Gesha Village Illubabor Forest 1974

The coffee that we have chosen for our October and November subscription are two lots from the 2019 harvest of Gesha Village, Ethiopia. Read on to find out what makes the coffee so unique. 

About the Farm

Gesha Village is a 471-hectare coffee farm built from the ground up over the last six years. Rachel Samuel, one of the owner of the farm, was born in Ethiopia. She returned in 2007 to make a documentary about Ethiopia’s amazing coffee. During this process, she developed a passion for the country, its people, and its coffee industry. That path quickly led her to Willem Boot, the San Francisco Bay Area-based coffee educator well-known for his passion for the Gesha variety.

They soon returned to Ethiopia to find suitable land to launch their coffee venture growing Gesha. For months they searched for the perfect spot—one with high elevation, ample rainfall, temperate climates, and other crucial natural factors needed to produce coffee of excellent quality. They found it in Bench Maji. While the untouched landscape provided them with the unique opportunity to build the coffee farm of their dreams from the ground up, it offered them something else one-of-a-kind: Close proximity to the Gori Gesha forest, the variety’s birthplace and site of the Panamanian Geisha discovery in the 1930s.

The two lots comes from the Gaylee part of the farm. The southeast-facing kebele (neighborhood) adjacent to the farm, officially named ‘Gaylee-Gesha,’ where Gesha Village’s source of water comes from, the Yetgordon river

About the Variety

The variety, Illubabor 1974, was part of a collection from the Jimma Agricultural Research Centre in Ethiopia. This centre studies wild varieties collected from the Ethiopian forests looking for characteristics such as disease resistance, excellent cup quality, and good yields. This heirloom varietal came from samples collected growing wild from the Gori Gesha forest.

About the Processing

Honey (October Subscription, Lot 54): In this type of processing, the skin of the fresh cherry is physically removed by a pulper machine without the addition of water, as with fully washed processing. After pulping, the coffee bypasses the demucilager to retain its mucilage. The coffee is then dried until it reaches 11 percent moisture content. 

Natural (November Subscription, Lot 25): In this process, the coffee is sun-dried with the whole coffee cherry intact in thin layers on raised African beds. A parabolic plastic cover is used in the evening for increased air-flow to the coffee. The coffee undergoes 18 to 30 total drying days in the natural process.

The End Result

We really enjoy its delicate and complex profile of fruits and florals. Intense sweetness, hibiscus, infused with floral notes of orange blossom and jasmine and the sweetness of stone fruit