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Peru Geisha

Peru Geisha

The coffee is a light roast and a lot of flavors swirl through your mouth as you sip it, leaving you with a memorable coffee experience. The mouthfeel is distinct and different than with most coffees. The aroma and first impression is intensely floral, with notes of blueberry and grape and lilac coming through in the taste. It then switches to a more puckery sensation like a cranberry or hibiscus, and then finishes really sweet like sugar water.




This is from the Garmas Estate in the San Agnacio region of Peru. Only a handful of farms in the world have the right microclimate to grow the magical Geisha variety of coffee. This is the first time I've seen it attempted in Peru, but the result was solid. Farmer Maximiliano Garcia has a very small operation that he runs with his wife Esperanza Armijos.

The geisha varietal is commonly processed either via washed or natural process, but this one is washed process.

We are roasting it like a honey-process coffee (except roast it a few degrees darker than a honey coffee), which means lots of air-flow, slow steady heat, and small batch sizes. Everything about Geisha beans are delicate. I aim for just shy of a 15 minute roast in our drum roaster, and end the roast just three degrees darker than a natural Ethiopia or about 4 degrees darker than Costa Rica Honey coffees that we have carried in the past.

This produced floral and fruit flavors, with wonderful acidity and mouthfeel. Lighter roasts are very floral and sour and darker roasts and flattened out and boring, but the sweet spot will get you floral notes (lilac, lavender), fruit (blueberry, grape), and a hibiscus/cranberry puckery finish. A few degrees difference does give you very different results but none of them were undrinkable.

It is a delicate bean that is susceptible to scorching, so if you have a drum roaster, don't preheat it above 350 degrees, and go lower than that if you can. Then nudge the heat up gently, evenly, give it plenty of time to get through the 1st cracks, maybe wait 40 seconds more, let it out. We give it a burst of heat and less airflow for the last 30 seconds of the roast, and keep the roast to 15 minutes or less.

USA Arrival: March 2024

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