Producer: The Peterson Family
Farm: Hacienda La Esmeralda - Jaramillo Farm
Altitude: 4900 - 5400 feet
Roast: Very Light
Notes: Rosewater, Apricot Jam, Lily
Hacienda La Esmeralda Geishas have earned the highest honors (and auction prices) in the specialty coffee world, and for good reason. These coffees are some of the most challenging to grow and process, but with staggering results.
Mario Carnaval Washed Geisha
The Mario lot comes from the Jaramillo farm, growing between 4900 to 5400 feet in the mountains of Boquete, Panama. It is the oldest section of the farm planted with Geisha and Hacienda La Esmeralda. Each year, nanolots from Mario are separated by months and process. This particular Washed Geisha was harvested in February, the month of Carnaval.
Jeff Taylor visited Hacienda La Esmeralda to find this coffee on the cupping table shortly after it was removed from the drying process.
“This is a lot destined for auction, but as I was visiting and cupping for competition coffees, I was able to acquire this lot before it was committed to the auction.”
Although the altitude presents challenges for growing and harvesting, the volcanic soil and cool, humid nights bring out the finest qualities of the Geisha variety.
Due to the high premium these Geishas garner during auction, Hacienda La Esmeralda is able to pay it’s harvesters three times the typical wage, ensuring a good standard of living as well as the highest quality work.
By carefully dividing each lot as it is picked, specific clusters of trees are targeted during the harvest, building unique microlots for the most quality-conscious buyers.
The Washed Process begins by sending the coffee cherries to the receiving tank, where they are sent down a funnel by flowing water. Unripe cherries float to the surface and are discarded, leaving only the ripest cherries to fall into the depulping machine. The skin and pulp are separated from the beans and used for fertilizer, creating minimal waste. The beans continue to the demucilager, mechanically scrubbing the rest of the mucilage off and leaving the bean only protected by a layer of parchment. Once the coffee is fully washed, it sits in a holding tank until the next morning.
Depending on the weather and the size of the lot, coffee from Esmeralda will be dried one of two ways, on the patio or in the Guardiola electric dryer.
This nanolot is patio dried, spread in thin layers and rotated regularly to be dried by the sun. This process requires constant observation and rotation of the beans until they reach 11% moisture content.
After the coffee is removed from the patio, it is stored in nylon grain bags to rest between 30 and 45 days. This “reposo” period helps to stabilize the enzymes in the bean.
A week prior to shipment, the coffee is hulled to remove the parchment layer, then sorted by size, density, and color to create consistent nanolots.
Finally, coffee is vacuum sealed in GrainPro and shipped to the winning bidder.
This delicately roasted Geisha features a heavily floral aroma of magnolia and lily. When brewed it has a silky body and vibrant acidity. A note of rosewater is complimented by an apricot jam sweetness and a heady finish of lily, honey, and raspberry.