Geisha


Geisha is giving hard times to coffee industry. It's expensive, hardly anyone knows where it really comes from and it's a "standard competing coffee".

Especially when it comes to the last one, the conversations lightens up. Recently, James Hoffman wrote a wonderful piece about Geisha in competition. And it's remarkable how many people have published something about Geisha since then.

Competition
It seems easy to compete with a varietal like this. Gets high scores on a cupping table. Has distinct, yet distinguishable flavour notes. And for years it is the Geisha winning in competitions.

But at the end of the day, it's not entirely fair to compare Geisha to Bourbon or any other. A bit like comparing a monkey and a fish. Result depends on whether you judge by ability to climb trees or swimming.

I would love to see other coffee win competition. Moreover, I like when somebody competes with any different one. It was exciting to see Dan Fellows winning UKBC with Heirloom from Ethiopia.

Same thing with Jem Challender and his exotic Javanica for Brewers Cup. It was sad that this varietal didn't make it to Dublin, but entirely reasonable. The other thing is, he switched to Geisha. Which again, is absolutely understandable from competitor's view.

There comes the idea of having several competitions for different varieties. One for Geisha, one for Caturra, Bourbon and so on. I heard it from Tracy Allen in the first place - the man who knows a lot about competitions. And straight away it was proposed only for Brewers Cup. Nevertheless I can't imagine this in practice. That's an extreme fragmentation, we would end up with only several people entering "a variety competition".

Restricting rules
Then there was a thought of banning Geisha. But let's say it would pass (which I don't believe in). Imagine the decrease in demand for Geisha. Baristas who prepare for competition, use a lot of coffee. Some people even consider it "Waste". Across the world, all these baristas add to pretty nice percentage of general demand for Geisha. Especially considering not so high popularity in cafes and retail sales. I don't have any numbers, but I assume farmers would be affected by the ban.

Also, banning anything in competition is against the idea of competing in first place. That's where people experiment, come up with new ideas, share their knowledge. I'm for making the rules less strict. I love the idea of freeing milk beverages. Flat white is way more cool than Cappuccino, isn't it? The next big thing I want to see is letting baristas adjust machines - temperature, pressure and maybe even water.

Those parameters that has been fixed for years. However it is changing across the industry. I believe that through adjusting these variables baristas would be able to bring new life to different varieties.

Maybe it's that we need to see another variety to win. To set a precedent. To encourage people to use different coffee and increase it's chances.

Being passive - "see" - is contrary to development. Actually, we need to "DO" something to see the change. SCAA/SCAE can change the rules. Baristas can use another coffee for competition. Whatever you can do, should be done.


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