In the world of specialty coffee...
there is one word that strikes fear into a coffee nerds wallet – Geisha. No, I’m not talking about the Japanese hostesses; I’m talking top-tier coffee. Geisha is believed to have originated in the Gesha village of Ethiopia. This coffee varietal is known for its clarity, sweetness, and aromatic properties. When the opportunity arises to try some it’s hard to pass up. So when I spotted it at Dark Horse, one of my favorite San Diego shops, the impulse was too strong to resist. I'm only flesh and blood after all.
Twenty-two dollars (plus tax) later I walked out with “Eight Ounces of Coffee Witchcraft”, according to the well appointed black and gold box. This particular Geisha is a Colombian and from Jeremias Lasso’s second harvest. It took four years for these coffee plants to produce fruit, and the first lot was too small to export. It’s a washed process coffee, which essentially means nothing but the bean itself is contributing to its flavor. Washed coffees are widely seen as the best way to emphasize the flavors of a single origin bean. Yet, also the most intensive in terms of farming. Meaning soil quality, weather, ripeness at harvest, fermentation, washing and drying are all extremely important to the finished product.
Needless to say the years of hard work to grow, ferment, process, ship, roast and package this coffee means it should be brewed with extreme care. I’m an espresso guy, but it requires dial-in, which means wasted coffee. To prevent waste and experience this coffee in the way I believe it was intended, I brewed it as a pourover. When done properly this method produces an extremely crisp cup of coffee.
Using a Baratza Encore grinder set to 21, a Hario V60, and an electric gooseneck kettle I got to work. I used a brew ratio of 1:15, which means 30 grams of coffee and 450 grams of filtered water. Once the water was at a boil I let it sit for thirty seconds, rinsed the filter and began the process. Beginning with a bloom of 30 grams of water, resting thirty seconds, and then pouring at a consistent flow rate from the center in a circular, clockwise motion. The total brew time including the bloom took a total of three minutes and forty one seconds.
As it brewed, my small kitchen filled with that comforting scent of brewed coffee with unique hints of citrus. Swirling the finished product to aerate I poured it into my charged cup. The first sip did not disappoint. It had a tart grapefruit acidity up front, followed by candied almond and a lingering honey-like flavor. It’s a remarkably juicy coffee, with a smooth mouthfeel. It scores a resounding ‘Buy It’ on my rating scale. The only reason it doesn't score a 'Stock It' is its small harvest size and cost.