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2016 is proving to be an interesting year already. A couple weeks ago I got an email from my new friends at Mama Carmen’s Coffee in Fayetteville, Arkansas (I loved their Guatemala and I’ll be posting their Colombia early next week) asking me if I’d like to try a bag of their Julio’s Gesha. I couldn’t reply fast enough! As luck would have it, the Julio in this case is Julio Perez, owner of Finca El Zapote. If you’re an avid KCcoffeegeek.com reader that may sound familiar because I had another gesha from the same farm last month thanks to my great friends at Oddly Correct. Even better, Oddly Correct had Julio’s natural version of the gesha, and Mama Carmen’s is washed, so I am over the moon happy to be able to review both a natural and washed version of the same coffee! So cool!
So, we have here today the washed version of Julio’s Gesha, produced by Julio Perez on the Finca El Zapote farm in Acatenango, Guatemala. Elevation for Julio’s farm is 1600-1800masl and this is a 100% gesha lot. This is the part you’re really going to love… you can buy this coffee in 6 oz bags for just $10 from Mama Carmen’s, so if you’ve been wanting to try a gesha but the price has been a turn-off, it doesn’t get any better than this. One “warning,” though, this is not going to give you the same profile as the classic, super duper award-winning high altitude Peterson microlots out of Panama, which are very unique coffees, but this is a great coffee worthy of the price nonetheless.
Mama Carmen’s gives tasting suggestions of, “floral, tropical fruit, vanilla creme” on the bag for this one. Oddly’s natural version of this coffee had blackberries and a bit of cranberry in it for me as well as an aftertaste of Fruit Stripe gum (no kidding). It had a nice level of bitterness to to add complexity, as well. Mama Carmen’s washed version is delicious and “juicy” (sort of hits my cheeks and ramps up salivation and it begs for another sip). Freshly brewed there’s not much going on in this cup, but if you let it sit for a few minutes and cool down it opens up dramatically, so be prepared to enjoy this coffee at a cooler temp and take your time with it. It has a fruity sweetness that is certainly “tropical…” it’s definitely not citrus or apple or berries, so that pretty much leaves tropical! LOL Sweet fruitiness without lots of acidity although this does have a delightful brightness. The aftertaste, for me, has hints of vanilla but I also got some distinctly butterscotch flavors from it, which were surprising but worked well in this coffee all the same. And even on this washed coffee I am getting light hints of that Fruit Stripe gum that I found in Oddly Correct’s natural offering.
This was a great opportunity to try the same coffee two ways, something I always love to be able to do. Luck is on my side this year (knocking on wood)! This is a delicious and very inviting coffee and I’d really encourage you to try it out because you aren’t going to find geshas at this price that aren’t old or poor crops. No, this isn’t a $70/lb lot from the highest reaches of Panama, but it’s a great and unique coffee in its own right. While you’re placing your order grab a bag of the Guatemala Acatenango for $13, too. It’s an absolute sugar bomb and if you like sweet coffees you will fall in love with it!