is not one of those, a slow burn, a love story for the books. On the profile you’ll find notes of jasmine, white tea, ginger, lavender and mango. I stole it once from Doris in the green analysis and I’ll steal it again: botanical, this is the perfect description for this coffee. Let’s see what roast profile nurtures those quintessential floral notes.
On the low-density the aroma was highly floral that really highlighted the jasmine, blossom, mango notes in the coffee. The high-density roast was a touch toasty for my preference on this style of coffee but, those botanical notes held true in the form of oolong and rose.
I recommend going for the low-density roast as the jasmine notes were pristine and everything I want from a delicate and chuggable coffee. Are you ready to fall in love? Take a chance! Grab a box!
You can roast your own by linking to our profiles in the Ikawa Pro app here:
Roast 1: Low Density Sample Roast
Roast 2: High Density Sample Roast
Brew Analysis by Katie Briggs
We have a couple of great new Colombian coffees coming in at the moment, but I am most excited about this washed Gesha! Gesha coffees are always a pleasure to taste so I was pretty excited to brew this one up and see what we could get out of it.
I started my brews on a Kalita Wave flatbed brewer, with my grind at 9.5 and a dose of 19 grams of coffee. I did a standard 50g of water first pulse of water for 40 seconds to let it bloom. Took the next pulse of water to 200g, and then up to 300g of water for the final volume. The TDS of this coffee was at 1.46, which is a little on the higher side, but this brew tasted fantastic! We got notes of apricot jam, fig, soft lemon, and toffee.
The first brew of this coffee was so great I didn’t quite know what changes to make, so I just decided to try it out on another brew device to see how it compared. I did the same brew, but this time on the V60 cone brewer. This brew did have a lower TDS, but I wasn’t as impressed with it as the last one I did. It still tasted good but had a little bit less sweetness than the last brew. I wanted to see if I could bring that sweetness back into the brew, so I switched back to the Kalita Wave brewer for the next brew.
I did the same brew again, but this time with a courser grind of a 10.5 on the Kalita Wave brewer. This brew interestingly had the same TDS as the V60 brew, and I also didn’t love this one. It did not bring out more sweetness as I thought it might, it was a little drier and almost peppery on the end.
I recommend sticking with a flatbed brewer and a finer grind to really bring out the sweetness of this coffee! This is a super fun one that we will be featuring on our espresso bar at our tasting room so come by and give it a taste!
Espresso Analysis by MJ Smith
Wow, y’all! This Gesha from the La Terraza Estate is probably as close to “love at first sight” as you can get with a coffee. From the second the aroma arrives at your nose to the last lingering moments of the aftertaste, this coffee is true romance. Packed full of beautiful florals, warm sugars and spices, and a sunshine-like acidity, you’ll wish your cup could go on forever! I’m beyond excited to be welcoming this coffee to our espresso bar lineup in the next few days, so if you’re in the Bay, you HAVE to come on down to The Crown to give it a try! I had so much fun dialing this in, because it’s one of those coffees that’s so high quality that there was something to enjoy about every shot I pulled. On the other side of that, I’m now extremely overcaffeinated… Let’s talk about some of the shots that got me to this point!
This first shot I’m going to talk about was actually the very first shot I pulled of this coffee. For this recipe, I started with a dose of 19g, which yielded a 36g shot at 34 seconds. Right off the bat, we were greeted with a bouquet of lavender, surrounded by some notes of Earl Grey, brown sugar, honeysuckle, blood orange, and cranberry sauce. While it was absolutely stunning on its own, I think that if it was paired with milk, it would be like the coffee version of a London Fog Latte.
This next shot was my favorite of the day, dialing in at a 19.5g dose, 38.2g yield, and a 31 second pull time. While I loved that first shot, this one just had a little more dimension to it. It still had a lot of lavender, as well as some other florals in the form of orange blossom and honeysuckle, but the acidity sweetened up a bit. I experienced notes of black cherry, currant, cranberry juice cocktail, brown sugar, baking spice, and of course those heavenly florals I mentioned. I shared some with my colleagues and it turns out that we were all pretty calibrated on this coffee’s tasting notes! They did mention some additional notes of caramel and baklava-esque pistachio. All in all, a darn good shot of espresso!
As I mentioned before, we’re very lucky to be adding this coffee to our espresso offerings here at The Crown! I think this is going to be a really fun coffee to have on bar, both as a barista and as a coffee addict. When dialing it in for yourself, I recommend a medium-to-medium/high dose and a time somewhere between 30-34 seconds, but like I said, this coffee is super fun to dial in, so go wild! Hope you enjoy!