Hacienda La Esmeralda
Showcases the full aromatic potential of Esmeralda Geisha, backed up by a deep richness from the natural process.
The lost varietal
As seems fitting for a coffee produced at Hacienda La Esmeralda, this lot is 100% Geisha. Although Geisha shot to stardom thanks to Esmeralda in 2004, its story starts much earlier. A native Ethiopian varietal, Geisha was isolated by British researchers in the Gesha region of Ethiopia in the 1930’s, and thereafter studied at research stations in Kenya and Tanzania. It was much later introduced into Panama during an outbreak of leaf rust, due to observed resistance to the disease. The varietal was planted sporadically, blended into lots with other varietals, and mainly forgotten about until the Petersons cupped a small amount separately at their farm in 2004, and from there started the rise of Geisha within specialty coffee. The Geisha varietal, planted at high altitude and processed using a careful washed method, unveiled its crisp citrus and floral aromatics for the first time, and stunned coppers at that year’s Best of Panama auction. Nowadays Geisha lots, especially from Panama, have seen skyrocketing auction prices, starting from $21 dollars per pound in 2004, a record at the time, to a new high of $803/lb in 2018.
Grown on the Noria plot of Esmeralda’s Jaramillo farm, where the Geisha varietal was initially discovered.
This lot specifically comes from Esmeralda’s Jaramillo farm, and uses a rather non-traditional washed process. The Jaramillo farm is where the iconic first lot of Geisha was harvested, and the coffee grown here still displays the clearest aromatic signature of all Esmeralda Geishas. Due to Esmeralda’s incredible level of separation and traceability, we know that this lot was picked on the Noria lot of the farm at 1660 masl, on the 10th of March this year. Before being washed and dried on raised beds, this lot was subject to an anaerobic fermentation of 60 hours. The coffee was first depulped and placed in a plastic tank, before a saccharomyces yeast strain is added and the tank is sealed. This slow controlled fermentation adds a juicy and rich feel to the cup, without overshadowing any of the floral and citrus character that we so cherish in these fine coffees from Esmeralda. This results in a truly spectacular final cup with clear aromas of bergamot and jasmine, while the stone fruit character we often find in Esmeralda’s Geishas moves more towards fresh citrus, with a delicate body reminiscent of iced tea.
ProducerHacienda La Esmeralda
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.