About Panama Esmeralda Private Collection Geisha Natural
Arrived mid October 2020 in vacuum. This year we
have Esmeralda's Private Collection Geisha available in both Washed and
Natural processes. The Natural is roughly $10 more per pound. This
product is the Natural coffee. We will list the washed coffee shortly
Panama Esmeralda Private Collection Geisha represents a great bargain in one of the world's most expensive and sought after coffees -Hacienda La Esmeralda Special - which is sold only through privately held, international auctions for roasters. Each year for the past several years, Hacienda Esmeralda has held a private auction of their prized Geisha varietal, each Esmeralda Special lot coming from a specific plot of land on their farm. Altogether there is not much coffee, only about 20,000 pounds, which must fill a big demand from all corners of the world (this may sound like a lot but is only half of one shipping container). Competition for the coffee is fierce and prices go very high. In 2016 Esmeralda set new world price for one of their natural process geishas, attaining $601 a pound! That record has since been eclipsed but Esmeralda continues to be the most recognizably famous producer of Geisha coffees and it is never a surprise to see select Esmeralda lots selling for multiple hundreds of dollars.
Fortunately, for the past few years Esmeralda has released their "second coffee", the 100% Panama Esmeralda Private Collection Geisha. As in the wine world where the second wine of the very top chateaux are fabulous wines in their own right, still costly but a relative bargain. Lafite-Rothschild has its Lafite Rothschild Carruades de Lafite; Chateau Latour its Les Forts de Latour. These wines would be great in anyone's book, but they are withheld, often for a tiny detail, from being in the rarified top lot. The same holds true for Esmeralda Private Collection Geisha. This is a wonderful coffee, exhibiting much of the same lovely jasmine, floral and lemony tones witnessed in the auction lots but at less than the price. Private Collection Geisha has crept up in price too and is difficult to acquire. It still represents an excellent value considering its flavors and pedigree.
There is only a very limited supply of this coffee too. It comes from alll of the growing plots on the Hacienda Esmeralda farm which range in altitude from 1450 to 1800 meters (4750 to 5910 feet). At this price, Panama Esmeralda Private Collection Geisha may not casually seem a bargain, but it is considerably less than half the price of its sibling and almost the same taste experience. We really feel that the Geisha varietal is well represented in this coffee and that you will thoroughly enjoy it.
Naturally, every detail of growing and processing has been done at the farm to produce this fine, washed coffee. The finished green beans just arrived at our roasting plant in vacuum packaging ready for us to take it the rest of the way in roasting it for you.
Cup Characteristics: More powerful jasmine and other floral notes than the washed counterpart though with correspondingly less delicacy. Sweet
floral notes, especially Jasmine and coffee blossom, with pronounced
lemon-lime citrus acidity. Generously fruit filled and light candy
flavors. Soft, lush, refined and light chocolate mouthfeel. A coffee
with obvious pedigree and extremely approachable like its washed process sibling.
Roasting Notes: Keep it light and we recommend pulling this roast just after first crack. It's a little tougher with development of Naturals as beans are a bit drier and roasting quicker, so lower the heat a lot as you approach first crack. This will best preserve the delicate Geisha citrus and fruit flavors, which can be masked if roasted darker.
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.