Our latest single origin offering is another beauty from the Huila region of south west Colombia. Copalito is a natural process Gesha, and we think you’re going to love it as much as we do!
There is some debate about the true origins of the Gesha varietal. Some say it was discovered in the Kaffa region of Ethiopia, near Mount Gesha in the 1930’s. Others point to a British led UN research trip to Africa in the 1960’s. What we do know is that Gesha seeds were obtained by legendary Panamanian coffee producer Don Pachi in the 1960’s. He bought these seeds from CATIE, an agricultural research organization in Costa Rica. At the time, two strains of coffee rust, an aggressive fungal disease, were beginning to move through Central America. Gesha, being resistant to both strains, would provide Don Pachi with insurance in case of an outbreak. He took the seeds back to Panama and distributed them to friends on neighboring farms, but coffee rust never became a problem in Panama, and so Gesha was forgotten.
Fast forward to 2004, when Gesha was rediscovered. A small lot produced by Hacienda La Esmeralda, one of Don Pachi’s neighbors, was entered into the best of Panama competition. It dominated the competition and quickly gained worldwide notoriety, winning top prizes in every competition it was entered into. Since then, producers in several other Latin American countries, including Colombia and Guatemala, have begun to plant Gesha trees. Although difficult to grow – it is much more weather-sensitive and lower yielding than other cultivars – Gesha is unique and cup quality can be spectacular; so farmers are willing to put in the extra effort to cultivate it.
Our Copalito was grown at 1590 Meters above sea level by Eliecer Peña, on his farm, Finca Copalito, located near the town of San Adolfo. After an 18 hour fermentation, the coffee was sun-dried under canopies for 15 days. In the cup, lively fruit punch and watermelon blend perfectly with strawberry and tropical fruit. The acidity is balanced by delicate honey sweetness and supported by a round and pillowy-soft body, and the finish is long and clean. We’ll be visiting Colombia next month, so stay tuned for a trip report!