One of the most expensive coffees in the world is the Panama Geisha. While your first thought may be that $25 for a cup (you can find it for less, but it’s often pricey) of coffee at a cafe is absurd, the Panama Geisha is genuinely worth it.
What is Geisha Coffee?
There are countless different varieties of coffee throughout the world. Growing conditions like elevation, annual rainfall, and climate have a huge impact on a coffee bean’s flavor profile.
Geisha is a type of coffee that was first discovered in Gesha, Ethiopia in the 1930’s. It is now more widely associated with Panama, even though it didn’t start being grown there until at least 30 years later.
Geisha coffee is known for its consistently crisp, sweet taste. A typical cup of Geisha coffee may deliver hints of jasmine, pineapple, mango, or other tropical flavors.
Recent Popularity of Panama Geisha
Without question, the most popular coffee from Panama is Geisha coffee. Although Panama grows two other coffee varieties, catuai and pacamara, Geisha is the most sought after and is the sole contributor to Panama’s growing reputation for producing quality coffee.
Panama Geisha Coffee has seen a recent uptick in popularity, largely thanks to its reputation for outstanding, complex flavor. Additionally, Geisha coffee is relatively rare since only regions of Panama offer the perfect growing conditions.
Farmers from other regions are now scrambling to produce Geisha crops that are equally as enjoyable as the Panama original. Many are failing, but countries like Colombia, Costa Rica and Bolivia are entering the Geisha coffee scene.
Increasing Price of Coffee
Besides the “poop” coffee beans, or coffee beans that have first passed through an animal, Geisha beans are the most expensive at about $700 per kilogram (roughly $318 per pound). If that’s not already hard to believe, the prices of this rare coffee will likely only increase.
Recently, a record-breaking $601 was paid at auction for 100 pounds of Geisha coffee from Hacienda La Esmeralda. East and Southeast Asian countries purchase the majority of Geisha, leaving less for the rest of the world.
Affluent coffee fanatics, combined with climate change affecting yield, will lead to further Geisha coffee price increases in the future. Now’s the time to try Geisha and experience this incredible, complex coffee.
If you’re lucky you can sometimes find it in cafes normally when a roaster has extra from a competition. Geisha beans are highly coveted for coffee makers, since the beans are normally only available through specialty auctions. Keep you eyes open and ask around!