Finca Doña Daisy, Central Valley, Red Honey Gesha
This is the second production lot of the complex, fancy coffee varietal Gesha from Dona Daisy. It is a nano-lot and is available in 125g and 250g.
This is not a classic coffee producer story of a farm going on for generations, in fact it is the absolute opposite. As the couple Daisy and Jose(Pepe) retired, they started to get interested in the infamous coffee varietal Gesha, that was getting a lot of attention in the area. After years of research: reading online and YouTube videos, Daisy and Pepe were convinced they should start growing the coffee in their garden. They talked to everyone they knew and after many phone calls and research they found some Gesha seeds for sale. So the Couples dream came true, growing and processing coffee in their garden in Central Valley, overlooking the capital city. We truly admire their courage of growing into the agricultural activity. "The greatest challenge has been the knowledge of this very special activity", says Pepe.
About the producers - Daisy and Pepe Fallas
Dasiy and Jose “Pepe” Fallas have a beautiful home, overlooking the San Jose city in Costa Rica's Central Valley. The couple live there with their two children and two grandchildren. The mill they have built up is named after Daisy - Doña Daisy - and the farm name after Pepe - Finca Don Pepe. Pepe says “The process we have here is very handmade and very familiar, in which the whole family and even the grandchildren (three and five years old) participate, haha. It is wonderful to see the family nucleus in disposition of the coffee activities.”
The house is located at an altitude of about 1700 meters and the garden is huge, which is why they decided to try and grow some coffee there. The business started five years ago after conducting many years of research. They had read about a variety called Gesha on the internet which intrigued them. So Jose and Daisy spoke to everyone they could and after many phone calls found someone who had a good and DNA-proofed Gesha-seed for sale! Now - five years later- the second crop has been harvested, processed and is in our hands at the roastery in Stockholm, and perhaps in your cup shortly. It is an honour being a part of Daisy and Pepes’ journey into coffee.
About the production at Finca Doña Daisy
Visiting Doña Daisy last year we had a short notice and interrupted the couple sitting and sorting coffee at their dining table. Precisely the same happened the year before that. Pepe and Daisy were finishing the third (!) sorting of the parchments. This is very much an idyllic dream; growing Gesha and drying it on raised beds with a breathtaking view.
At a cupping earlier in the day (before our visit) we had blindly cupped over 100 coffees. One that really stood out and which we all pointed at was Daisy and Joses’ Gesha.
For such a young, small enterprise, they have already received great acclaim.
“The farm is at a height of 1,650-1700 metres and the sun covers it from dawn until two in the afternoon. This has made the Gesha coffee evolve very correctly. For many years we had cows, sheep, goats and horses on the grounds of our farm, and that has contributed to the flavour of the soil, which is at its maximum quality.”, the couple says.
The Red Honey process
The coffee is processed as a Red Honey, meaning that the outer skin of the cherry is removed but a lot of mucilage is left on the beans when drying. This increases the sweetness and gives the coffee a slightly bigger body to an otherwise very elegant cup.
The Dona Daisy Gesha is dried for 20-32 days which is long compared to other speciality coffee producers in the region.
The Gesha varietal
This coffee is of the Gesha varietal, which is a bit of a controversial varietal when found in Central America. It used to be extremely rare but is starting to crop up in a few more places. It was made famous by Panama Hacienda La Esmeralda and the Best of Panama Auction, which is held by the Specialty Coffee Association of Panama.
It was a little known varietal and was originally introduced to Central America in Costa Rica in1953. Originally the varietal is from the south-western Ethiopian town of Gesha, it's an heirloom varietal that's low yielding and has thin and spindly branches open to strong winds, and is as pest friendly as they come (although it is resistant to coffee rust!). The leaves are quite thin and long, and the trees grow very tall.
About Drop Coffee and Dona Daisy
After cupping hundreds of coffees on a buying trip in 2017 the Dona Daisy was my favourite cup of the day. Heading back from Tarrazu region we decided to stop by and visit Pepe and Daisy, at their home and farm, just on the boarder of Costa Ricas capital city, San Jose.
Last year our former barista Axel competed with this coffee in Brewers Cup and placed 4th, even though it was his very first competition.
Visiting the couple again this year we were both excited to continue our relationship.
Prices on Gesha coffees are high compared to others. This is partially because the the production cost is higher; Gesha seeds are more expensive, the production of the coffee requires more attention, treating a nano-lot and separating these from the bigger volumes in the production daily. But the coffee also has a high value on the market - supply and demand.
Our pricing for this coffee is quite high, as we only have a very limited amount of only 60kilos, and the green coffee is also expensive.
Producer: Daisy and Pepe Fallas
Process: Red Honey
Region: Central Valley
Harvested February - March 2018
Cup profile: Elegant yet complex cup with a medium body. Notes of honeydew melon, papaya, grapefruit acidity, hints of cherry blossom with a black tea finish.