Villa Alejandra is a 7-hectare farm with 6 hectares of coffee planted in the clay loam and volcanic soil. The farm is owned by Victor Eliecer Garzón, who harvests his Geisha cherries when they are bright red, about every 20 days during the season. The coffee is depulped the same day it’s harvested, and then the seeds are fermented for 24 hours dry. The coffee is washed three times and dried in a combination of casa elba dryers and in parabolic dryers for 10 days. With its generally elongated beans and distinctive floral and crisp, often chocolaty cup, the Geisha variety continues to distinguish itself as one of the world’s most unique coffees. This is a wet-processed or “washed” version, meaning the fruit skin and pulp were removed from the beans immediately after harvesting and before drying.
It is hard to get better than a Geisha. They seem to win just about every competition they enter. Geisha coffees have broken all existing records globally for price, sometimes reaching absurd heights and fetching thousands of dollars per pound. In just about every coffee growing country, Geisha has supercharged the imaginations of farmers, who plant it with the expectation that once it bears fruit, some high-rolling buyers will come tripping over each other to get some, suitcases full of dollars in hand. Consumers see them on menus with lofty price tags and they prepare themselves for what promises to be an otherworldly flavour experience.
More often than not, however, the result for both farmer and consumer is disappointment. With such lofty expectations, that’s not surprising. Simply being a Geisha coffee does not confer greatness, and the inconvenient truth is that most of them are fairly unremarkable. The Geisha coffees that earn all the accolades are not your everyday Geishas. They are extraordinary individual specimens that unlock the full potential scripted by their genetic code through careful management and just the right growing environments. Fortunately for us, this lot demonstrates the full potential of the Geisha variety.