Any coffee lover worth their beans shouldâ€™ve heard of Geisha coffee. Costing up to hundreds of dollars per pound, it can be grown only in a specific climate and elevation.
The most feted varietal of all would be Geisha coffee harvested from the family owned plantation â€“Â Hacienda La EsmeraldaÂ â€“ located on the slopes of Panamaâ€™s tallest mountain, Volcan Baru.
The beans grow best at high elevation and are handpicked â€“ to ensure that every bean is harvested at the peak of its ripeness, for a full-bodied flavour profile without peer.
When brewed, it has an intense, heady aroma evoking bergamot, finished with floral notes reminiscent of jasmine flowers and rose petals. With a subtle, well-balanced acidity that reminds many drinkers of tea, the varietal has continuously wowed connoisseurs since its introduction in 2003.
Panama Geisha has topped international coffee tasting championships â€“ netting 94.1 points out of 100 in 2017 â€“ and remains so exclusive that you have to auction for micro-lots of the beans just to get to serve it.
Understandably, itâ€™s hard to get locally â€“ unless youâ€™ve been down toÂ Geisha Specialty CoffeeÂ at Burlington Square, where a cup of the stuff costs $25. While some specialty stores do sell it unground, do you really want to leave this speciality brew to chance?
Thatâ€™s where Difference Coffee comes in. Think of them as a middleman between Hacienda La Esmeralda and you â€“ part-barista, part-distributor, and part-enabler.
The coffee is ground and roasted by its master roasters who have gone through countless iterations of each cuppa behind the scenes: Every pod that you eventually slot into your Nespresso machine is the apotheosis of years of expertise and effort.
The pods arenâ€™t just for convenience: storing the grounds in an oxygen-free environment ensures their freshness and locks in the flavours so every brew tastes exactly like it should.
If you need a bit of social proof, Difference Coffeeâ€™s capsules have been endorsed by Coffee Review (again, 94 points) in 2019 and are supplied to 61 Michelin-starred restaurants and 26 luxury hotels and members-only clubs.
For more information on their products and other available beans, including ethical wild-harvested Kopi Luwak, clickÂ here.