Best at lighter roast levels, this "Gesha Longberry" shows a delicious base brown sugar-to-butterscotch sweetness, marked by delicate top notes of pearl jasmine tea, cinnamon and cardamom spice, tangy lime, and a toasted honey-sesame candy note. City to City+.
Yes, this Gesha comes from the same Acatenango farm we buy our other Gesha lots from. But the flavor profile was unique enough compared to the others and so we tagged it "Longberry" as to differentiate it from the rest. It has a fruited side that is as overt as the jasmine floral notes we expect from Gesha, and that adds a tanginess that's obvious in light roasts. This Longberry lot's moisture content reads a bit higher than the others too (%12.3 as opposed to %11.5), which could mean a little longer time in the fermentation tank, or perhaps on the drying patios, and may contribute to the slightly more fruited cup. If you don't know the story of the Gesha cultivar, it is an old coffee type from Ethiopia that was brought to an experimental coffee garden in Costa Rica years ago as a specimen sample. It was distributed to a few farms for testing on small plots, but not much was thought of it until one of these, Esmeralda in Panama, separated it from the other cultivars and entered it in the national competition. It was so outrageously different, with fruited and floral character like a Yirga Cheffe coffee from half a world away. Now that the word is out, other farms that received some of the seed have tried to separate their Gesha coffee as well, as is the case here. The results are always a bit different: the cultivar "expresses" itself differently in terms of cup flavors at each location, influenced by weather, soil, altitude and the like. And with this coffee from the region of Acatenango, we have a Gesha cup that expresses much of that floral intensity that's become synonymous with the "Gesha" name.
The dry fragrance has smells of lime peel zest with floral and spice notes that are much more than subtle. The floral aspects are definitely of the star jasmine variety - typical for Gesha coffee - and spiced sweetness that smells a bit like cinnamon-spiced honey. The wetted crust of City and City+ roasts pack hefty sweetness, like warm butterscotch syrup, only to be eclipsed by a resonant floral aroma that's released on the break. The cup has much of the aforementioned qualities, a delicious base brown sugar-to-butterscotch sweetness that lasts long into the aftertaste, and that is marked by delicate top notes often thought to be reserved for coffees of East Africa. A floral pearl jasmine tea note is easily recognized, and cinnamon and cardamom spice come through to a lesser extent. As the cup cools, citrus flavor and vibrance moves closer to pole position, taking on a flavor lime, replete with a tangy citric brightness that pairs well with black tea notes in the short finish. A toasted sesame note crops up as the cup cools adding a grain-like sweetness that comes off like honey-sesame candies. I roasted one batch to Full City, and while it had juicy bittersweetness, there wasn't much left signifying the coveted varietal.