Hacienda Esmerelda Bourbon Pointu
TASTING NOTES: Citrus & Floral - Low Caffeine - Balanced & Sweet
ORIGIN: Bouquette Panama
VARIETAL: Bourbon Pointu (Laurina)
ELEVATION: Above 1850m
A coffee so rare and revered that in 2016 even Starbucks could only get one small harvest (750lbs) of it. Offered at select locations across the US, it sold out in fewer than twenty-four hours.
The plant variety known Bourbon Pointu (pointy bourbon) originates from the tiny French Island of Reunion east of Madagascar in the Indian ocean. Bourbon Pointu is thought to be a dwarf natutual mutation of the famed Bourbon varietal, and like that cultivar this coffee is prized for its exceptional sweetness, balance and citric like qualities.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect however to the "pointy Bourbon" varietal/cultivar is its caffeine content. It contains half the amount of caffeine as its bourbon cultivar parent. Caffeine is a coffee plant's natural insecticide, and its lower content made it ultimately more susceptible to insect damage in turn making it a lower yielding plant. As a result its popularity with producers sharply declined.
With the rise of specialty coffee culture in the 21st Century and a desire to produce coffees of the most interesting and complex flavor profile the interest in this rare varietal has once again surfaced and the world's top farms have begun to plant it.
One such farm is Hacienda Esmerelda owned and operated by the Peterson family who are synonymous with the word Gesha. It is them and their Panamanian farms that began the coffee world's obsession with the mercurial geisha coffee plant. Situated amongst volcanic mountain ridges surrounding the Boquete River Valley, their three farms offer a range of lush micro-climates, fed by two ocean breezes that are unique for the growing of exceptional specialty coffee.
The newest of those three farms El Velo sits on 50 hectares and is very much the family's experimental farm. Along with Gesha they have planted other exotic varieties like Laurina, Pacamara, Mocca and SL-28, as well as some 400+ other accessions from Ethiopia as part of a long-term exploration of high quality cups, disease resistance and commercial viability.
This offering was purchased directly from the farm. Proceeds from this coffee have gone to help fund the many programs that the Peterson family put in place for its workforce. Including the building of a school for the children of the pickers so that they can continue their education during harvest. As well as supplying free rice, beans and sardines for all harvesters and their families while they live on the farm.
The perfect after dinner coffee. Low in caffeine but high in complexity. And with some knowledge on the history of the coffee a fantastic conversational starter.
Our friends and partners at Royal coffee Oakland have written the most concise history of the plant. Press play and dig in...