Gera washing station is located at 1,860 to 1,990 meters above sea level in Jimma. Geisha variety was discovered in Ethiopia, so the fertile red soils, high altitudes and distinct wet and dry seasons of Jimma are the cultivation conditions where this variety evolved to flourish.
- COFFEE GRADE:
- Limu Gr. 1
- Gera station
- 1,860 to 1,990 meters above sea level
- Farmers delivering to Gera station
- Guni Challa
- FARM SIZE:
- <5 hectares on average
- HARVEST MONTHS:
- Low elevations: October - December | High Elevations: November - January
SENSORY: Citrus Fruit, Floral, Milk Chocolate, Peach, Sweet, Tangerine
Farming methods in Jimma remain largely traditional. Most farmers in the region farm on fewer than 5 hectares (many counting their coffee farms in terms of trees rather than area). Cultivation methods are traditional for the most part, with coffee being grown as part of an integrated ‘coffee garden,’ intercropped with other food crops.
In addition to remaining traditionally intercropped, most farms are also traditional and organic-by-default. Farmers in Jimma typically use very few — if any — fertilizers or pesticides. Most farm work is done manually and very few tasks are mechanized, even during processing.
HARVEST & POST-HARVEST
Farmers selectively handpick cherry and deliver it to the washing station station. At intake, employees hand sort incoming cherry to remove any under- or over-ripes or damaged cherry. Cherry is placed on raised drying beds. The station marks all drying beds with a code that makes it simple to keep track of traceability and processing status.
Employees rake cherry frequently to ensure even drying. It takes approximately 15 to 21 days for cherry to dry.
Geisha (also known as Gesha) is known for its exceptional cup quality, especially when grown at high altitudes. The variety comes from Ethiopian landrace coffees and was collected from Ethiopian coffee forests in the 1930s. The name supposedly derives from Ethiopia’s Gori Gesha forest.
There is some confusion with several genetically distinct varieties that have all been called Geisha, but the most famous variety is the Panama one. The variety was brought to Lyamungu research station in Tanzania and from there, to Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE) in Central America in 1953. At CATIE, the variety was logged as T2722. CATIE distributed T2722 across Panama in the 1960s for its Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR) resistance, but its brittle branches meant it was not widely planted.
Panama Geisha reached its modern fame in 2005 when a Geisha lot won the “Best of Panama” competition and broke contemporary records at over $20/pound. DNA analysis has demonstrated that the Panama Geisha descended from T2722 is distinct and uniform. Today, Geisha is known for its delicate florals, jasmine and stone fruit.
COFFEE IN ETHIOPIA
While Ethiopia is famous as coffee’s birthplace, today it remains a specialty coffee industry darling for its incredible variety of flavors. While full traceability has been difficult in recent history, new regulations have made direct purchasing possible. We’re partnering directly with farmers to help them produce top quality specialty lots that are now completely traceable, adding value for farmers and roasters, alike.
The exceptional quality of Ethiopian coffee is due to a combination of factors. The genetic diversity of coffee varieties means that we find a diversity of flavor, even between (or within) farms with similar growing conditions and processing. In addition to varieties, processing methods also contribute to end quality. The final key ingredients for excellent coffee in Ethiopia are the producing traditions that have created the genetic diversity, processing infrastructure and great coffee we enjoy today.
Most producers in Ethiopia are smallholders, and the majority continue to cultivate coffee using traditional methods. As a result, most coffee is grown with no chemical fertilizer or pesticide use. Coffee is almost entirely cultivated, harvested and dried using manual systems.