Geisha Coffee Research

My Inspiration?
In 2004 I tasted my first cup of Geisha during a coffee competition in Panama and this phenomenal coffee variety turned my world upside down. The incredible flavor profile of Geisha hypnotized and mesmerized me. My dream to become a coffee farmer became a quest to try to reproduce what others in Panama had already accomplished.

Exploring Geisha
In 2006 I planted my very first Geisha coffee tree on the slopes of a forest farm called “Finca La Mula”. Around the same time I felt a growing urge to find the origins of Geisha coffee in Ethiopia. I daydreamed entering into a wild coffee forest filled with majestic indigenous Geisha trees. I organized various expeditions to the far West of Ethiopia in search of the origins of this intriguing variety. After many explorations in wild coffee forests, I finally stumbled upon a relatively small forest in the province of Bench Maji, not too far from the town of Gesha. We collected various samples and started to investigate the flavor profiles.

Scientific Research
In early 2013 I met Dr. Sarada Krishnan and we discussed the possibility of conducting a genetic research to investigate forest coffees in Ethiopia. These videos provide important information about our quest and about the possible relationship between Panamanian Geisha and coffee from this small Ethiopian Gesha forest. Sarada Krishnan explains the genetic research she has initiated to support our work. You can download the research report at the bottom of this page.

My Vision
This Geisha research project has been so intriguing because we are operating at the crossroads of various fundamental and core coffee concepts: Quality, Environmental Stewardship and Social Balance. In essence, we are trying to preserve and develop a phenomenal coffee variety while saving the forest in which she thrives by collaborating with the local communities.

Sarada Krishnan is Director of Horticulture at the Denver Botanic Gardens where she is responsible for directing the design and maintenance of the horticulture displays. She also directs the Gardens’ Center for Global Initiatives, developing and leading global projects.

Sarada’s research focuses on conservation of biodiversity, particularly working with coffee. Her work in Madagascar compares the genetic diversity of wild coffee (Coffea spp.) in existing ex situ germplasm with extant wild populations making recommendations for conservation management. She has done genetic diversity studies of Coffea arabica in South Sudan and more recently with Geisha coffee from Panama and Ethiopia.

Sarada owns coffee plantations in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica and hopes to develop sustainable cultivation practices to improve livelihoods in coffee growing countries. She serves on several local and national boards and committees.

From a very early age Willem was intrigued and captured by coffee in every sense and all facets.
He roasted his first batch of coffee at the age of 14 and after obtaining a masters-degree in business economics at the University of Amsterdam he co-owned “The Golden Coffee Box”, his family’s successful speciality coffee business.

When Willem moved to the USA, he founded Boot Coffee in 1998 and he advised and worked with coffee companies, coffee associations, development banks and governments around the world.
As a consultant, Willem has been managing coffee quality programs in countries like Colombia, Panama and Honduras. As a marketing strategist, he designed extensive programs for coffee industries in Ethiopia and El Salvador.

Willem has worked around the world at the highest level which has resulted in in-depth knowledge and experience of the coffee industry making him one of the top coffee consultants in the world.

Background Information

Willem Boot explains his personal passion for Geisha coffee

What makes Geisha coffee so special?

Sarada Krishnan explains the genetic characteristics of Arabica coffee and the importance of research

Important Project Update

Willem Boot talks about his efforts to discover the roots of Geisha coffee in Ethiopia

Sarada Krishnan explains the protocol that was utilized for the genetic research


Geisha Genetic Characterization - Final Report_s
Research Report by Dr. Sarada Krishnan
Exploring the Holy Grail by Willem Boot
Press Release

Boot Camp Coffee Geisha References

Growing Geisha (Members Only)
Varieties (Members Only)

Other Geisha Resources

Michaele Weissman: God In the Cup