Thumbnail Filmstrip of Panama Janson Geisha Natural Images
About Panama Janson Geisha Natural
Arrived November 2022, in vacuum packed boxes, airfreighted to us directly from the producer. This is a Direct Trade coffee. Green tip Geisha, lot # 893.
The two principal coffee centers in the Panama Highlands are Boquete and Volcan. They are each on a different facing of the Baru Volcano which is the focal point of the landscape and which provides rich soils and micro-climates ideal for growing coffee - especially Geisha coffee. The Janson Family farm is in Volcan, the area closest to the border with Costa Rica. In addition to Janson, other notable coffee farms close by are Fincas Auromar, Hartmann and Bambito, to name but a few. Janson has been producing coffee since 1990 though the farm's origin dates back to 1926 when their Swedish ancestors settled here and began to work a dairy farm. With a nod to their Swedish heritage, the highest coffee growing parts of the farm are the "Alpes" area, where Geisha is planted. We work mostly with second generation Kai Janson, who we have known for many years. Kai lives part of the year in Panama and part in the US. But Panama is where he is now spending more and more time helping to develop new flavors from the various cultivars grown on the family farm.
Janson always had solid, reliably good coffee. In the most recent decade they began growing more varieties and have garnered a bunch of awards, mostly for their Pacamara and their delightful Geisha. They have also been experimental with processing, now offering a range of flavor profiles from mild and balanced, to deeply intense naturals with many traits in between. Barry, from Roastmasters saw Kai in August while participating in the 2022 Best of Panama as a judge, the first in person such event since 2019. Following the event we received a large number of samples and were most struck this particular lot, number 893 which really popped out at us. It has power, lots of it, but not in an overpowering way. Balancing natural processing with Geisha's native floral and fruit flavors takes skill. Too much processing and the coffee's inherent flavors get lost, but just the right amount and how deftly it's done, can enhance those very same flavors and make them pop. That is the case with this coffee.
- 2020 Pacamara Natural - 1st Place
- 2019 Geisha Natural - 2nd Place
- 2018 Geisha Natural - 7th Place
- 2018 Geisha Washed - 3rd Place
- 2016 Geisha Natural - 3rd Place
- 2016 Geisha Natural - 3rd Place
The 2022 crop was small most places in Central America. In Panama crop yields were half their normal amount to unseasonably heavy rain during the time when coffee trees flower. The rain washed away flowers, each flower being where a coffee cherry will grow. Despite the small crop the quality here and elsewhere remained high. In a normal year there is barely enough top Geisha to go around but with only half available prices increased and loyal buyers, like us, were offered coffee ahead of others.
Patio drying at Finca Janson
Geisha coffee cherries in the Janson Alpes
Geisha is a seed variety native to Ethiopia and probably a relative of the Longberry, with a somewhat large and elongated shape. This seed was experimentally planted in Boquete Panama along with many other varieties as a test of what might grow well in this particular micro climate. The result was the birth of a superstar in the world of coffee. Originally planted and brought to celebrity by the Peterson family of Hacienda Esmeralda, this variety started to break price records and the reputation and market for this coffee continues to grow.
- Producer Name: Janson Coffee Farm
- Coffee Name: Alpes lot 893
- Crop Year: Harvest date: February 07, 2022
- Variety: Green Tip Geisha
- Process: Natural Fermentation 96 hrs
- Drying method: Dried on Patio & raised beds -13 days
- Elevation: 1,700 meters
- Growing Region: Tizingal, Panama Highlands
Panama coffee facts:
Population (2018): 4.1 million people
Coffee Production: 100,000 bags (60 kg)
Country bag capacity: 132 pounds - 60 kg
Domestic Consumption: 50,000 bags
Coffee Export: 50,000 bags
Cultivated Area: 26,000 Hectares (64,200 acres)
Harvests: October - February
Arabica Introduced: Arabica was imported from Costa Rica in 1820.
Specialty Coffee Regions: Boquete and Volcan, near Volcan Baru, Chiriqui.
Grades: Strictly Hard Bean (SHB), HB.
Farms: About 30,000 farms.
Botanical Varietals: Typica, Caturra, Gesha, Catuai, Pacamara.
Panama is a rising star in the specialty coffee world. In the Boquete in particular, farmers are taking Arabica coffee cultivation to new levels and recent auctions of small, specialty lots have garnered record, if not silly, prices. Nonetheless, some of the coffee is excellent. Gesha, a varietal that stems from Ethiopia, has been grown here with good success, yet other cultivars noted above, can produce superb results.