What is Geisha Coffee? The Origin

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on April 24th, 2023

If you’re a coffee connoisseur looking to try something unique and delicious, then you’ve come to the right place. Geisha coffee is one of the most sought-after coffees in the world and is becoming increasingly popular due to its distinctive flavor.

In this blog post, we’ll explore what makes geisha coffee so special; we discuss its price, origin, track rise, and the traits that make it the most expensive coffee in the world.

What is Geisha Coffee_

What is Geisha coffee?

Geisha coffee is a hybrid Arabica plant family variety. It is frequently associated with coffee from Panama, even though Geisha beans were not grown there until the 1960s.

Geisha is a hybrid variety of the Arabica plant family and is often correlated with coffee from Panama, but Geisha beans did not originate there.

Geisha coffee is considered by many to be the world’s best cup of coffee and one of the most expensive coffees in the world.

It is priced markedly higher than other great specialty coffees due to its dynamic and powerful flavor notes. Recent genetic diversity analyses conducted by World Coffee Research confirm that Panamanian Geisha descendent from T2722 is distinct and uniform, with its roots traced back to Ethiopia’s Mount Geisha.

Geisha or Gesha?

There is no established rule, and there is a bit of confusion about how to spell this variety of coffee. In Central America, it is more commonly referred to as Geisha, and in other regions, Gesha.

The coffee variety gets its name from its origin in the Gori Gesha forest in Ethiopia. While both spellings are accepted, Gesha is the original spelling and is often preferred by coffee connoisseurs.

So, where did the term “Geisha” come from?

The Geisha name originated from historical women entertainers in Japan.

Today, you can refer to this coffee as Geisha or Gesha.


Where does Geisha coffee originate?

The Geisha coffee variety originated in the Gori Gesha forest in Ethiopia, though it has since spread to other countries.

The spelling of the variety was adjusted to “Geisha” by many producers, and it made its way over to Panama from a research station in Costa Rica in the 1950s and seeds were planted at the Hacienda la Esmeralda. It’s from here that it became a staple among farmers across the country and is now considered by many to be the world’s best cup of coffee.

In addition to Ethiopia and Panama, geisha are grown in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Bolivia, Colombia, and Costa Rica. Year after year, the Panama Geisha coffee varietal’s price per pound skyrockets, generating international headlines and a caffeine buzz that reverberates worldwide.

In 2004, these coffee beans became Panama’s best in the coffee auction. All taste evaluators were impressed by this coffee, which became famous globally overnight.

By the end of the 2018 auction edition, a pound of these beans was priced at $803. Today, a pound fetches around $110, making a cup of this coffee the most expensive in the world.

What does Geisha Coffee taste like?

elida geisha coffee

Geisha Coffee comes in various tastes and flavors, depending on the origin. It has a unique flowery fruit-like flavor. You will also feel exotic flavors like papaya, mango, citrus, guava, etc.

Expect intense jasmine, cherry, orange, and lemon flavors, fragrances, and caramel or toffee-like sweetness.

Geisha coffee is known for its unique, floral, and fruit-like flavor, which can vary depending on the origin. It has a hint of citrus, mango, papaya, guava, and other exotic flavors such as violets, honey, and blackcurrant.

The aroma of the coffee alone is said to be incredibly unique, with some connoisseurs describing it as unbelievable, almost comparable to a perfume. When tasting Geisha coffee, you can expect notes of berry, lemon, orange, grapefruit, mango, peach, papaya, pineapple, or guava.

Geisha coffee is clean and wonderfully floral with just the right level of acidity. Its complexity of flavors spans from fruity to tea-like lightness allowing for greater appreciation. Panama geisha Coffee is closer to an Ethiopia variety than any other Latin American-tasting coffee beans. Geisha Coffee has been revered as the top-tier royalty of the coffee varieties, and it’s easy to understand why when you taste it.

Boot Coffee’s Willem Boot Geisha’s taste is incredibly fruit-forward.

What factors impact the flavor of Geisha coffee?

The flavor of Geisha coffee is impacted by a variety of factors. The region where the beans are grown, the altitude, climate, and soil type can all have an effect on the taste.

Additionally, the roasting process can make a difference in the flavor profile. Geisha beans are often roasted at a lower temperature for a longer period of time to bring out their unique flavors.

Finally, the quality of the beans themselves can make a difference in how the coffee tastes once brewed. A careful selection of high-quality beans is essential to ensure that you get the best possible cup of Geisha coffee.

What is the difference between Geisha and Yirgacheffe?

The difference between Geisha and Yirgacheffe coffee is that Geisha is a unique varietal of arabica coffee, while Yirgacheffe is a region in Ethiopia where many coffees are grown.

Geisha coffee has a delicate, floral, and tea-like flavor with shimmery citrus notes, while Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee has a clean, light body. Coffee from the Yirgacheffe region is often classified as an “heirloom” because the ECX doesn’t really do much to differentiate it from other coffees.

Geisha coffee is revered for its rarity and sought after for its unique flavor, making it one of the most popular types of coffee in the world.

Why is Geisha coffee so expensive?

The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) holds competitions, and the Panama Geisha has always registered the highest score. On a score grade out of 100, this coffee has consistently scored above 90. It is expensive as it requires unique cultivating conditions, produces a lovely aroma, and >gets high ratings from outstanding experts. You must pick the ideal time to harvest it.

Bo Thiara, a coffee shop owner that sells Geisha coffee, told ABC that it got the highest rating ever courtesy of Panama competition. The recent high scores by SCA made it very popular worldwide. Unlike other coffees, it gives a fruity aroma, which is why it is considered highly valuable (about $75 a cup).

How much does Geisha coffee cost?

microclimate coffee farm

If you want it from a popular farm like Hacienda la Esmeralda, it costs up to $600. In Panama, it goes for $9 per cup and $18 in many coffee shops in New York. However, a coffee shop in San Francisco sold its stock for $75 a cup (*). 

How does genetic analysis confirm the uniqueness of Geisha coffee?

The uniqueness of Geisha coffee is confirmed by genetic analysis conducted by World Coffee Research, which reveals that the Panamanian Geisha descendent from T2722 is distinct and uniform.

This confirms that Geisha has its own unique genetic profile, making it different from other varieties of Arabica coffee, which have very little genetic diversity due to its limited ability to adapt to climate change.

These powerful flavor notes are what make Geisha coffee stand out as the top-tier royalty of the coffee varieties. As such, it’s no surprise that many people love its gentle flavor and pleasant sweetness.

Is Geisha coffee worth the price?

This coffee is in very high demand, and there are no expectations of a future price drop. But is it worth it?

It is not worth it if you plan to make Geisha your regular coffee. However, it is the best choice if you want that fruit-forward renowned taste.

Where to buy Geisha coffee

Not enough café operators and owners are ready to spend the budget to purchase greens that will be roasted and sent to their cafés just to be consumed by their baristas! In addition, customers are put off by paying four to five times the price for a typical cup of coffee. Most buyers do not have the expertise to understand the price and the hype.

However, you can still buy Geisha coffee online; you can check some reputable brands below:

Colombian Geisha Coffee

Costa Rica Geisha Coffee


Geisha coffee beans are expensive and famous, but it does not mean they are overrated. Those passionate about coffee can try and testify to this truth. It is the perfect beverage to take as a reward to kick in good moods and vibes in your life.

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Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.