Jeremias Lasso Gesha Lot #3
Jeremias Lasso Gesha Lot #3
bergamot, kaffir lime, honeysuckle, kumquat, wildflower honey
washed, 1810-1875masl, 8oz
*read the incredible story of this coffee below*
This coffee is an exclusive partnership with Velton's Coffee based in Everett, WA.
This coffee was purchased with the intention of sharing it in the Qualifying Barista Championship held in Reno, NV. As a business, we determined that we could not, in good conscience, attend or compete in the competition (see our Logbook post for more info on our website: narrative.coffee/logbook).
So, now we have this absolutely stunning coffee to share with you!
This coffee has an *incredible* story. Its existence is the direct result of certain actions taken by one Aleco Chigounis. Aleco was the green coffee buyer during the heyday of Stumptown Coffee Roasters, then created an amazing project with green coffee importer Sweet Maria’s called Coffee Shrub, and then he went on to create his own importing business called Red Fox Coffee Merchants. Below is the story of how it came to exist. It involves smuggling, ruining the coffee industry on an entire continent, fire, and gifts fit for royalty. Worth the read if you have a couple of minutes.
”My old pal and coffee buying co-conspirator Ryan Brown used to tell people that I posed as a coffee buyer to smuggle honey and rum into the country. While not entirely off base, the closest I’ve ever felt to a smuggler was many moons ago in Nairobi.
In my late 20’s I was certain that SL28 was the greatest coffee variety known to man. I wasn’t willing to have much conversation about it. Those who knew me then know how stubborn I was/am. While on a harvest trip up to the Central Highlands in December of 2008 I came up with the brilliant idea to purchase 10 kgs of SL28 seedstock to gift to coffee producers across Latin America. I coordinated the deal with my friend Martin who told me to meet him in the parking lot of his company’s Christmas party. I took the seed and headed to Nakumatt in order to buy a cheap suitcase to house my treasure on its voyage north. After convincing the airline check in agent to tag one suitcase all the way to Portland, and the other to Amsterdam, I took off on my redeye to Europe. I coordinated a drop with another old friend in Holland who agreed to send me 5kg of the seed disguised as samples from his office in exchange for keeping the other 5kg of seed for his farm in Bonga that we were also buying from at the time. He met me at the airport, the exchange was made and the seed began trickling into Portland the following month.
I then took the SL28 to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras and Panama. If any variety was in the quality discussion with SL28 it had to be Geisha, right? I traded Daniel Peterson of Hacienda La Esmeralda fame 2kg of SL28 for 1kg of Geisha. He drove a hard bargain but I suppose his family’s track record warranted his case. This was February 2009.
After a random mid-dream meltdown later that spring, in which I was the guy who brought CBD to Latin America (a seed borne plague itself), I frantically called the producers to have them burn what I had just given them. Daniel did so. Our friends in Tarrazu did so. I know that our friends in Marcala and Nueva Segovia did not do so and are probably producing some delicious coffee at the moment.
I still had the Geisha seed and needed somewhere smart to take it. I needed someone trustworthy to grow it. In June 2009 I carried that kilo down to Colombia and gave it to Jeremias Lasso in Cartago, Narino. I had only met Jeremias two years earlier but had strong respect for him immediately. (side note: Jeremias and his sister Raquel are the leaders of FUDAM, our partner producer association based in La Union.)
Jeremias planted half of the seed and gave the rest to Raquel and other family members. Four years later they produced their first fruit. They’ve been turning it into more seed ever since. If you ever visit Buenos Aires de Cartago you may think your eyes are deceiving you as you notice that basically half of the town is covered in Geisha. No. Really.
2017 marks the first fruitful Geisha harvest for Jeremias and his family and we’re fortunate to be bringing it into the US and Japan. This coffee comes from the most vaunted Geisha seedstock in the industry. And it tastes like it. While that Jaramillo jasmine and sultry stone fruit character is not as articulate in Jeremias’ lots, it's replaced by entirely different but equally opulent flavors of tropical lime, distinct meyer lemon, and fragrant honeysuckle. Bergamot being the most dynamic flavor descriptor of these lots as a whole. What these lots do have in common with their Hacienda Esmeralda predecessors is that impeccable articulation. The flavors are perceptible in absolute fashion.