[07] Colombia - El Encanto Gesha [CROP 22/23 ARCHIVE]

[07] Colombia - El Encanto Gesha [CROP 22/23 ARCHIVE]

Daisy Acevedo's Gesha ran from 18/10/2023 to 24/10/2024.

This elegant and refined Gesha lot from Daisy and Fredy Acevedo is our first purchase from new import partners LaReb, and is an exemplary expression of the variety’s inherent potential. Carefully sourced seed stock, high quality agronomy and processing combine to produce a delicious and complex cup. 

Brew Guide:

Best Brewed with: Filter

The Gesha coffee variety is famed for vibrant, floral characteristics, delicate tealike body and high sweetness. Dial up the sweetness with a 65g/L ratio (roughly 1:15) or go for complexity and elegance with a 55g/l (roughly 1:18). Play around with brew temperature as well - higher temps (96-99c) can help bring out florals, whereas 92-94c can concentrate sweetness.

If brewing on Espresso, we recommend at least 3 weeks rest (time since the roast date) and pulling 1:3 ratio shots - like 18g in to 54g out in 25-30s.

We’re tasting: Super floral aromas - apple blossom, jasmine and darjeeling tea. In the cup - sweet sticky tinned mandarin while hot, becoming peachy as it cools. The finish has hints of elderflower, lychee and white grape. Very elegant, with a slender body

Traceability:

Country of Origin:
Colombia
Region:
Northern Quindío, Filandia
Farm:

Finca El Encanto

Producer:

Daisy & Fredy Acevedo

Variety:
Gesha
Elevation:
1680 MASL
Process:
Washed: Picking very ripe cherries, 48 hr whole cherry ferment, pulped with a 72 hr dry pulp fermentation, followed by washing with clean water. Dried over 15 days in parabolic driers
Import Partner:
LaReb

 

The Story

Our journey in sourcing this coffee starts first with our friends closer to home - we received a tip-off from a good friend in the industry that there was a producer owned & run export co-operative operating out of Colombia with some radically transformative ideas. Following up on this, we reached out and were introduced to Herbert Peñaloza, co-founder of “La Real Expedición Botánica” - “LaReb” for short. 

One of LaReb’s key missions is to decolonise the supply chain, re-balance the power dynamics between producing and consuming countries and to reduce the barrier between producer and roaster.

Upon meeting Herbert we knew this was a mission that resonated with us, and that we were super keen to purchase from a LaReb producer. Finding out that the UK office is run by our good friend Zach Chipp (of Chipp Coffee fame) was the cherry on the cake - a round of samples and some tough decisions later, we alighted on this lot from Daisy Acevedo’s Finca El Encanto.

Daisy Acevedo and her Husband Fredy are second generation coffee farmers from Colombia. Having met in Panama as economic expats, they learned about the nascent speciality coffee scene in the late 2000s - fortuitous timing to be in Panama, as the 2002 Best of Panama auction saw the Elida estate gain a record breaking $2.37/lb for their 1st Place winning lot. This was 5 times the commercial price for coffee, a staggering amount at the time -  profitably above the cost of production at a time when international coffee prices were emphatically below it.  This moment was the (re)discovery of the Gesha/Geisha variety, where modern “third wave” coffee really started to pick up momentum worldwide. 

It certainly did in Panama, showing (speciality) coffee farming could be a viable business proposition, and a few years later it brought Daisy & Fredy back to their native Colombia, and back to coffee farming.

Having collected seeds from original Panama Gesha seed-stock (the exact source is said to be a very famous farm, but precise provenance is kept a closely held secret), they returned to their native town of Risaralda, where Daisy’s father Gustavo has a farm. It is on Gustavo’s farm that Daisy first planted a trial plot of Gesha. Early harvests from these first trees were sensational, and saw buyers from La Cabra as well as Herbert and Ana from La Reb (luckily for us, Ana is Gustavo’s neighbour) visit to find out who - and what - was producing these stunning coffees.

In 2017, Daisy and Fredy made the move permanently back to Colombia, buying Finca El Encanto, which is located 1680 metres above sea level in the municipality of Filandia, in Quindío. 

Taking seed stock from the trees they planted on Gustavo’s farm, they grow 4 HA of Gesha (6000 trees) with plans to expand production. A further 6 HA of the farm is planted with the rust resistant Castillo variety. All of the coffee on El Encanto is grown under shade trees, with a considerable part of their farm (5 HA) kept as native forest. Part of the success of El Encanto can be attributed to Daisy’s training - she has a specialisation in the management and conservation of natural spaces. Thanks to this success, El Encanto now employees 5 permanent workers alongside the Acevedo familia.

The processing of this coffee is deftly managed, as Daisy & Fredy have invested heavily in their wet mill equipment - picking only very, very ripe fruit, followed by a 48 hour rest period in sack before pulping, with floater/density sorting occurring during the pulping process. The pulped coffee is kept in its juices for a 72 hour dry fermentation in steel tanks. The coffee is washed clean, removing the now loosened mucilage, and laid out to dry on beds in parabolic (greenhouse/polytunnel style) dryers.  Throughout this process, the native microbiota of yeast and bacteria at El Encanto are carefully husbanded to contribute complex aromatic compounds to the final cup through fermentation. 

The results combine the genetic potential of the Gesha variety, well executed processing and the natural climate and geography of Quindio to produce a top class coffee - a true taste of provenance. Hats off to Daisy, to Fredy, and to Herbert and LaReb collective - we’re excited to work together more in the future.

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For reference, converted to kilos, using historical foreign exchange data and adjusting for inflation - that record breaking price converts to about £5.92 per kilo green in today’s money - still notably higher than commercial coffee these days, but around the very bottom end price we would pay for a “blender” lot. The most recent BoP winning lot (2023) cleared $10,000/kg (or £8,250/kg, give or take a bit of exchange rate wiggle)

On the is it “Gesha or Geisha” debate - we fall on the side of “Gesha” - While perfect transliteration from Ethiopian languages (both major and minor) to English is considered nearly impossible to achieve, the commonly accepted spelling of the mother-forest this variety originated from is is “Gori Gesha”. 

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