I’ve spoken with coffee importers and other roasters about offering certain kinds of coffees, Kona and Blue Mountain for instance.  Cost versus value versus flavor are what it boils down to for us. 

Many times we associate a high price with high quality.  With coffee this can be quite a dubious assertion.  Coffee is a seasonal fruit, it cannot taste the same every year, the same coffee picked at the same time in the same field can be stellar one year, and flat the next.  Supply and demand force a kind of false value on coffee from far away places and many times it’s a near placebo effect that the coffee at such a high cost is therefore that much more flavorful and higher quality.  Though it can be true, for the most part it is not.  You can purchase coffee from Africa, Central and South America at given given time of year that can cup at higher quality levels and have more striking characters as well, for considerably less money.  For this reason it’s hard for us to offer those highly expensive coffees when there are many more available that have a better cup quality and are more abundant worldwide. 

It’s taken a long time to research and wait for the appropriate time to offer a world class experience to Fresnans.  As of now you are in a very small group of people able to have coffee of this caliber (think globally here).  Not just expensive, not just rare, but tremendous cup quality as well. 

Info

In the last 3 years the farm has held a private auction to market this famous coffee. This was a mixed blessing: on the one hand this careful separation of Gesha lots by location or plot on the farm and by harvest date meant that we could compare and chose based on cup quality. Mario is the original Gesha area on the farm in Jaramillo, not one of the new areas they have since planted. It is located between 1500-1650 meters, harvested during the month of February, 2010. Gesha (often spelled, wishfully, as Geisha, but this is not correct) is a cultivar with strong Ethiopian roots. It’s rare that a coffee varietal announces itself so clearly in the cup flavors as the Gesha cultivar does in Panamanian coffee. It’s extremely floral in the aromatics, with loads of tropical fruit. It is light bodied and delicate on one hand, yet extremely flavorful and long-lasting on the palate. There is no other coffee quite like it. And other farms that have cultivated Gesha don’t attain the cup quality of the best Esmeralda Gesha. The Esmeralda Gesha makes blind cupping almost senseless.  It is that dry fragrance that lets you know right away what is coming when the water hits the cup: incredible sweet floral, citrus blossom, sweet honey perfume atomized into the air. In terms of intensity, fruited and floral aspects, wet-processed Ethiopians and Kenyas are more in league with Gesha than any other Central American coffee. But it is difficult to price this sort of cup character. And when it is as exotic and, frankly, extraterrestrial as the Esmeralda Gesha, it is even more hard to quantify. In tasting the Gesha coffees, the cup flavors might seem less intense than the extreme aromatics. As the cup cools, perceived intensity and brightness will increase exponentially.

Cupping Notes

Aromatically Gesha from Esmeralda is a treat. Mario Enero is sweet in the dry fragrance. Jasmine and honeysuckle floral accent with berry fruits peach and dried apricot, Enero is the classic Esmeralda Gesha coffee. Honey and mild graham cracker hints are evident too. The wet aroma also has distinct jasmine, as well as cherry notes, honey, caramel, and soft milk chocolate at slightly darker roast levels. The cup has a light-yet-juicy body. Interestingly, after these knock-out aromatics, the first sip of the hot brew can be a little bit underwhelming. Wait for the temperature to drop a few degrees and it really “opens up.” Enero is less fruity from the later harvests on the Mario plot, with a more honey and jasmine flavor profile. There is a wonderful Bourbon vanilla bean note in the afternose. The cup has tight knit flavors, brightness and body. As it heads toward room temperature, the sweetness really turns up, and added to jasmine, honey and vanilla are bright raspberry notes with hints of bergamot orange.

How can you have some?  With a coffee like this it’s hard to settle on what is best.  What I’ve come to is giving you your own time to enjoy the coffee.  I’ll be offering this coffee weekly while supplies last.  I will not be selling the roasted beans, which would come to about $120/lb.  You’ll be able to enjoy a cup of this coffee as prepared in a siphon brewer with a glass rod filter for $10.00 per cup, Starting Monday September 6th.  We hope to see couples, or come with a date so you can share your rare experience. 

Thanks for your support, I look forward to sharing this great coffee with you.

Leo

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