The Gesha Village journey began back in 2007 when Adam Overton and Rachel Samuel were making a documentary about coffee for the Ethiopian government. It was during this project that they were first introduced to Dr. Girma, their guide through the Gera Coffee Forest near Jimma. Dr. Girma is a coffee researcher and a wealth of information about coffee agronomy, and farm management. During the process of creating this documentary, Rachel was reintroduced to her birth country and Adam became fascinated by the rich history of the birthplace of coffee.
By the end of this coffee expedition, the couple felt compelled to start their own coffee farm. They saw too much unexplored potential and opportunity in Ethiopia’s wild coffee forests to ignore. Even though the country’s coffee trade was established long ago, Ethiopia’s coffee sector as a whole was and indeed still is far behind newer coffee origins in terms of agricultural and processing innovations, as well as market access, which - in the current state of the coffee industry - are some of the most important distinctions between specialty and commercial coffee. Adam and Rachel sought to utilize this gap in the Ethiopian specialty market to establish Gesha Village Estate.
Three varieties are cultivated at Gesha Village: two heirloom Gesha varieties and one disease-resistant variety acquired from the Jimma Agricultural Research Center (JARC). The two heirloom varieties were selected from the nearby (20km away) Gori Gesha forest, which through genetic testing has been determined to be the collection site for the 1931 expedition that is credited as the start of the gesha variety’s famous migration from Ethiopia to Latin America. The majority of Passenger’s selections from past Gesha Village harvests have been of the heirloom variety that Rachel and Adam refer to as “Gesha 1931”. The variety is very similar in morphology and cup characteristics to the famed Panamanian gesha that was discovered on and made famous by Hacienda La Esmeralda in Boquete, Panama.
In 2021, Passenger’s green buying team decided to participate in the annual “Pride of Gesha” online auction that Gesha Village hosts every year as a showcase of the finest coffees of that year’s harvest. Passenger was very fortunate to submit the winning bid for two Champions Reserve auction lots - one wet processed and one dry processed - that serve as simply beautiful examples of the Gesha 1931 variety. At the time of writing, we are incredibly proud to present both of these Gesha Village auction lots. These coffees offer a fascinating, and memorably delicious, exploration of the renowned gesha variety.