There are very few farms that are both progressively modern and yet permanently tied to the past. When Rachel Samuel and Adam Overton began plotting the concept for the estate, they had one goal: to seek out wild growing Gesha plants, harvest seeds from ripe cherries, and cultivate a new generation of Gesha in Ethiopia. With the Gesha/Geisha variety pulling in record breaking green coffee prices at auctions every year in countries like Panama or Colombia, Adam and Rachel wanted to return to the roots of where the variety came from and help bring focus around this rare variety back to Ethiopia.
This journey started with combing the Gori Gesha forest for wild growing coffee trees. As fruit was collected, and seeds were sorted for harvest, a variety designation of Gori Gesha 2011 was established to reflect the genetic diversity of the forest. Of that selection, trees and fruits that most resembled the Gesha/Geisha variety found across the sea were separated out and designated as Gesha 1931, due to size, morphology, shape, and cup profile. Finally, in order to promote general healthy biodiversity, a number of other varieties from the research center in Ethiopia were planted.
Establishing a new estate is difficult work. Due to how remote this area of Ethiopia is, it took extra effort to bring building materials to the site, generating hundreds of two day trips back to Addis Abbada for supplies. Constructing farm buildings, setting up processing equipment, and sourcing the water and power are difficult tasks to undertake, but what’s even more special is that the farm was planted mostly from wildly harvested seeds. Almost every new coffee farm is designed around planting seedlings in a nursery, and then developing those seedlings into new trees by transporting them to a lot on the farm. By trying to track and cultivate the Gesha variety variants, the Gesha Village estate undertook the unpredictable and labor intensive process of planting seeds, and then tending to the tender young plants, fostering growth, stability, and quality in these newly established cultivars. The end result, years later, is a farm area split between eight different plots, and focused on Gori Gesha, Gesha 1931, and the Illubabor Forest 1974 varieties. This lot comes from the Dimma section of the farm, named for a famous gold mining town, and is comprised entirely of Illubabor Forest 1974.
Relationship: 4 years, direct to farm
Farm type: small estate
Processing: mechanically de-pulped, fully washed shade and sun dried
Region: Bench-Maji zone
Variety: Illubabor Forest 1974
Elevation: 1909-2609 meters
Taste notes: mango, kumquat, peony, vanilla
12 oz / 340 g. Whole bean
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