About the coffee
Flavour description: An elegant and floral cup with a light body and juicy mouthfeel. Notes of tropical fruits and honeydew melon, with a refreshing finish of clementine.
Farm: Finca Don Pepe
Producer: Daisy and Pepe Fallas
Process: Red Honey, which means that the coffee cherry is de-pulped and about 50% of the mucilage is left on the coffee beans as it dries.
Region: Central Valley
Harvest: February - March 2020
Altitude: 1700 masl
Roast style: Light to medium to enhance the natural flavours of the coffee
Price transparency: The FOB price paid for this coffee was 18 US$ per pound (453,6 grams).
This is a very fancy and super pretty coffee. The Gesha varietal is tricky to grow and make perfect. There is a big hype around the varietal that drives up the price of it. So if you want to buy a bottle of champagne but for coffee, grab this one! A Gesha that is washed or white honey processed, will never hit you in the face with intense flavour notes, but it can be one of the most beautiful flavour experiences you ever had. It is a coffee to drink slowly, let it cool down as you discover more and more tropical and caramel-like flavours. The Gesha from Dona Daisy is delicate yet complex, coffee to drink slowly.
This is the fourth production lot of this complex and famous coffee varietal Gesha at Doña Daisy, and the third year we are buying it. Daisy and Pepe are the oldest coffee producers we are working together with, and they started just a few years ago.
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 watching 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 DNA-proofed Gesha seeds for sale. So the couples' dream came true, growing and processing coffee in their garden in Central Valley, Costa Rica, overlooking the capital city. 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.
Now -six years later- the third 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 the coffee. We truly admire their courage of growing into agricultural activity. "The greatest challenge has been the knowledge of this very special activity", says Pepe.
Daisy and Jose “Pepe” Fallas have a beautiful home that truly always makes us feel like we are at home! The couple lives 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 familiar, in which the whole family and even the grandchildren (four and six years old) participate, haha. It is wonderful to see the family nucleus in the disposition of the coffee activities.”
I still remember visiting Doña Daisy for the first time, we had short notice and interrupted the couple sitting and sorting coffee at their dining table. I thought this was a coincidence, but Pepe and Daisy were finishing the third (!) sorting of the parchments. Then on my two visits since, they are hand sort coffee at the dining table every time. Is this my dream of what to do when I retire? Yes! Growing Gesha and drying it on raised beds with a breathtaking view with daughter and grandkids around. 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 coffee is processed as a White Honey, meaning that the outer skin of the cherry is removed, and less than 25% of the mucilage is left on the beans when drying. This is how “washed coffee” is normally done in Costa Rica, which gives a very elegant cup. The Dona Daisy Gesha is dried for 25-32 days which is long compared to other speciality coffee producers in the region.
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.
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 border of Costa Rica's capital city, San Jose. Visiting the couple again every year since we are all excited to continue our relationship.
Prices on Gesha coffees are high compared to others. This is partly because 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. The FOB (the price for everything up until the coffee is at the harbour in Costa Rica) price for this coffee was US$18.00 per pound, or S$39.68 per kilo.