What Is Geisha Coffee & Why Is It So Expensive?




filtered black coffee next to a keep cup

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In recent years, Geisha coffee beans have grown in huge demand, but what is geisha coffee exactly, and why is it so expensive?

In this article, we will take a closer look at geisha coffee beans and provide you with the information you need to understand what makes this coffee so sought-after, as well as tips to ensure you’re getting a quality product and avoiding scams and counterfeit beans.

What Is Geisha Coffee?

Originating from the Gori Gesha forest in Ethiopia, it is considered one of the most exclusive and expensive coffees in the world, with prices reaching up to $600 USD per pound.

The journey of Geisha coffee started in the 1950s when it was brought from Ethiopia to Costa Rica, and later on to Panama where it was cultivated at Hacienda la Esmeralda, one of the leading farms in the country.

At these competitions, Geisha coffee has established a reputation as a top-performing bean, with champions like Berg Wu of Taiwan using it to take first place at the 2021 World Barista Championship.

However, for coffee connoisseurs, Geisha coffee is worth the search for its unforgettable taste and history.

What Does Geisha Coffee Taste Like?

Geisha coffee has a distinctive, flowery and fruit-like flavour that can vary depending on the origin. 

It can have a hint of citrus, mango, papaya, guava, and many other exotic fruit flavours.

“It is like a precious perfume, with rose, jasmine, and bergamot notes. In the cup, it has an amazing array of delicate flavours with an unusual lingering aftertaste. You might taste lime, honeysuckle, papaya – it’s always incredibly fruit-forward”.

Willem Boot
Owner of Boot Coffee

How Much Is Geisha Coffee?

On average, a pound of Geisha coffee can range from three to four times more expensive than other specialty coffee beans.

While the cost of Geisha coffee can vary greatly depending on where you buy it, you can still find it for as low as $9 per cup in Panama and for $18 in coffee shops in New York.

However, it’s important to note that prices can also vary greatly depending on the quality and rarity of the beans.

For example, one coffee shop in San Francisco recently sold out limited supplies of the highly sought-after “Elida Geisha 803” beans for a staggering $75 per cup.

When purchasing Geisha coffee, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the real thing, as there are many scams and counterfeit beans on the market.

So ensure that you’re buying from a reputable source and pay close attention to the packaging, origin, and quality of the beans to avoid any scams.

At the end of the day, the cost of Geisha coffee reflects its quality, rarity, and expertly crafted flavour, making it a worthwhile investment for coffee lovers looking for the ultimate coffee experience.

person holding espresso cup with coffee inside

Why Is Geisha Coffee So Expensive?

As an expert in the coffee industry, it is important to have a clear understanding of why Geisha coffee is so expensive.

This highly sought-after variety has become a symbol of luxury and exclusivity, with coffee shops and specialty retailers competing fiercely for a limited supply.

One of the key factors contributing to the high cost of Geisha coffee is its high demand.

With a growing number of coffee enthusiasts seeking out the best and most unique blends, the market for Geisha has become increasingly competitive.

Coffee shops may have to place a bid to secure a supply of these beans, driving up the price.

Another factor that makes Geisha coffee so valuable is its consistently high quality.

The Panama Geisha variety has repeatedly been rated highly by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), which uses a 100-point scoring system to evaluate the quality of coffee.

Geisha consistently scores above 90 points, making it one of the highest-rated coffees in the world.

With notes of jasmine, bergamot, and stone fruit, Geisha coffee offers a flavour experience like no other.

How to Avoid Counterfeit Geisha Coffee Beans?

Geisha coffee is in high demand, which makes it a target for counterfeiters. Here are some tips to avoid scams or fake beans:

  • Do your research: Learn about the origin of coffee and the conditions required for its growth. This information can help you determine if the beans are legitimate.
  • Buy from reputable suppliers: Look for suppliers that have a solid reputation for selling high-quality, authentic coffee.
  • Check for certifications: Some coffee farms are certified by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) and have received high scores for their Geisha beans.
  • Ask for documentation: Request proof of origin and certification from the supplier to ensure that you are buying the real deal.
  • Check the price: If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. Be cautious of beans that are significantly cheaper than the market price, as this is often a red flag for counterfeit products.

By following these guidelines, you can be sure that you are buying authentic Geisha coffee and not wasting your money on a counterfeit product.

How To Brew With Geisha Coffee?

coffee brewing

If you are going to invest in a specialty coffee as rare and precious as Panama geisha coffee beans, you will want to handle it with care.


To brew Geisha coffee, you’ll need a few essential tools, including:

Coffee beansBuy high-quality, freshly roasted Geisha coffee beans from a trusted source. Avoid beans that are past their expiration date or stored for too long.
Coffee grinderUse a pour-over filter paper suitable for your coffee maker to eliminate unwanted flavours or particles.
Coffee makerUse a pour-over, French press, or AeroPress coffee maker. This article focuses on using a pour-over coffee maker.
Filter paperUse a pour-over filter paper suitable for your coffee maker to eliminate unwanted flavours or particles.

Step-by-Step Guide to Brewing Guide

Step 1

Weigh out your coffee beans

Measure out the desired amount of coffee beans and grind them to a medium-fine consistency. You should aim for a 1:15 coffee-to-water ratio. For example, if you want to make 250 ml of coffee, you’ll need 16.7g of coffee beans.

Step 2

Boil water

Fill a kettle with water and heat it until it reaches boiling point. Let the water cool for a minute or two to reach the ideal temperature of around 93-96°C.

Step 3

Prepare your pour-over coffee maker

Place the filter paper in the coffee maker and rinse it with hot water to remove any paper taste.

Step 4

Add the ground coffee to the coffee maker

Once the water has cooled, pour the ground coffee into the coffee maker. Give it a gentle shake to level the coffee and create a depression in the centre.

Step 5

Bloom the coffee

Pour a small amount of water (around 30 ml) over the coffee grounds and let it sit for 30 seconds. This process, called blooming, helps to release carbon dioxide from the coffee and improves the flavour.

Step 6

Pour the remaining water

Slowly pour the remaining water over the coffee, starting from the centre and spiralling outwards. Ensure that the water is evenly distributed over the coffee grounds.

Step 7

Let it brew

Once all the water has been poured, let the coffee brew for around 3-4 minutes.

Step 8

Pour and enjoy

Once the brewing process is complete, pour the coffee into your cup and enjoy.


There is no doubt that Geisha coffee is great, and merits a high price tag.

    It is considered one of the best available coffees for those who appreciate, and notice the subtle difference in flavours when it comes to coffee.

    Just be sure to do the proper research on the supplier to figure out whether the coffee being sold is legitimate Geisha coffee from Panama.

    Otherwise, you will just be wasting your money.

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