Gesha coffee beans.
What is Gesha Coffee?
Pronunciation aside, Gesha is simply a variety (or cultivar) of Arabica coffee, just like the more commonly known Caturra, Typica, or Bourbon. The name “Gesha” comes from the region in which this variety of coffee was discovered: the mountainous Gesha region of Southwestern Ethiopia. In an expedition by British Colonialists in the 1930s, the region was misunderstood to be called “Geisha”. Sprudge has written about why this misunderstanding is problematic. To save confusing this unique and mystifying variety of coffee with a Japanese Entertainer, we will refer to the varietal as “Gesha”.
Originally from Ethiopia, Gesha coffee plants are notoriously difficult to grow. The coffee cherries need very specific climatic conditions in order to thrive and produce a successful crop.
Why is Gesha coffee expensive?
Harvesting needs to happen at just the right time; the plants will only grow at certain altitudes; and interestingly, photosynthesis is not as efficient as it is in other species of plants. This is because the leaves of the Gesha coffee plant are thinner, making it harder for the plant to produce the energy needed to grow. As a result, harvests are smaller and less productive, resulting in fewer beans for sale and a more exclusive reputation. Therefore, as you may have noticed, Gesha coffee beans typically attract a steeper price tag.
Think of Gesha like a craft beer. If you like drinking Emu Export, it’s not likely you will enjoy a small batch of sour-tasting fruit or flowers. In this metaphor, Gesha is sour, and your regular cappuccino is the Emu Export. Brewing Gesha coffee beans produces a floral, fruity cup, heavily perfumed yet delicately flavoured. If you are heavily into your coffee and appreciate nuanced flavours, definitely give Gesha coffee beans a try. Brew with care and take a moment to enjoy the flavour of these finicky beans.