Panama Lerida Black Honey Geisha

  • Panama Lerida Black Honey Geisha
  • Panama Lerida Black Honey Geisha
  • Panama Lerida Black Honey Geisha
  • Panama Lerida Black Honey Geisha

Cup Characteristics: Jasmine notes abound. Very nicely balanced combination of floral and fruity with hints of malabar pepper. Fruit penetration is medium to medium heavy. Well processed.

$39.99 per 12 ounces

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Another fantastic and reasonably priced exotic Geisha varietal from Finca Lerida, but this tiem Black Honey processed. Lerida has two growing areas in Boquete, one on their main property in Alto Quiel and the other Esplenderosa located nearby in Jaramillo not far from the famed Esmeralda estate. Black Honey processing involves removing the outer skin from the coffee cherry, then drying the remaining fruit and pulp on tables over the course of as many days as are required to achieve the optimal residual moisture content of around 11%. The coffee takes on fruit characteristics derived from the drying mucilage and what it imparts to the inner coffee beans. In mid July coffee from this plot of Lerida in a natural process was auctioned for $67 a pound.

We have offered coffee from Finca Lerida in the past, and have always been impressed by the attention to detail in their processing methods. We were able to secure several lots from the farm this year when we attended the Best of Panama Competition, where Finca Lerida had three coffee lots win.

Finca Lerida is a farm with a rich and unique history. Its founder, Tollef B. Monniche, came to Panama from Norway in 1907 to work as an engineer on the Panama Canal. Tollef retired in 1924, and bought a small farm in Boquete, Panama with his wife - the property was called "Lerida" after the city in Spain. He built a house and on the property, and went to work planting coffee trees as well as fruits and vegetables. He built a dam on the farm, to provide water to the coffee processing plant there, and also developed and patented a device, called the "Sifon" to separate ripe cherries from unripe ones. This device is still in use today, not only at Finca Lerida, but also on coffee farms worldwide.

Today, Finca Lerida is run by the Chiari family, who coordinate coffee growing with surrounding rainforest preservation. It also houses a eco-tourism hotel, where patrons can take tours of the farm land and enjoy the ambiance of the rainforest. The farm sits at an altitude of 5250-6020 feet above sea level, and grows Caturra, Catuai and Geisha varietals, which are processed several ways.

This lot is 100% geisha, an heirloom varietal from Ethiopia that produces a blue-green elongated coffee bean that is especially aromatic and floral. Price Peterson, who owns Hacienda Esmeralda in Panama, experimented by planting it some years ago along with a broader group of varietals. The result was the rediscovery of a great cultivar with extreme fruitiness and floral scents and flavors, but with balance and finesse not seen in other coffees. Coffee farmers in other countries soon followed suit, and the varietal regularly takes home awards in Cup of Excellence competitions held throughout the world. It is fully washed, meaning the outer skin and pulp (fruit surrounding the coffee husk) are totally removed during milling before being sun dried on patios.

  • Coffee variety: Geisha
  • Processing: Black Honey
  • Farm: Finca Lerida
  • Plot location: Esplenderosa
  • Location: Jaramillo
  • Province: Chiriqui
  • District: Boquete
  • Township: Los Naranjos
  • Altitude: 5250-6020 feet above sea level