Hacienda La Esmeralda
Only one per customer
Natural & Washed
Grown in the varietal garden of Esmeralda’s El Velo farm
Hacienda La Esmeralda
Hacienda La Esmeralda requires almost no introduction within the world of coffee. Starting mainly as a cattle farm in the mid 20th Century, in 2004 the Peterson family shook the coffee world by breaking the world record price for a lot of coffee, composed entirely of a newly re-discovered varietal - Geisha.
In the years since, Esmeralda have continued to push boundaries, both for coffee quality and for price. Their yearly auction produces some of the most stunning coffees we have ever tasted, and is renowned for the high prices received, and for the difficulty of securing a specific lot.
The Varietal Garden
This year, we have tightened our connection with this iconic farm. We have visited during our coffee travels, keep in touch each year around harvest time, and always cup samples of consistently some of the finest coffees in the world. For this harvest we were incredibly excited to be involved in this small project, where Esmeralda grow small plots of several varietals on one of their small farms.
At El Velo, where this year’s natural Geisha was grown, there are several tiny experimental plots; 0.7ha of SL-28, 1.8ha of Pacamara and 1.1ha of Bourbon Pointu, better known as Laurina. Geisha and Catuai are the only varietals that Esmeralda produce in larger scales. These experimental varietals produce extremely small amounts of coffee each year, and we are one of a very small number of roasters worldwide that have been given access to these lots this year.
Due to this, the amount we have been able to purchase is very limited, so we are only able to release a very small number of these special bundles, offering a wider taste of the terroir of Hacienda La Esmeralda. The incredible production expertise and systemic quality creation that Esmeralda have become so renowned for are present in each of these cups, showcasing the vital importance of varietal choice for specific terroir.
A limited lot from Esmeralda’s varietal garden; a soft and floral natural Pacamara with stewed berry notes
The first coffee
The Pacamara lot is processed as a natural, showcasing the complexity of the varietal while helping to round out some of the herbal qualities it is often known for. Here, these are softened into deep florals, on a base of sweet berry yoghurt.
The Pacamara plot is only 1.8 hectares, and lies at one of the highest points of the farm at 1850 masl.
A floral & rich coffee
A limited lot from Esmeralda’s varietal garden; a fresh and aromatic washed Laurina, Napoleon’s chosen coffee varietal
The Second Coffee
The Laurina lot is washed, showcasing the crisp citrus character of this varietal, one that Napoleon himself was said to prefer. The aromatic character here is also rather unique to Laurina, reminiscent of a fresh autumnal forest.
The Laurina plot is only 1.1 hectares, and lies high on the farm at 1750 masl.
A floral & acidic coffee
A limited lot from Esmeralda’s varietal garden; a rich and sweet washed SL28 from the El Velo farm
The third coffee
The SL-28 lot is washed, and showcases a rather different side of the varietal than we are used to. Here the sweetness is much deeper, and the acidity much lower than we find in Kenyan examples of this iconic varietal. This gives an impression more similar to SL28’s Bourbon heritage, with a caramel sweetness and notes of milk chocolate.
The SL28 plot is only 0.7 hectares, and lies at one of the highest points of the farm at 1850 masl.
A sweet & rich coffee
An extremely limited lot from Esmeralda’s varietal garden, produced together with the CATIE institute in Costa Rica
The fourth coffee
The Ethiopian Accessions Garden
The final varietal that we are able to share this year is also by far the most exclusive. This mix of heirloom varietals or ‘Ethiopian Accessions’ is grown on a 2.45 hectare plot on the El Velo farm, with each of the 400 accession varietals planted and processed separately. The Accessions garden surrounds the Porton plot, where this year’s natural Geisha was grown.
Each year, each of the varietals is cupped individually in a joint project with the CATIE institute in Costa Rica, in an attempt to find new exceptional coffee varietals; the next Geisha. The research is still ongoing, but some frontrunners have been established. After this evaluation is completed, the varietals are mixed and sold as this Heirloom blend, to a very select few roasters. This year only ten were chosen, of which we are the only entry from Europe. We have an extremely limited amount of this coffee, in fact it may be the smallest lot we have ever purchased. Aside from the exclusivity, this lot was truly one of the highlights for us at our Esmeralda cuppings.
A clean and crisp experience, with incredible clarity of citrus and white floral aromatics and a delicate tea-like character in the cup. An experience that harks back to some of the finest washed Ethiopian lots we have tasted, but grown in Panama. A testament to the incredible work done at Hacienda La Esmeralda, both through quality creation and cutting edge research into the future of coffee.
A floral & acidic coffee
ProducerHacienda La Esmeralda
VarietalPacamara, Laurina, SL28 & Heirloom
ProcessNatural & Washed
The washed process involves completely removing both the cherry and the mucilage from the outside of the parchment with the use of friction, fermentation and water. After being harvested, the coffee cherry is then sliced open by either a metal or a sharp plastic blade.
The two seeds (also known as beans) are pushed out of the cherry, which leaves the seed with mucilage as their outermost layer. It is essential in the washed process that all mucilage is removed from the seed which leaves only the flavour that developed in the cell structure of the seed prior to processing.