Hermel de Jesus Alvar
Geisha (100% Arabica)
5000 Trees / 11 Hectares
Jasmine florals, bergamot, apricot, green tea like and delicate with a cream butter body.
Imagine you’re at a contemporary art auction. You’re watching similarly interesting items being sold, when suddenly a very peculiar and unexpected piece sets itself apart. Everyone in the room is surprised and you watch the price go up the roof. That is a parallel to how the coffee world got to know the Geisha (or Gesha) varietal.
Original from the Gori Gesha forest in Ethiopia, the seeds were taken to Costa Rica around 1950’s and from there to Panama. Hacienda la Esmeralda in Panama became one of the first to cultivate the beans outside Ethiopia and in 2004 introduced the beans at The Best of Panama coffee auction (which is like the Oscars for coffee).
The very distinctive flowery, fruit-like flavor blew the minds of the taste evaluators and made Geisha worldwide famous overnight. Subsequently, this varietal continued to score very high in the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) 100-point scoring system – always above 90.
Clearly the origin of every Geisha influences its taste. Horizonte’s Geisha comes from Anserma, Colombia, cultivated at 1900m above sea level. Your cup will taste like jasmine, bergamot, apricot with a delicate butter-like body.
At Horizonte we like our Geisha best made out of paper filter. If you hand-grind it, you will find it more on the harder side. It took us a while to find the perfect roast profile for these beans. With such distinctive notes, we wanted to avoid adding roast flavors to it. The result is a very light roast. Made this way we keep the very original flavors, simply fenomenal!
As with most of our beans, the careful sourcing was done by Valentina Duque, from Siruma Coffee. And our relationship with Siruma started after a visit to Colombia because of a bike race – as most things in Christoph Sauser’s life!
Valentina indicated that the beans of farmer Hermel de Jesus Alvares were of the highest quality. We then scheduled a visit to meet the farmer and his family, see the plantation and try the coffee in its home soil.
Coffee farming in the Caldas region is quite spectacular. The plantations start at 1500m above sea level on extremely steep slopes (even for a Swiss). Hand-picking is still the only way to harvest in this region given the angle of the slopes. Hermel’s farm is one of the biggest that we’ve visited in Anserma, but that is still very very small compared, let’s say, with a commercial farm.
We were invited to have a cup on his veranda, with a beautiful view over the valley and the plantation. The house is typically built with lots of bamboo and painted with vibrant colors. Hermel lives with his wife Gloria Cristina and his son Alejandro. Hermel is the son of coffee growers. His father was one of the founding members of Cooperativa de Caficultores. He’s truly proud of his coffee and his land and a true lover of the Colombian countryside.