Mango, piña colada, blackberry
1.900 – 2.000 masl.
The geisha coffee that we bring to you, grown on the Alto la Estrella farm, is a magnificent example of what we can expect from a coffee of this variety.
Geisha coffee grown in the best place
This geisha coffee has been grown in the mountains of Costa Rica.
The name “geisha” refers to the strain of coffee from which this variety comes. “Alto la Estrella”, on the other hand, refers to the best area to plant coffee in the region of Santa María de Dota, in the canton of Tarrazú, Costa Rica.
Alto la Estrella is a farm a little bigger than one hectare and is located at an altitude of between 1,900 and 2,000 meters above sea level. The canton of Tarrazú has ideal conditions for growing coffee thanks to the richness of the soil and the favourable weather.
According to Ivan Solis, who has processed this coffee, the Alto la Estrella farm is the best place to grow coffee in this region, already ideal for it.
Geisha Coffee Alto la Estrella of Costa Rica
The “geisha” coffee variety became popular in 2004, when it won the “Best of Panama” competition. Since then it has won this same competition on other occasions and it’s a regular in many others.
And, while the name “Geisha” may remind us of the East, the name was given because of the Ethiopian mountain village where this variety was discovered in the 30s.
In the 1960s this variety was introduced in Panama and since then it has been associated with this country.
In 2010 Adolfo Umana, a smart coffee farmer from Costa Rica, bought seeds and planted them in the Alto la Estrella farm, just when this coffee was booming. This area’s ideal conditions made this geisha coffee variety developed without having anything to envy its Panamanian sisters.
Geisha variety: cultivation and harvest
This geisha coffee batch has been cultivated between 1,900 and 2,000 meters above sea level. At this height the weather conditions are ideal for a slow ripening.
Adolfo Umana, owner of the small farm Alto la Estrella, plants the coffee trees among hass avocado trees. This favours the creation of a specific microclimate very conducive to growing the Geisha variety.
Adolfo works the land organically and respecting the local ecosystem. Thanks to the high altitude and environment many diseases are kept afar.
The coffee harvest is done by hand and only when the cherries have reached their optimum ripening point.
Coffee processing at the Solís y Cordero washing station
The processing of this coffee was done by Ivan Solís in the family washing station that he founded.
Ivan Solís grew up very humbly, but his work was always related to coffee in one way or another. Over time, his passion for coffee led him to become a Q grader and to fund and manage his own washing station.
Ivan and his family work with coffee farmers in the area to help them grow the best coffees and process them in the most appropriate way. Ivan and his family’s knowledge and passion for coffee makes every batch that comes out of their washing station a specialty coffee.
Ivan has developed his own processing style called ‘red honey’ which has become the hallmark of his washing station. This entails always briefly fermenting the coffee cherries before pulping them, they are then left to dry with the mucilage. The fermentation point depends on each variety and batch.
Geisha coffee Alto la Estrella processing
In the case of this Geisha coffee variety, since it is an exotic variety for Costa Rica, Ivan and his son, have only fermented it for 24 hours.
Once the fermentation process is finished, they pulp it, but leave the mucilage. Ivan says that this coffee has excellent mucilage due to the variety and the growing conditions and altitude, which favours a slow ripening.
Once pulped and with the mucilage, the seeds are dried on raised beds. Due to the thickness of the mucilage the drying period extends between 20 and 26 days, during which it is moved regularly to achieve and even drying.