Saturdays are usually my off-blog days, and I rarely if ever schedule anything for this day. Lately I’ve been thinking of incorporating more lifestyle posts, and this sounds like a good time to do it. After all, lifestyle content is usually more relaxed and easier to write than reviews [at least in my opinion], because I feel like I’m talking to a friend about random stuff that pops into my head. Anyhow, do you still remember my Bean Box review from a couple months back? A few weeks ago I received a surprise package from the company that included just one baggie with coffee beans, but when I read the info card, I was immediately floored. Here’s what the card says [in case the picture is too small to read]:
We wanted to share a very special coffee with you. We’ve procured a rare Panama Carmen Estate Geisha for select customers and friends of Bean Box. By the time you receive this, there will be no more Carmen Geisha available in the world. Please enjoy and let us know what you think.
Best, Matthew & Ryan
After collecting my jaw back from the floor, the first thing I did was Google this coffee, and just as Bean Box said, it was not available anymore. Anywhere. However, since I’m always hungry for more information, I knew that the Internet had all the answers, I just had to dig deeper. I’m happy to announce that I’ve probably learned more about Geisha coffees and these particular Carmen Geisha beans than I probably ever needed to know, and I now want to share it with you. I’ll try to keep it brief, since I’m by no means a coffee aficionado, but more like a very enthusiastic consumer excited about an exquisite cup of coffee.
Geisha is an heirloom coffee that was first discovered in the mountain regions of Ethiopia growing at high altitudes in 1930s. The name has very little to do with Japanese culture, it was actually named after the small town of Gesha the trees were first discovered by. Inspired by the rich flavor of these beans, coffee farmers tried to cultivate these trees at lower altitudes, which surprisingly resulted in terrible coffee. That was until Geisha trees were planted in Panama in the 60s, when this exquisite coffee finally became world-famous by winning a prestigious Taste of Panama coffee competition in 2004. Now Geisha has its own cult following among professionals, connoisseurs, and the “in-the-know” crowd; and joined the ranks of the most expensive and hard-to-find coffees in the world.
Now, let’s talk about Kuma Coffee Carmen Geisha Panama that I got to try. Instead of rephrasing the story of these beans, here’s what Kuma Coffee says about them on their website [the description is now gone and I had to use a cached version of the page to find this info]:
Carlos Aguilera planted Geisha coffee on his farm over 5-6 years ago. Last year was the first year that the Geisha trees were able to produce enough cherries to mill and make a small 500-600lb lot. In its first year of production Carlos’ Geisha won both a Good Food Award, but also took 4th place in the Best of Panama Auction in international cupping score. We are so pleased to say that this years geisha is even more complex, with brighter acidity and stronger florals than last year’s offering! This coffee will take you on a roller coaster ride of pleasing fruits, florals, sugars and juices. Easily a 90+ coffee that will be remembered for years to come.
I had to look up the best ways to drink this coffee, and was delighted to know that my simple coffee maker was good enough. In fact, a fancy espresso machine is supposedly going to produce the worst tasting coffee out of these precious beans, and everywhere I read it was recommended to use a slower brewing method, but not too slow. Also, when using paper filters, it was recommended to first saturate them with water before adding ground beans. Not sure if it made that big of a difference, but I just wanted to do it right the first time, because I didn’t want to waste a single bean.
I have never tasted better coffee in my life, you guys! It was light, silky, amazingly fragrant, and so easy to drink! If you are someone who hates coffee, this is probably the roast that will make you change your mind. The description mentioned raspberry preserves, florals, and bergamot that were represented so strongly and beautifully, that even my untrained buds and nose were able to easily pick up those notes. I particularly loved the bergamot, since earl gray tea is one of my favorites. If you are interested in reading about different brewing methods for Carmen Geisha, check out this super-informative and very eloquently written post by Abandon Coffee.
And finally, the question many of you were probably dying to ask while reading this review – How much did this coffee actually cost? What’s your best guess? I’m not going to torture you, and just go ahead and reveal it here: an 8oz bag of whole beans was going for $55 USD on Kuma Coffee website, and the entire stock sold out within a couple of days. #YOLO
If you like sampling unique coffee roasts from around the world, definitely check out Bean Box. For $20/month subscribers receive four kinds of high quality whole coffee beans, freshly roasted within 1-2 days of shipping to ensure the richest flavor possible. Click here to check it out.
Do you have a favorite roast? Where did you have your best cup of coffee? Have you heard of Bean Box? Let me know in the comments below!
Disclosure: This post features products received for editorial consideration and may contain affiliate or referral links. For more details about my product review policy, copyright, and information about affiliate links, please refer to Disclosures & Content Use page.