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Why Is Geisha Coffee So Expensive? Is It Worth It?

Geisha Coffee

If you like to try out new and unique brands of coffee in your search for the perfect cup, you have likely heard about the elusive Geisha (or Gesha) variety that is supposed to be one of the best. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most expensive. Keep reading as we go over why this coffee is so pricey, how much it costs currently, and where you might be able to get some.

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The 2 Main Types of Geisha Coffee

geisha coffee cherries
Image Credit: Eddie Espriella, Shutterstock

1. Gesha Village Geisha Coffee

There are two main varieties of Geisha coffee that both come from the same general area. Gesha Village Geisha coffee comes from the Gori Gesha forest, which is where it gets its name. You will find the forest in the Bench Maji zone in Ethiopia. Inside this forest is a small village with a small farm, which is where the Geisha coffee trees grow. The beans in this region produce a cup with a sparkling clean, acidity-rich profile that many people are willing to pay top dollar to try.

Gesha Village Geisha Coffee Production

The Gesha Village farm is 471 hectares at a high elevation. It receives plenty of rainfall, and the farmers mix native shade trees with coffee trees to help balance nature and commercial activity. Eight sub-farms maintain the large area, and the workers label each batch for maximum traceability.

Gesha Village Geisha Coffee Price Per Pound

Geisha coffee from the Gesha Village currently costs about $105 per pound in many areas. You should be able to order it at your local coffee shop, and you can find it online.

Geisha coffee beans on wooden surface
Image Credit: Mark Daynes, Unsplash

2. Panama Geisha Coffee

As expensive as Gesha Village coffee is, it’s nothing compared to Panama Geisha coffee. As the name suggests, you will find this coffee’s trees in the Panama region of the world, though the trees are an Ethiopian variety that grows exceptionally well. Many people consider Panama Geisha to be the best coffee globally, and it may be the first to reach a perfect score in competitions. It stands out in every category, including flavor, aromatics, acidity, mouthfeel, balance, aftertaste, sweetness, and complexity.

Panama Geisha Production

Like Gesha Village Geisha coffee, the flavor comes from the well-cared-for trees grown at high altitudes. The trees are tall and have elongated leaves and a soft scent of jasmine and peach. Several farmers work in the area, and the most notable ones are the Lamastus family, Agricola, Finca La Milagrosa, Gallardo, and Janson Coffee.

Panama Geisha Coffee Price Per pound

Panama Geisha coffee is quite expensive. In 2019, it sold for $1,029 per pound, which broke its record of $803 just the year before. Like the Gesha Village variety, the best way to obtain Panama Geisha coffee is to order it from your local coffee shop, where they likely have the connections that you need. Some shops even have a supply on-hand that you can order for $75 per cup. Amazon and other sources also have it listed for sale.

arabica coffee beans
Image Credit: Ri_Ya, Pixabay

Why Is Geisha Coffee So Expensive?

Quite a few things factor in the high price for this top-quality coffee. The first is that producers have only found a few areas that provide the altitude, soil composition, and rainfall data that the trees need to grow properly and produce great-tasting beans. Farmers can only harvest so many beans each year, and there is not enough to meet demand. The consistently high scores received by these beans push demand beyond other brands that are easier to grow. Finally, farmers auction off their beans to receive the highest price. Other problems like political conflict taxes and the COVID-19 pandemic can increase the final cost of Geisha coffee beans.

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Whether it’s the less-expensive Gesha Village brand or the costly Panama Geisha variety, Geisha coffee is like a fine wine or foreign cigar. It’s likely outside most people’s budgets as a breakfast coffee, but it can be well worth it for a special event or while on a trip or vacation. Its near-perfect score is enough to create enough curiosity to get many people to want to try it, and that is likely related to its shortage and high cost.

Featured image credit: vamospuesandres, Shutterstock


Ed Malaker

Ed Malaker, a veteran writer, has contributed to a wide range of blogs that cover tools, pets, guitars, fitness, and computer programming, and of course, coffee. He drinks a lot of it when he writes, making him an expert indeed. When he’s not writing, Ed is usually performing DIY projects around the house or working in the garden. He’s also a musician and spends a lot of time helping people fix their guitars and composing music for independent films.

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