My trip to Panama and thoughts about Geisha Coffee

In 2016 I visited Panamá, I went to see the famous coffee production of Geisha variety. I have heard a lot of good things about Geisha Coffee, but why is Geisha coffee so special? Geisha coffee is a variety originally from Southwester town of Gesha, Ethiopia.

It has been cultivated in Panamá since 1960s but it was during 2004 in “Best of Panamá” competition was when it really became very famous and one of the most expensive coffee in the world.

During my trip, I spent some days in Panamá City, enjoying Casco Viejo (Old town) and drinking Geisha coffee in all the coffee shops I went.

It was my first approach to Geisha coffee and I was amazed of the soft and delicate flavor and flower notes, it was like a tea with coffee flavor. As a Colombian coffee producer I have been very used to fruity and sweet flavors and this was a complete shift for me.

So after my first impression, I decided to travel to the Panamá’s Coffee Region Boquete. First I visited Finca Dos Jefes (Café de la Luna) Richard a passionate coffee farm owner he was really open and attentive showing me his Coffee plantation.

Richard is fantastic at telling the story about the farm and all the hard work that goes into a cup of coffee.

I have been to many coffee farms, and this is definitely one of my favorites, everything was very interesting, the different varieties of coffee, the berries, harvest, drying process, and more. He roasted green beans for us and made me fresh coffee. It was delicious.

After this tour I understood the importance of fair trade and direct trade coffee into perspective and why is so important.

The main purpose for me was to visit a Geisha plantation, so I went to Finca Lerida, a very well known and traditional coffee farm of almost 100 years old.

After a small introduction to the coffee world, we went to the plantation, Geisha trees are very unique, tall with long branches and leaves, they need a lot of time and attention, very high elevation and certain weather conditions and compare to Caturra and Castillo they are not very productive.

The Guide was very kind and knowledgeable of the coffee industry, he realized I was very curious and at the tasting table we tried 3 different Geisha coffees, one of those was the Geisha Coffee that they harvest for the Queen of England, it was highly pleasant to the taste it, that Geisha coffee had a soft and light body intense floral and jasmine-like aroma often described as Earl Grey tea.

To be honest my Geisha impressions were and still very good, I think Geisha has a unique character and Geishas are very interest for people to taste as different experience and compare with other varieties, and that’s why Geisha coffee become very popular from the unique and different nature of the coffee.

But that doesn’t mean all Geishas are amazing always have in mind that quality of coffee is not submitted by the variety, we can also find extraordinary Catuais, Caturras, Pacamaras and Geishas.

And last to want to share the funniest opinion I found on the web about Geisha Coffee:

“I am the least religious person here and when I tasted geisha coffee I saw the face of God in a cup”.

– Don Holly, quality control manager for Green Mountain Coffee in Vermont.