What is geisha coffee anyway? Also spelled gesha coffee, you might wonder exactly what geisha coffee is and what the hype is about. Why is geisha coffee so expensive? What is its flavor profile? What Geisha coffees does Klatch have available?
(We’ve got one more roast date before the holidays! Don’t miss out—check out our Geisha roasting schedule here.)
First, a Little Bit of History
Discover the coffee that changed the industry—Geisha coffee is iconic. Hacienda La Esmeralda estate in Panama is famous for its re-discovery of Geisha in 2004. Geisha coffee is the most expensive in the world, setting records at coffee auctions.
The Peterson family entered Geisha coffee into the annual Best of Panama competition and auction in Boquete, Panama in 2005 when it broke the then-record for green coffee prices, selling for over $20/pound. The highly sought Geisha coffee has continued to break records and shake up the coffee industry.
Our record-breaking Panama Elida ASD Natural Geisha is currently available, setting the world record price of $6,034/lb. Klatch Coffee is proud to once again offer the multi award-winning and “Billions” featured Lamastus Family Estate Geisha. Our Roastmaster, Mike, scores Elida at 90.5 points.
For coffee connoisseurs looking to get technical, we’ve got the stats. According to World Coffee Research, the Geisha varietal was originally found in Ethiopia in the 1930s, collected in the Gori Gesha Forests. Geisha or Gesha coffee was first brought to Central America in 1953.
Once the varietal was found to have a tolerance to coffee leaf rust, geisha coffee was distributed throughout Panama in the 1960s, where it was popularized in 2004 and 2005. Known for its exceptional quality especially at high altitudes, distinctive floral and fruity flavor profile, and award-winning cup, there’s a reason why everyone is talking about Geisha coffee.
Why is Gesha Coffee so Expensive?
There are a few reasons why Geisha or Gesha coffee breaks records at auctions and sells for such a high price.
It’s the best
One, Panama’s Geisha variety is considered the best Geisha in the world. The Specialty Coffee Association, widely known as SCA, scores coffees on a 100 point scale, and Geisha consistently scores 90+ points. There is no aroma, texture, and flavor like Geisha.
It requires a very specific microclimate
Panama’s Geishas are grown at a very high altitude (1550-2060 M depending on the coffee) in rich, volcanic soil in a humid and rainy microclimate characteristic of tropical rainforests. Geisha’s high altitude and specific microclimate requires care and attention from each coffee farm, with the highest altitude coffee trees being more labor-intensive to gather coffee cherries from.
Coffee sold at auction has a limited supply—with everyone bidding on Geisha, the price rises and Geisha is hard to find. We consistently acquire Geisha because Klatch has a long-standing relationship with several of the producers. We’re proud of the relationships we’ve built, and we’re excited to offer the very best.
What Geisha Coffees Are Available?
Hacienda La Esmeralda Estate
From the acclaimed La Esmeralda Estate, our Mario is a fruit bomb! Panama Esmeralda Mario ASD Natural Geisha is a bright and fun Geisha with floral notes of jasmine and roses and fruity notes of mandarins, berries, mango, and pineapple.
Our Panama Esmeralda Trapiche Natural Geisha has the classic clean fruitiness of Natural Esmeralda Geishas, with notes of bergamot, winter melon, and jasmine.
Our delicate and nuanced Panama Abu Washed Geisha has all of the amazing complexity you’d expect from a Panama Washed Geisha, with sweet floral notes reminiscent of jasmine, a soft citrus lemon, and notes of honeysuckle in the finish.
Our 94 point scoring Panama Abu Anaerobic Natural Geisha echoes the landscape of Cañas Verdes, Boquete, Panama with flavor notes of sweet pink lemonade, fruity jolly rancher, and a cherry finish.
Lamastus Family Estate
Whether you’re looking for our record-breaking Panama Elida ASD Natural Geisha with flavor notes of candied watermelon, jasmine, and stone fruit and undertones of plum, sweet caramel, black cherry, pear, and chocolate notes;
Or our Panama Elida El Burro ASD Natural Geisha with flavor notes of bubble gum, cherry, and lemon and undertones of golden delicious apple, apricot stone fruit, and black tea, we’re excited to offer these award-winners until they sell out.*
Most recently, Elida Estate won the top 3 geishas and the Panama Cup—Best Coffee Producer of the Year at Best of Panama (BOP) 2022!
*Our Geishas are Monday roasts, (with the exception of this Tuesday’s December 13th roast date)
photos from Lamastus Family Estate