The Hartmanns first planted their Geisha trees in 2004 at their Ojo de Agua farm, which is located on the upper slopes in Santa Clara, Panama. Ojo de Agua, named for the various water springs that are born within the farm, ranges in altitude from 1450m to 1550m. The conditions are beautiful for growing coffee. The soil drains slowly, the topsoil is covered by friendly foliage from the surrounding trees, the coffee trees are properly spaced out to provide ample nutrients and create sustainable demands on the soil. The coffee plots are spaced out between various protected forest areas that the Hartmanns cherish and protect.
Since the Geisha is a coffee that generates a high price, any problems with the trees could affect the farm severely. So the Hartmanns tend to their Geisha trees in a very special way. They are always nicely pruned, and the soil surrounding the trees is very well maintained to ensure a proper balance between healthy surrounding vegetation and protection of soil nutrients. The picking of the Geisha trees is tedious and impeccable. The Hartmanns have a demanding picking schedule – whereas most farmers pick a tree 2-4 times per harvest, the Hartmanns are picking the Geisha trees as much as 10 times per harvest. This of course has a serious impact on the production cost of their Geisha. This particular Geisha is a Natural, yielding an incredible fruit-forward and exotic cup. It was grown on an area of the Ojo de Agua farm called “One Hectare”. This area of the farm is special because it receives both morning and afternoon sun, producing incredibly high-performing coffees.
The Hartmanns are continually looking for ways to better their quality. Ratibor is in charge of quality assurance and roasting. Allan is in charge of processing, manages the beneficio (wet and dry mills) and he is also a carpenter. Alexander is in charge of the farm management and ensuring coffee tree and vegetation health. Kelly is the mechanic, and works on the many numerous machines that run the mill. Lastly, the lone sister, Alice oversees administration, accounting, and running the various bird-watching and nature tours that go through their farm. Naturally the families of each sibling also contribute and together they form the Hartmann “clan”, as they are affectionately known.
I had the pleasure of staying with the Hartmann family several times over the past seven years. In all the various visits, I have spent a great deal of time with the entire family, but especially Ratibor and his lovely wife Tessie.
This green coffee was frozen immediately upon arrival in Calgary to preserve freshness, and then defrosted 24 hours before roasting.