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Colombia: Gesha Marcela

  • 2 min read

Every year when Glasgow Coffee Festival comes around, our head roaster Anna works hard to source an incredible coffee to showcase at the fest. This year was no different, and this search led her to Forest Coffee and the incredible Marcela Gesha from Colombia. Read on to find out more about this superb coffee. 

Shady, Elias & El Vergel

This coffee was produced by two brothers, Elias & Shady Bayter. Together they grew this coffee on their family farm El Vergel, in Fresno, Tolima. The farm was founded in 1995 by Shady & Elias' parents, and originally started life as an avocado farm. When avocado prices dropped sharply due to disease that severely affected crops, Martha, the Bayter's mother, decided to diversify her crops and save money by planting coffee varieties. As interest in specialty coffee grew across the globe, the Bayter's embarked on a journey, growing their knowledge of pulping and different types of fermentation, a decision that soon earned them recognition as masters of their craft. This journey soon led them to explore different varieties of coffee, and after working with an expert in specialty coffee, they began to plant interesting new varieties such as Geisha, Java, Pacamara, Red Bourbon and Laurina, marking a milestone in their trajectory. As time progressed the farm was modernised and new natural processes were introduced, including aerobic and anaerobic, with the farm becoming renowned for pioneering innovation and quality. 

What is Carbonic Maceration?

Carbonic maceration is an experimental coffee process taken from wine production that, over the years, has been adapted for coffee production. It is carried out before the cherries undergo either the washed, honey or natural process. Carbonic Maceration involves taking the whole coffee cherry and placing it in sealed steel tanks. The tanks are then pumped with CO which build up pressure and push out all of the oxygen through a one-way valve. At this point, an anaerobic fermentation begins to take place, with this particular coffee undergoing a 52 hour carbonic maceration, before being dried naturally in the sun. 

The Gesha Variety

First cultivated in the 1930s, the name originates from Gori Gesha Forest in Ethiopia, where the variety first grew. Gesha is one of the most sought after, rare and expensive coffee varieties in the world. But why is it so rare? The plant produces extremely low yields, this coupled with the limited quantities and the intensive farming processes required to grow it, creates a variety which holds the record for the most expensive coffee ever sold at auction. It is known for its extremely unique and high quality flavour profile which is generally delicate, floral, sweet, fruity and tea-like. 

In the Cup

It's fair to say that this coffee met all of our expectations and then subsequently exceeded them! It's an extremely delicate and floral cup, with notes of green grape, orange blossom and Limoncello. This truly is a one-of-a-kind coffee and we can't wait for you to try it. 


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