Finca Doña Daisy, Central Valley, Red Honey Geisha
Not only is this a new relationship for us at Drop Coffee, it is a new venture for everyone involved. This is the fourth year Daisy and Jose Fallas have been working as coffee producers, and this is their first ever harvest! This has been quite the production for them, from sorting on their dining room table, to the rest of production taking place in the family garden. It is a tiny crop of just the revered Geisha varietal they have growing in their garden, which is located in the Central Valley, in Costa Rica.
This coffee is a nano-lot and will only be available for a short amount of time with limited roast dates.
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.”
This is a new relationship for us at Drop Coffee. As I write this, I am in Costa Rica and have just today visited the family for the second time. This year we have the coffee from the first production at Doña Daisy, so it’s new to even to producers. The house is located at an altitude of about 1700 meters and the garden is huge, which is why they decided to try to grow some coffee there. The business started four years ago after conducting many years of research. They had read about a variety called Geisha 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 Geisha-seed for sale! Now - four years later- the first 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 this morning. Pepe and Daisy was finishing the third (!) sorting of the parchments. This is very much an idyllic dream; growing Geisha 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’ Geisha.
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 2 p.m. This has made the Geisha 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 Geisha is dried for 20-32 days which is long compared to other speciality coffee producers in the region.
The Geisha varietal
This coffee is of the Geisha 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.
Prices on Geisha coffees are high compared to others. This is partially because the the production cost is higher; Geisha seeds are more expensive, the production of the coffee requires more attention, treating a micro-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.
As we only have a very limited amount of only 69kilos, and the coffee is quite expensive, we can’t experiment as much as we usually do with the roast profile before release. This means that each roasted batch of coffee might vary a little more than our others. The raw coffee price is over €52 per kilo, we have removed our margin this time because we want as many people as possible to try this unique - and hyped - coffee.
Producer: Daisy and Pepe Fallas
Process: Red Honey
Region: Central Valley
Harvested February - March 2017
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.