Geisha: (n.) a variety of coffee that caused quite a stir – and changed coffee forever.

This special variety of Arabica coffee has been around for a long time, keeping a low profile, but caused a huge commotion in specialty coffee in the early 2000s. Geisha (also called gesha) variety coffee originated in Gesha, Ethiopia, and was brought to the Western hemisphere in the mid-1900s in order to counter the widespread destruction of coffee leaf rust, a fungus that was wiping out coffee crops in Central America and to which the geisha variety appears to be resistant. Originally cultivated for this resistance, it was in 2004 that the variety was “rediscovered” – this time for its taste. This utterly unique variety contains flavors are bright, floral, and complex, almost like black tea layered with fruit and herbal notes. If you’ve never had a geisha, it makes for a life-changing cup of coffee.

Read the story behind the geisha rediscovery here.

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