A Sightglass Exclusive: Colombian Gesha
Maximino Gutierrez and Wilfredo Ule Vargas are not only exceptional coffee producers, they also make up two of our longest-standing partnerships in Colombia. Though grown in the same country, these coffees come from distinct climates and terroir, yielding cups that are singular in their complexity, but equally delicious.
We’ve been fortunate to grow alongside Maximino and Wilfredo in their coffee journeys, and are proud to bring you a truly unique offering from these beloved producers: Gesha.
What is a Gesha?
Gesha (sometimes called Geisha) is a variety of coffee that originated in the Gori Gesha Forest of Western Ethiopia. Gesha seeds were eventually brought to Costa Rica and Panama where the plant flourished for decades and eventually achieved worldwide fame at the Best of Panama competition in 2004. In the expert hands of Wilfredo and Maximino, Gesha coffee delivers an unforgettable experience for anyone lucky enough to taste it.
It takes skill and patience to produce Gesha coffee. Each plant requires more water and energy, yet produces about half as many cherries as a typical coffee plant. Prices for Gesha coffee clearly reflect this, as farmers dedicate much more of their time, resources and expertise to caring for this special crop. Despite the low yield and higher cost, to taste a Gesha is to immediately understand why it’s worth the trouble. A coffee this vibrant makes you instantly thankful for those willing to put in the extra hours to make it possible.
A Tale of Two Farms
Maximino’s farm, Las Florestales, is located in Tolima, a rural but bucolic setting deep in the mountains. Up until this harvest, Maximino had almost exclusively grown Red and Yellow Caturra varieties. He broke out of his comfort zone in planting Gesha after some encouragement from his brother, Gildardo Gutierrez, whose farm Monte Verde produced the very first Gesha that Sightglass ever featured. Between Gildardo’s expertise, and Maximino’s mastery at producing clean and consistent coffee, the result is unparalleled.
In contrast to Las Florestales, Wilfredo’s farm, Finca Alcatraz, is located in Huila near the busy town of Pitalito. His eye for detail and hunger for experimentation has led to consistently outstanding coffee, and has even won him a Cup of Excellence award in recent years. His Gesha is no exception.
Brewing the Perfect Cup
Both of these selections represent exceptional Gesha coffee, but also the unique climate and soil in which they grew. They were both produced by skilled coffee producers, but processed in two different ways that speak to the unique style and preferences of Maximino and Wilfredo. We also make choices – in how we roast and eventually brew the coffee.
Our roasting style for coffees of this high quality is to tread lightly, with enough development to express the full spectrum of flavors available.
Our favorite way to brew these complex coffees is with the Hario V60 brewer. The paper filter traps some of the oils and finer particles, while allowing the fruit and floral notes, silky body, and balanced acidity take center stage.
Here’s our recipe:
20g of freshly ground coffee
315g of filtered water, heated to 195F-205F
Don't Miss Out
Our supply is limited on both of these Geshas, and having two on our menu is exceedingly rare. Treat yourself to these delicious coffees, and trust us, you’ll be glad you did.
Want a steady stream of our favorite single origin selections, and access to exclusive offerings like this? Our Seasonal Variety coffee subscription is the answer.
Grant MacHamer has been in the specialty coffee industry for 11 years, currently serving as Director of Education for Sightglass Coffee. As a barista, educator and storyteller he seeks to improve our daily coffee rituals while sharing the stories of the countless people that make our morning cup of coffee possible.