Guatemala La Reforma Gesha
Acquired by Manuel Pérez in 1904, La Reforma initially produced tobacco, corn, and beans. In 1939 they began growing coffee as a means of income, due to the small yields of tobacco and the cost of production. With Manuel’s son Leonardo at the helm, they began producing coffee and transporting the crop through the mountains by mule. The journey took six days from the farm to the city of Huehuetenango, where they could sell their crop.
Four generations later, they hold 74 hectares of farmland, and their coffee has risen to the best in the region, placing first in the Cup of Excellence. Their goal is to reach niche markets with high-quality Gesha coffees, which yield a high price and help bring in notoriety and revenue to the farm. La Reforma seeks to improve each harvest, in both crop quality and in production cycle sustainability. The results of four generations of hard work speak loudly in the clarity and sweetness of this Gesha coffee.
2004, the year that Gesha rose to the top. While this variety had been around far longer than the early 2000s, it’s popularity exploded during the Best of Panama competition. Veteran judges were blown away by it’s floral and delicate nature. From Boquete, Panama, this variety quickly spread all over central and south America. This sought after cup propelled it onto the barista competition stage, all while fetching extremely high prices. (This year a Gesha from Panama went for over $1,000/lb in an auction.)
It originated from Gesha forest in Ethiopia, where it was transported to Costa Rica in the ’50s, and then went to Panama in the ’60s. Recently it has gone full circle by returning production in Ethiopia via the Gesha Village Estate.
So why has the industry gone wild for this variety? It has broken the idea of what coffee can be. Floral, sweet, and dynamic are all characteristics prized in a specialty coffee, and these are turned up levels in a good Gesha. Regularly we score it above 90 points (although, not as a rule, we’ve scored some as low as 81.) Ultimately, it is just distinct among its peers. Gesha has a captivating floral aroma, a fruit-forward sweetness, all while being as delicate as a prized tea.
Wanna know more about how we brew? Then visit our brew methods page cause "this is how we brew it" (think Montell Jordan when reading that last part).
FILTER - Hario V60
25g Coffee : 400g Water 200°F
~3:30 Drain Time
Start with 50-75g bloom
@30s - pour to 200g
@1:30 - pour to 300g
@2:30 - pour to 400g
~3:30 Drain Time
Preheat paper filter and V60. Let cool to room temp before brewing.
1st Pour (Bloom)
- Pour as light as possible. Start in the center and concentrically circle outwards and then back into the center. Touching the middle of the bed twice will ensure that the deepest part of the cone-shaped bed will come into contact with water.
- 2nd Pour (to 200g)
- This pour is going to be around 150g, with the purpose of lifting the bed depth to where it’s about an inch from the top of the filter, and agitating the coffee in the center of the bed. Start the pour in the center of the bed with a medium-intensity flowrate, and then quickly and concentrically circle outward retouching the entire bed of coffee to break up the bloom. After breaking up the bloom, come back and pour small, nickel-sized circles into the center of the bed. This will start to carve out the bed, putting coffee up onto the walls. This will expose more coffee to more water, increasing extraction.
- 3rd Pour (to 300g)
- This 100g pour is simple. Pour small, intense, nickel-sized circles in the center of the bed to continue to agitate the coffee and to bring the bed depth back up to full height. Start this pour just before the bed at the bottom of the cone is exposed (before all the water from the last pour drains out).
- 4th Pour (to 400g)
- Over the last two pours, the bed has been carved out. On this last pour, we want to put all of the grounds back into the very bottom of the cone for the final drain of the water. After letting the water nearly drain out again, start this pour, mimicking the bloom pattern, but with that same medium-intensity flow rate used on the previous two pours. Circle concentrically outward and back in, knocking and washing all of the coffee back into the center of the V60.
Guatemala La Reforma Gesha
This is a Relationship Coffee from Family Bonds Coffee. We purchased this coffee alongside our Finca Isnul offerings and a few other micro-lots. Coffee was contracted and wired to family bonds. This lot was small, just 90kgs. This coffee cupped at an 89.25 and we paid $25/lb. Tecolote Coffee Imports handled the import for all our Family Bonds coffees, as well as some other Guatemalan coffees and we paid a $0.35 per pound logistics fee to bring this coffee into the USA. Tecolote Coffee is owned by our good friend Blake Trafton who actually introduced us to Danny five years back and judged alongside us at Guatemala’s Cup of Excellence.
- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $1.07/lb when we purchased this coffee.
- The Fair Trade Coffee minimum price was $1.60/lb when we bought this coffee.
* We as a company believe transparency is unbelievably important. However, we decided only to list what is shown here because we don’t know where to stop. Do we list the amount of coffee lost in roasting due to moisture loss? Should we list our roaster Mark's salary? The warehouse rent? The utilities? The point of listing things above is not to justify what we charge or what we profit, but to give a realistic snapshot of the industry and how Specialty Coffee can be different than other commodity industries. If you have concerns feel free to email us and I’ll write you back when I’m available.
Relationship Coffee is an initiative we, at Onyx, have purposely created to describe our sourcing and buying practices and how we document them. Certifications like Direct Trade, Fair Trade, and others have impacted the coffee communities in mostly positive ways but also in some negative ways. We find that blanket terms and applying them to a multitude of business models no longer describes what we do.
In reality, every company is different, and we wanted to step out from the mold and create a new set of standards that exceeds in every department from quality to transparency to pricing. The growers, exporters, importers, associations, cooperatives, and other entities are always a set of relationships. To be honest, many are our friends as much as they are our producers and partners. We share information, family news, meals, housing, many faiths, and argue politics. Oh, and we love it. Relationship Coffee for Onyx is the mark of an honest exchange ethos that permeates our company, and we hope it encourages the growth of specialty coffee for the future.
We visited the farm or cupping lab and listened to the producer/agronomist or head cooperative/association to ascertain better knowledge about the culture and practices.
We cupped the coffee, and it scored to our industry-high standards.
We do not buy futures or multiple harvests to ensure that what we cupped for that year is what we serve.
We do not ask for exclusivity from producers, binding their options.
We pay what the coffee is worth. This always is at least double Fair Trade minimum due to the quality we buy, and many times is three to ten times the amount.
We do not finance any coffee. Cash flow is just as important as final price. Coffee is paid in full upon delivery, and we pay a percentage up front upon contracting.
We are completely transparent from price to logistics to cupping score, to who we work with buying and shipping coffee.
We work to set premiums after a contracted price to incentivize quality and community building. This can be .10¢ - .25¢ extra per pound or community projects such as school supplies in the growing village, sports jerseys, vented chimneys for kitchen fires, etc.