by Ted Stachura
We are pleased to announce that Equator Coffees & Teas has been awarded first place in this year's Roaster's Choice Competition! Sponsored by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and the Roasters Guild, the competition is designed to highlight the art and craft of specialty coffee roasting. The competition took place in April 2013 during the 25th Annual SCAA Exposition, at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. There, our coffee earned the top score, as determined by an expert panel of judges, and was named the winner of the 2013 Roasters Choice competition.
Our winning coffee is a very special AAA grade Geisha variety coffee grown by our friends at Granja La Esperanza on their farm Cerro Azul. One of a handful of farms owned and operated by Granja La Esperanza, Cerro Azul is planted almost exclusively to the rare and celebrated botanical variety popularly known as Geisha. The AAA designation is used by Granja La Esperanza to denote the most pronounced intensity of flavor.
Equator coffee buyer Ted Stachura and the team from Granja La Esperanza
We had the opportunity to visit Cerro Azul and the Granja La Esperanza family of farms in early 2013 to learn more about their operations. While there tasted the Geisha AAA, in addition to a wide assortment of other coffee types grown and processed by the dedicated team of coffee professionals at Granja La Esperanza. In order for coffee to be sold as Cerro Azul Geisha it must fall into either double or triple A grade classifications based on cup quality. If the coffee does not match the flavor expectations for the Cerro Azul terroir, then it is not sold with the farm designation.
Geisha (also known as Gesha) is an Ethiopia-derived heirloom variety that was planted by Granja La Esperanza as part of a multi-year project focused on producing outstanding coffees through deliberate quality improvement efforts. The project includes the operation and study of a farm in Boquete Panama, the growing region best known for the Geisha variety. Data for every imaginable detail is logged in order to find correlations between different variables and positive results.