What is a Geisha coffee and why would I want to pay more for it?
Geisha is a selectively bred strain of coffee known for its overly floral, clean and sweet cup profile. Often top grades will sell for $90+ per pound roasted. The strain itself is fairly new, low yield plants that are very finicky where they grow. This unique cup profile accompanied with the growing issues (low yield, finicky strain) cause the price to be pretty astronomical. We at Burman Coffee tend to struggle with paying $50 plus for even unique coffee but are quick to grab a good deal that shows Geisha attributes, is fun to play with and a great deal for what it is. Not an award winning Geisha but very nice screen and bean size with clear Geisha attributes. A tasty cup.
In 2006, Liliana Caballero Rojas and her family acquired Hacienda Casablanca in Vereda Vericute, Municipio Floridablanco. Liliana is a native of Santander, born to parents who worked in agriculture; she grew up dedicating herself to coffee growing to provide a better life for her family and for the people who work year-round and seasonally harvesting on Hacienda Casablanca.
Liliana’s vision as an administrative and financial professional is to add value to her coffee fields through planning, renovating older parcels, planting new varieties like Gesha, and improving processing and drying techniques. She is recently motivated by winning first place in the National Yara Champion Program in 2016. To bring in additional revenue during periods of price crisis, Liliana sells roasted coffee to the local market in packages she designed herself.
Hacienda Casablanca dates back to 1860, three years after the Department of Santander, where it sits, was founded. It was initially known as Villa Josefa, then called Hacienda La Leona, and finally named Hacienda Casablanca.
The property initially extended across 150 hectares of what have traditionally been coffee growing lands since the estate’s beginning. The large size gave it the identifier “hacienda,” meaning estate, which in Colombia is used to indicate ample properties. The original estate was subdivided over the years, and today the 20 hectares that remain as Casablanca still include “Hacienda” in the name as a nod to the farm’s history, including the main house and its original architecture from the mid nineteenth century.
Very complex lemony floral and sweet tones that settle a bit more on the tea end of the Geisha cups. Lighter roasts accentuate the more lemony floral acidic tones of the cup but also bring out cool soft fruit and jasmine spice; cups will end almost like a top end black tea, leaving complex and dry tones lingering. Can risk a little grassy nutty right at first crack. Good to get a little development past first crack for the lighter roasts. A medium roast reduces the acidity and balances the cup with a more traditional Colombian chocolaty factor, still plenty of identifiable exotic tones. Our favorite roast level across the board. A little less exotic than the light roasts but very drinkable all day while gently reminding you that this is something exotic. Roasts close to or into 2nd crack will turn a bit more semi-sweet baker’s chocolaty.
A light to dark roast offering but when your paying up for a Geisha, it is mainly for the light to medium roast fans. Geisha coffees are all about the lighter tones, which will burn out at darker roasts. If you are shooting for a light roast, drag out the profile a bit; the beans will still be a bit splotchy in color, medium roast is right as the splotchy color goes solid and a slight sheen can be seen. Setup is key with this bean – try to wait at least 24-48 hours before drinking.