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The best coffee we ever had...and lost. Was it Panama Geisha?

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The best coffee we ever had...and lost. Was it Panama Geisha?

Carrie Masek

Panama Geisha, one of the most expensive coffees in the world and according to some, also the best, but is it the same as that wonderful, shiny coffee we loved and lost in 2003? The only way to tell is to taste it.

We ran the Panama Geisha by both our team of professional cuppers and a panel of discerning customers. Everyone agreed Panama Geisha Horqueta la Berlina is a lovely coffee.

Our cuppers score the Panama Geisha at nearly 93, almost a full point higher than our next highest scoring coffee, Ecuador Cotopaxi. They give it top marks on almost everything, the aroma, the lively, complex topnotes, the silky body, the sweet flavor, the rich, lingering finish. I've already mentioned the cumulative score, here are some of their comments:

“Wonderful aroma, jasmine and tropical fruit with a hint of vanilla.”

“Love the body. Balanced, very silky, very smooth.”

“Lively but not at all sharp. Jasmine sparked with citrus? Citrus perfumed with jasmine? Whatever it is, I like it.”

“Coffee ice cream, only better. We should try it with cream.” (Note, he did and loved it.)

“Not ice cream, candy. Chocolate covered vanilla bonbon with a hint of lemon zest and a candied flower on top.”

“Try it now. It gets better as it cools.”

“This is what a washed coffee should be.”

Our customer panel didn't bother with cupping scores. I put cream and sugar on the table, handed each member of the panel a cup of the Geisha, and asked them to taste the coffee and tell me what they thought. They were most impressed by how sweet and smooth the coffee was. Here are some quotes:

“Wow, its so smooth!”

“And sweet! Are you sure there's no sugar in this?”

“I always use sugar, but this doesn't need it. Great with cream, though.”

“Doesn't need cream or sugar. I could drink it black all day.”

“Great coffee, when can I buy some?”

The last question is easy to answer. You can go on our website and buy Panama Geisha now. The supply is very limited, though. If you'd like to try the coffee, please don't wait too long.

The harder question to answer is the one we started with. Is Panama Geisha the same as that shiny Panama we loved and lost in 2003? Panama Geisha is a wonderful coffee, smooth, balanced, lively, sweet and rich, but is it shiny? The answer is, unfortunately, no. As much as we all love the Geisha, it just doesn't have that crystalline something that polished each sip.

We're disappointed, but not discouraged. There are worse things than trying new and interesting coffees in the hope of finding another one that's shiny. We'll keep looking and when we find it, we'll be sure to let you know.