Ever pondered the factors contributing to the steep price of certain coffees? Look no further than the intriguing Geisha coffee, a variety that continues to captivate coffee enthusiasts worldwide. In recent times, it has earned the distinction of being the most expensive coffee globally, with demand steadily rising each day.
Renowned for its distinctive taste and reputation, appeals to dedicated coffee aficionados. But does its cost truly align with its qualities? This article delves into the origins of Geisha coffee, traces its ascent to prominence, and examines the unique traits that contribute to its considerable value.
What Sets Geisha Coffee Apart?
To begin with, you might be curious about the origin of Geisha coffee. These beans trace their roots back to Ethiopia, specifically from the Gori Gesha forest. The coffee takes its name from this region, although a series of misunderstandings led to its association with historical female entertainers from Japan.
Presently, both Gesha and Geisha are recognized terms for this coffee, with many considering among the highest-rated in the world.
In the 1950s, Geisha coffee made its way from Ethiopia to Costa Rica, finding a home at the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center. Subsequently, it was transported to Panama as one of the new coffee varieties the country sought to cultivate, with Hacienda la Esmeralda being one of the farms that embraced the seeds.
Fast forward to 2004 when this farm introduced at the Best of Panama coffee auction. It astounded taste evaluators, rapidly gaining global fame. By the 2018 auction, these beans fetched an astonishing $803 per pound. Today, a cup of Geisha coffee can cost up to $110, solidifying its status as one of the world’s most expensive coffees.
How Does Geisha Coffee Taste?
Geisha coffee presents a unique and distinctive flavor profile characterized by floral and fruity notes that can vary depending on its origin. This exceptional coffee may exhibit hints of citrus, mango, papaya, guava, and a range of other exotic fruit flavors.Willem Boot, from Boot Coffee, provided a description of the taste.
The experience is reminiscent of a precious perfume, featuring prominent notes of rose, jasmine, and bergamot. In the cup, Geisha coffee unfolds a remarkable array of delicate flavors, leaving behind an unusually lingering aftertaste. The palate may detect nuances of lime, honeysuckle, and papaya, consistently delivering an incredibly fruit-forward experience.
Why Does Geisha Coffee Command Such a High Price?
The Panama Geisha variety stands out as the premier Geisha coffee globally, consistently achieving the highest scores among its competitors in the evaluations conducted by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). Utilizing a 100-point scoring system, the SCA consistently rates Geisha coffee above 90.
The exorbitant price tag attached to Geisha coffee is justified by several factors. Firstly, it demands unique cultivation conditions and is renowned for its exceptional aroma, earning outstanding evaluations from coffee experts.
Bo Thiara, proprietor of a renowned coffee shop in San Francisco specializing, elaborates on this uniqueness, stating, “Just like wine, on a scale up to 100, this coffee got the highest rating ever,” as shared with ABC. Thiara underscores the significance of the Best of Panama competition, likening it to the Oscars for coffee.
On the flip side, cultivating Geisha is no easy feat. It necessitates specific altitude conditions, exhibits less efficient photosynthesis, and requires precise timing for harvesting the beans. The combination of the highest SCA scores, global acclaim, and the challenging cultivation process has propelled the value of Geisha coffee.
Factor in its unparalleled cultivation requirements and a distinctive fruity aroma setting it apart from other coffees, and the rationale behind its esteemed value becomes clear.
What’s the Price Tag on Geisha Coffee?
Geisha coffee commands a substantial price, reaching up to $600 per pound, particularly when sourced from the renowned Hacienda la Esmeralda. The cost can vary, with prices as low as $9 per cup in Panama and around $18 in select coffee shops in New York. Notably, a San Francisco coffee establishment recently depleted its limited stock of “Elida Geisha 803” beans, selling them for $75 per cup.
Is Geisha Coffee Worth the Investment?
Given the sustained high demand for this specialty coffee, it’s unlikely that the price will see a decline anytime soon. The question remains: is it worth it? Opting for Geisha as your daily coffee may not be financially justifiable compared to your regular brew. However, if your desire is to indulge in a unique, internationally acclaimed flavor on an occasional basis, then the investment could be deemed worthwhile.
In conclusion, while Geisha stands as one of the most expensive coffees globally, its price tag doesn’t necessarily equate to overrated quality. For those with a genuine passion for coffee, giving Geisha a try is highly recommended. Numerous factors contribute to its reputation as one of the best coffees in the world.