Passion, experience, and consciousness through coffee

Geisha from Esmeralda and Kotowa, Panama

Geisha is definitely one of the most admirable coffee varietals around. It made a splash among specialty coffee retailers in 2004 when Esmeralda Special was majorly introduced to the market. The varietal is not only supreme in flavor but also rare, so naturally it has been also at the higher end on the pricing. In this year, starbucks started offering a cup of Costa Rican Geisha for $8 or so at selected locations.

In Central America, the washed process is generally applied. Most of Geisha is also processed washed, which delivers a clean and balanced cup quality. For the past decade, the natural process has been also experimented at few farms. The notable result of this experiment is achieved by Kotowa Duncan’s Geisha. Generally the naturally processed beans are seen inferior to the washed, but the complexity, depth, and balace that Kotowa Duncan achieved is remarkable. Kotowa Duncan’s Geisha is now regarded as one of the best natural process coffee as well as such high quality natral process as Ethiopia’s Mystic Valley.

Origin of Geisha

The varietal was discovered in Geisha, a small mountain town in the south western Ethiopia. It was first brought to Costa Rica and came to Boquete, Panama in 1963. The rust disease was going around Central America at that time, and disease resistant Geisha was taken to Panama.


Since early 2000s, Geisha, particularly Esmeralda Special, has been recognized as the best coffee. It received numerous awards:

  • The Best of Panama competition
  • The Specialty Coffee of America Roaster’s Guild competition
  • Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality competition
  • Another notable achievement by Geisha was also done by Hacienda La Esmeralda. In 2006, It set the highest green coffee bean price in the internet auction at $170/lb.

    Cupping Profile

    The Geisha varietal is described as floral (jasmine) and bergamot, balanced, rich full complex, dark berries, juicy body, bright acidity with sweetness.

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