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As long as it lasts, which won't be long, this will be the juiciest, most expressively flavorful coffee on our menu. Reading the words we use to describe it here may help you appreciate it intellectually, but to truly appreciate the complexity and elegance of this coffee, you simply must taste it.
  • SKU 230009
  • Country Ethiopia
  • Region within Country Bench Maji
  • Elevation 1950 - 2000 m.a.s.l.
  • Farm Gesha Village
  • Farmer / Producer Name Adam and Rachel Overton
  • Buyer Geoff Watts
  • Cultivar Gesha 1931
  • Harvest Time January 2018
  • In Season Yes
  • Direct Trade Yes
  • Single Origin Yes
  • USDA organic No
Direct Trade 1
Single Origin 1
In Season 1
MelonStone FruitFloral

Gesha Village Ethiopia Special Selection

About as far west as one can get in Ethiopia, just a handful of kilometers from the Sudanese border in the region known as Bench Maji, there is an incredible coffee story unfolding. It is a tale of serendipity and revival that provides us with a glimpse into the future, foretelling the mouthwatering coffee flavors possible when the latent potential present in the genetic birthplace of coffee is unlocked. A deliberate, patient fusion of modern quality control with traditional respect for the incomparable talent of nature has enabled these heirloom coffees to show what they are truly capable of.

Adam Overton and his wife Rachel Samuel Overton chased the dream of building an Ethiopian coffee farm for more than a decade. The seed from which Gesha Village came into being was planted in their minds during filming of a documentary about coffee in 2007. The more they learned about the industry, the more certain they became that they wanted to become coffee producers. Over the next several years they researched vigorously, traveling to Panama and the United States to visit coffee farms and accumulate knowledge. Along the way they befriended Willem Boot, a coffee veteran with sterling credentials who happens to be an authority on Ethiopian heirloom coffee cultivars. He became a trusted advisor and invaluable source of wisdom as the project took shape.

The search for the right location to start a farm took them further afield than they ever expected to go, to one of the most inconvenient and difficult to access locations in the country. And it was perfect: a stunning, extremely remote patch of wild forestland with a thriving ecosystem stretched high along a ridgeline with breathtaking views of the expansive valley below. They knew instantly that it was the right place, and over the next four years they worked, with considerable help from the local Meanit community, to develop a no-holds-barred boutique coffee operation with the express goal of celebrating one of nature’s most delicious gifts and producing coffees as memorable and beautiful as the place where they were conceived.

The farm is at once new and extremely old—the region is part of the zone where coffee first appeared on Earth, the center of origin for the Arabica species. The forest within which the farm is carefully integrated is full of ancient, towering trees that provide shelter for the coffee below. It is a botanist’s dream, a lush green landscape marked by waterfalls and diverse wildlife where the coffee seems at peace, thriving in biologically active soils undisturbed by civilization’s demands. This is the kind of place that coffee was born to live in, and the site of a thrilling revival that will likely be remembered decades from now for having added an important chapter to the specialty coffee saga. Bench Maji was the origin of the famed “Geisha” variety that has set the coffee world on fire by dominating quality competitions around the world for the past decade, but it has not produced any specialty coffee for most of the past century. It was unknown to most buyers, obscured in the shadow of more recognized growing regions like Yirgacheffe and Sidamo. Thanks to the work of Gesha Village, Bench Maji has come out swinging, showcasing the incredible potential of the region and helping Ethiopia reassert its birthright as the home of the world’s most exciting coffees.

The Gesha Village lot we are featuring this year is Gesha 1931, the genetic line from which the transcendent Panamanian Geisha is descended. It is a Natural, which means the cherries were harvested and dried in their skins, the oldest approach to post-harvest handling of coffee. The fruit was picked, sorted for ripeness with meticulous care and set out to dry in the sun until it shrunk like a grape being turned into a raisin. Coffees processed this way have a much different character than their washed twins—they taste more overtly fruity and sweet, in ways that we often associate with port wines. Often the perceived acidity is diminished because the delicate tastes derived from the organic acids are overpowered by more dominant flavors that suggest red wines and dried cherries. The aromatics are distinctly fruit-like and can be very intense. Compared with washed coffees, naturals are like photographs that have been layered over with a vivid color filter, obscuring some detail while elevating the dramatic impact. The extended contact time between the cherry skin, pulp and seed imparts flavors that are not found in washed coffee, developed as a by-product of the particular kinds of fermentation that take place. When those flavors intertwine with the intrinsic fruit acids without overwhelming them, the result can be magical.

We selected this coffee specifically for its exceptional clarity and stunning detail—it presents like a washed coffee, with the added dimension of a natural. The dramatic impact of this stunning lot is Oscar-worthy, yet it delivers that experience precisely, in an articulate way, and finishes with a clean elegance normally found only in coffees processed using the washed method.

Espresso

Espresso

All home and commercial espresso machines.

Turkish Grind

Turkish Grind

If you need a little bit coarser grind for your espresso machine or utilize this favorite preparation in eastern Europe.

Stovetop Espresso

Stovetop Espresso

Moka pots and stovetop espresso kettles need a very fine grind.

Cone Filter - Paper

Cone Filter - Paper

Most automatic and electric brewers utilize this grind setting.

Cone Filter - Gold

Cone Filter - Gold

Automatic brewers with reusable mesh filters, or a Kone manual brewing insert.

Universal

Universal

If you're buying for a friend, or are just not sure - this is a good grind for most drip brewers.

Technivorm

Technivorm

We found this excellent automatic brewer needed a bit coarser grind than other cone filter brewers.

Vacuum Brewer

Vacuum Brewer

For those with an electric or flame-heated vacuum brewer.

Flat Bottom - Paper

Flat Bottom - Paper

Any basket-style brewer, including automatic and Kalita wave manual brewing.

Flat Bottom - Gold

Flat Bottom - Gold

For automatic brewers with basket-style reusable filters.

French Press

Hario Dripper

Manual pourover cone brewing is a simple, no frills way of brewing.

Grind Type

French Press

A classic of immersion brewing. Select this grind for perfect classical preparation.

Chemex

Chemex

The iconic Chemex, this grind provides a perfectly paired offering for the special filters made for this brewer.

Percolator

Percolator

Our coarsest grind, this also provides a good pre-ground solution for cold brew at home.

Whole Bean

Whole Bean

For those with a grinder at home, we love freshly ground coffee! We prefer burr grinders for a more even brew.