A Gesha varietal coffee from Cerro Azul Estate in Colombia. More balanced and restrained than the famous Esmeralda Gesha, with mouth-watering fruited aromatics, guava, panela, vanilla, Creme Caramel. City to City+ roast
Gesha is the coffee varietal made famous by a single farm in Panama, Hacienda Esmeralda, and has unique floral and fruit cup character. Many farms have tried to replicate the success of Esmeralda Gesha, motivated by the very high prices it fetches, but many have not attained success with the plant itself, or with the cup quality of the coffee. _‹ÐCerro Azul_‹ is located in the municipality of Trujillo, Valle del Cauca, in the Western Cordillera of Colombia_‹_s Andean mountain range. The farm is owned Rigoberto and Luis Eduardo Herrera, two brothers who come from a traditional coffee family. The Herreras left Colombia in the 1970_‹_s to study engineering abroad but returned in 1998 with the dream of reconstructing their grandfather_‹_s Hacienda and getting back into coffee farming. The farm is experimenting with many different varieties which they have planted on different parcels and fincas including this Gesha, Moka, Bourbon (Red, Yellow), Laurina, Pacamara, San Bernardo and Pache, in addition to the Organic Caturra which makes up the majority of the sister farm, Finca La Esperanza. Many of these plants are not yet in production. The _‹ÐCerro Azul_‹ is 20 hectares between 1,700 and 1,950 meters, and unlike other attempts to plant Gesha in Colombia, has had great success.
The fragrance when you grind this coffee is, quite literally, mouth-watering to smell. There are lush fruited scents, not outrageous in any way, but sweet and resonant. Guava and flame grape dominate the fragrance, with the addition of sweet panela sugar, vanilla, and Creme Caramel. The interesting thing about this Gesha is how different it is from the famous Panama Esmeralda Gesha. It's much more restrained in some ways, less "racy" in terms of fruit and floral notes, but much more balanced (something I always find lacking in the Esmeralda) and well-structured in flavor profile. The brightness gives the cup a nice "spine," providing a great context for the tangy sweetness of well-caramelized sugars. As it cools, this fruited sweetness makes the coffee seem so candy-like, and not in some over-the-top Jolly Rancher kind of way. I did three roast levels (all well before 2nd crack - don't roast this to 2nd!) and this coffee works out best in the lighter levels where the distinct Gesha character is more prominent. A blend of a City roast with a slightly darker level was really nice too.