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You Know The Deal About The Dwarf Geisha Variety?

You Know The Deal About The Dwarf Geisha Variety?

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There’s been a lot of buzz lately about a variety of coffee some have nicknamed the “dwarf geisha” coming out of Colombia. If you’re lucky enough to be in San Francisco this week, our partners at Equator Coffees have set up a series of events with very special guests – the producers of Granja La Esperanza in Colombia – and their mysteriously delicious variety.

Equator Coffees’ roast of Granja La Esperanza’s Cerro Azul Geisha took top honors at the 2013 Roasters Choice competition (the Roasters Choice is held every year at the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Event) back in April. This harvest, coffee buyer Ted Statchura went back down to Granja La Esperanza and cupped something truly unique.

Ted (second, left) and the team. [Equator Coffees]

Ted (second, left) and the team. [Equator Coffees]

Here’s a dispatch from Mr. Statchura:

Cerro Azul is one of a handful of farms owned and operated by Granja La Esperanza, and is planted almost exclusively to the rare and celebrated botanical variety known as Geisha (or Gesha). The entire farm was planted with Geisha seed imported from La Carleida, a farm in Boquete, Panama that Granja La Esperanza has operated for over 15 years. The reason these Colombian growers operate a farm in Boquete is to learn more about the rare Geisha variety. As the coffee trees began to mature at Cerro Azul however, it became evident that a small number of trees were not in fact Geisha. The visual cue that the plants were different was the compact size of the trees and the dense foliage compared to the taller, rather sparse, Geisha bushes. Although there are guesses, no one is sure what the true identity of this dwarf variety is. As such, the plants were dubbed Enano, which means dwarf in Spanish.

Because Enano was clearly not the Geisha variety, Granja La Esperanza sold the produce of these trees to the local market. Last season, they decided to process the Enano cherry separately, in order to evaluate the cup quality of the mystery variety as it was naturalizing on the farm. As it happened, the coffee was very good – soft floral tones reminiscent of the Geisha type, with clarity, crispness and balance.

After cupping Enano at the Granja La Esperanza lab, we knew we wanted to roast it. Equator was able to secure the few bags that make up the entire production of Enano on the Cerro Azul farm; the only other variety grown on this famous farm. We are proud to partner with the quality obsessed team at Granja La Esperanza to bring you this and other exciting coffees.

Equator Coffees’ Devorah Freudiger tells us that this dwarf variety isn’t labeled Geisha. “They are really not sure if this is a mutation or another variety,” she told us, “that somehow got mixed in when they brought cherry from Panama to Colombia. Ted visited Cerro Azul and was able to taste the Enano which held it’s own on a table full of Gesha. Partially because this farm does everything right and also because this mystery variety is super floral and sweet.”

Curious?

RSVP for the two events held this weekend – starting tomorrow. Meet the producers for an informal mixer at Duboce Park Cafe on Friday, September 13th from 5:30-7:30pm in San Francisco’s Duboce Triangle. Then spend some quality time with them out in Mill Valley at Equator Coffee at Proof Lab on Saturday, September 14th from 2:00PM-4:00PM.

 


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