Tomorrow only! Finca Santuario - Red Bourbon and Geisha / by Steve Willingham

We're stoked about two special coffees we're going to have on bar this Saturday. In past years, I've been a big fan of the coffees I've had from Camilo Marizalde's Finca Santuario in Cauca, Colombia. This year, Intelligentsia Coffee has two varieties from that farm, Red Bourbon and Geisha, and we are super excited to bring them to Oklahoma City.

Finca Santuario. Photo courtesy of Intelligentsia Coffee.

Finca Santuario. Photo courtesy of Intelligentsia Coffee.

Just to be clear, when we talk about varieties, we're talking about the sub-species of the plant coffea arabica. The variety a farm chooses to plant has an impact on the taste, yield, and disease tolerance their trees will have. Red Bourbon is a favorite in the coffee world because it is a robust plant, with a really high yield, and it can produce a delicious, balanced coffee with great body and sweetness.  

Geisha, however, is much harder to grow, so you won't see it around as often. Geisha is sort of a high risk-high reward variety. It gained popularity back in 2004 when a Geisha yielded a high price at the Best of Panama auction due to just absolutely crazy flavors, intense floral aroma, and tropical fruit acidity. Since then, demand has increased greatly. Farms have tried to meet the demand, but it doesn't always work out. Starting a new plantation of trees can be costly and takes years to produce enough fruit for harvesting, and since Geisha needs a very particular climate, there's no guarantee the plants will thrive in the conditions of the farm. While it comes at great cost and risk to the farmer to grow, the green coffee has been known to sell at upwards of $100 per pound in certain auctions because the flavors are spectacular.

Geisha at Finca Santuario. Photo courtesy of Intelligentsia Coffee.

Geisha at Finca Santuario. Photo courtesy of Intelligentsia Coffee.

Finca Santuario first planted Geisha trees eight years ago and have watched closely as they've improved the cup quality. Tomorrow, we're going to see exactly what difference that makes. Try a cup of Red Bourbon for $4 and Geisha for $8. The Red Bourbon is also available in 12 ounce bags for $20.75.

In the Red Bourbon, look for papaya, cherry, and toffee; in the Geisha, look for lots of floral notes, peach, plum, and maple syrup.

SW