Geisha coffee is one of the more interesting but still accessible coffee types, and despite its typically small total worldwide production, you can still find many specialist roasteries across the country that offer Geisha coffees, we'll give you the history, why they are great to support and most importantly how to drink it!
What is Geisha Coffee?
Geisha coffee is a type of coffee that has been grown in the region of Geisha in Ethiopia for over a century. It's often used as the base for espresso and drip coffee. A Geisha in the Cup is a complex and unique flavour, and as coffee scoring goes, if a flavour is more unique or rarer, it is classed as superior and the flavours that come out of Ethiopia are some of the most interesting and rare of them all.
Coffee Value Chain in Ethiopia
Coffee is the country's most valuable export, accounting for more than a third of total exports. The coffee industry provides livelihoods to around 30 million people and accounts for 13% of Ethiopia's GDP.
Ethiopia has been ranked as one of the world’s top ten coffee producers, with an annual production of around 1.3 million 60-kg bags.
The Ethiopian government aims to increase its share in the global coffee market by 10% by 2025.
Brewing and Tasting Geisha Coffee
Geisha coffee is a special kind of coffee that requires a specific brewing process and tasting notes.
The geisha coffee is known for its light, sweet flavour. It has been processed with the utmost care to preserve it’s natural flavours and aromas.
The geisha coffee beans are grown at higher elevations in the mountains of Central America, South America and Africa. The regions where they are grown have high altitudes, which produce beans that have more body than those grown at lower elevations.
Hartebeest Antelope Conservation in the Ethiopian Highlands
The Ethiopian Highlands is home to a number of endemic species including the wildebeest antelope and the blue sheep. The Hartebeest Antelope Conservation Project (HACP) was founded in 1980 by the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority with the aim of conserving these animals. Projects like these are funded in part by the coffee industry.
The project is funded by donations from individuals, foundations, corporations, and governments. It also relies on revenue from tourism and hunting permits. HACP has been working with local communities to develop sustainable livelihoods that do not rely on hunting or poaching animals for their survival.
Well-being and Work Environment at Duromina Cooperative under Kata Muduga Farmers Union
Co-operatives are being started across some of the regions of Ethiopia, like the one at Duromina, which offers a centralised location of traininag and processing coffee, joined by 113 farmers. The Limu region in Oromia, Ethiopia is mostly located around 2000 metres above sea level providing great conditions for specialty coffee.
Farmers replaced their sickly trees in 2010 with new seedlings under the training of the cooperative and have gone from strength to strength, The farm covers a total area of 3,000 acres and has a wide variety of livestock and crops.
The campaign now provides income for 300 farming families and produces award winning coffee regularly.
The main goal of the Duromina Cooperative is to promote sustainable agriculture income for families through training and education programs for farmers and employees on sustainable farming practices, as well as providing livestock feed for the animals on the farm.
How much Does Geisha Coffee Cost?
A good quality Geisha coffee will cost in the region of £100 per KG, so getting the grind right is as important as ever. The expensive price is mostly down to the rarity of the coffee, and as supply and demand dictate, the price can remain high.
Growing geisha coffee is a difficult process. The coffee cherries need very specific environmental conditions for them to grow properly.
Geisha Coffee Grown Elsewhere
Even though Geisha coffee originated in Ethiopia from the Gesha region, seeds and plants have also been cultivated in other coffee growing regions, with Panama and Costa Rica having an even higher output of Geisha coffee than Africa. Coffees from these locations taste just as good, just make sure you are supporting the right causes with your coffee purchases.