2017年7月17日 星期一

全世界最高貴的咖啡-瑰夏

My first experience with what was the crown jewel of the coffee world in 2009 was a 1kg bag of green Hacienda La Esmeralda Special Panama Geisha. It was given to me as a gift for the opening of a coffee academy that I was manning.
第一次接觸到現在咖啡界的王者,是有人送作者一公斤巴拿馬翡翠莊園的瑰夏,作為2009年咖啡學院啟用時的賀禮。

The coffee was lightly scented with the aroma of blueberries while roasting, bursting with bergamot oil upon grinding and tasted like Earl Grey when cupped. Six years ago, this phenomenal coffee left me yearning to dive into the world of Geisha (or gesha) coffee.
這支咖啡在烘焙時有著藍莓的香氣、研磨時有佛手柑的風味,而杯測時則有伯爵茶的風味,因為這隻獨特的咖啡,讓我從好幾年前就嚮往著瑰夏。


One man’s treat is another man’s poison
蘿蔔青菜,各有所愛
Our small team quickly gathered in the academy right after roasting the Esmeralda Geisha. We huddled closely, in awe of the flavours we were cupping. Everyone wanted a piece of the action of this unknown bean but, unfortunately, we served the coffee a death sentence by throwing all of it into the grinder hopper. This particular Geisha was a hair-tearing experience to calibrate the grind for. Particularly since we were after a ‘God shot’.
當翡翠莊園瑰夏烘焙好後,我們的團隊迅速在咖啡學院集合,我們要一起來杯測這美好風味的咖啡,很多人都想一睹這神秘咖啡豆的風采;不幸的是,我們要把這咖啡豆丟進磨豆機進行研磨粗細的校正,這真是令人痛苦,特別是在我們已經品嘗過這支咖啡沖煮出來的神杯

250g of wasted Geisha later, a palatable espresso shot finally came. Most of us, (myself included), flipped with a mesmerized palate. Yet some critiqued its tea-like lack of body. In 5oz milk, all love was lost. We quickly discovered that the coffee was much more enjoyable when brewed as a filter coffee rather than an espresso or latte.
在耗損了250克的瑰夏後,終於可以用這咖啡來煮美味的濃縮咖啡,大部分的人都陶醉在這美味當中,儘管有些人批評他的醇厚度不足,有如茶感。但為了醇厚度,而加入5盎司牛奶後,瑰夏的風采蕩然無存,作者認為瑰夏咖啡更適合用手沖咖啡呈現而非做成濃縮咖啡或拿鐵。
It was not a forgiving coffee, and at the time I felt it was not suitable for multiple brewing devices. Then again, this was six years ago and instead of the coffee not being ready for us, we were simply not ready for it.
這不是一支好沖的咖啡,筆者也一直覺得許多器具都不適合用來沖煮這支瑰夏,這裡再重申一次,這裡描述的情形是在2009,當時很多人還不習慣這支咖啡。

瑰夏變得越來越有名。圖片來源:baratza.com


What is Geisha?
瑰夏是什麼?
Rare, exclusive and fetching a heavy price tag, Geisha is often associated with coffees from Panama when in fact cultivation of the Geisha varietal only began there in the 1960s. Geisha is an original variety of coffee that was discovered in the 1930s in the mountains around the Southwestern town of Geisha, Ethiopia. Geisha trees grow tall and can be distinguished by their beautiful and elongated leaves. The quality of this coffee can be drastically improved when grown at extremely high elevation.
稀少、獨特、迷人且價值不斐的特性,瑰夏常被連結成來自巴拿馬的咖啡,事實上瑰夏品種的咖啡,到1960年代才開始在巴拿馬種植。瑰夏是1930年代在衣索比亞溪南山區附近城鎮Geisha所發現。瑰夏的樹種長的高且可以透過美麗細長的葉子來區分,此種咖啡種植在極高海拔區域時更能突顯其品質。

In the cup, the Esmeralda Geisha displays a good sweetness, clarity and sparkling flavor that may range from berry, citrus, mango, papaya, peach, pineapple, guava, and jasmine. Quite a bouquet for some palates. They are also recognized by the distinctive bergamot oil and orange peel taste, often described as Earl Grey tea! Others at the Perfect Daily Grind have experienced strange notes of marshmallows and vanilla!
翡翠莊園瑰夏的咖啡呈現出很好的甜味、乾淨度及爆炸性的風味,如莓果、柑橘、芒果、木瓜、桃子、鳳梨、番石榴及茉莉花香,一些美味的味覺感受。瑰夏也會有獨特的香檸檬油(佛手柑)及橘子皮風味,也常會被形容成伯爵茶的風味!甚至還有人描述為棉花糖及香草的風味!
 
瑰夏的樹種長的高,可以透過美麗細長的葉子來區分,圖片來源: coffeadiversa


Why has Geisha only become popular recently?
瑰夏為什麼近年來變得那麼有名?
Geisha made its spotlight ‘arrival’ to the world in 2004 as the varietal that took the prize at the Best Of Panama (BOP) competition. The BOP is a coffee cupping competition that was established in 1997 by the Specialty Coffee Association of Panama (SCAP). The best beans from the Panama highlands battle it out to win a place in a special internet auction that fetches high prices (1). Since then this varietal has been creating waves in the coffee scene, as well as in all coffee championships worldwide.
瑰夏首次在世界亮相是2004年時在最佳巴拿馬(BOP)競賽獲獎,BOP是由巴拿馬精品咖啡協會(SCAP),於1997年開始的咖啡豆杯測競賽會,來自巴拿馬最好的咖啡豆聚集在此一較高下,獲獎的咖啡豆可參與線上的競標會,並可賣到更好的價錢。從那時起瑰夏種就在咖啡界掀起波瀾,就如世上其他冠軍咖啡豆般。
瑰夏咖啡樹,由Panama Carmen提供。

Geisha is the norm in barista competitions
瑰夏是咖啡比賽的標準配備
It is increasingly common to hear of baristas winning competitions utilising famous Geisha coffees. As a result of this it turns out that many producers will find a great deal of interest in their coffee the day after big competitions! While Geisha is undoubtedly a beautiful experience, I believe it is somewhat of a surefire way to not disappoint. Geisha has a reputation and this can potentially distract judges away from what these competitions are about. Sensory judges in these very championships are often spoilt silly, with some of them having the honor of drinking more Geisha in a single competition day than they will ever find in a whole year being served in cafes.
越來越常聽到贏得咖啡比賽的咖啡師使用知名的瑰夏咖啡,結果造成許多咖啡農在比賽後,因為冠軍用他們出產的豆子,而找到對他們咖啡有興趣的買主。當瑰夏可以帶來的美好不容置疑時,我相信它是不會讓人失望的。瑰夏具一定知名度,而能潛意識地讓比賽的評審產生崇尚瑰夏的感覺。這些比賽的感官評審常被瑰夏寵壞,比賽一天下來,評審可以炫耀說他喝到很多瑰夏,這可能比他們一整年去咖啡店喝到的量都還多。
In today’s context, the question before a championship is no longer  ‘who will be using Geisha’ but rather ‘who will not be using it?’. I want to take a moment to recognise the fact that while Geisha may be overutilized at competitions, no World Barista Championship Winner in the last 5 years has used Geisha. They have all stayed true to appreciating the beauty of a particular varietal that they and their team specially selected for the competition. That is not to say that some of these coffees themselves are not rare or very special. The 2015 WBC winner from Australia Sasa Sestic stole the show with a coffee that can be classified as legendary, the Sudan Rume varietal. So I argue that knowledge and devotion to exploration of coffee should be valued above all else.
現在大家不會質疑有誰會在比賽中使用瑰夏,而是有誰不會在比賽中使用瑰夏。我想花些時間了解瑰夏在咖啡比賽中被過度使用的情形,而近幾年的世界咖啡大師WBC的冠軍沒有人使用瑰夏(2016WBC冠軍是用瑰夏),這幾年的冠軍是用他們跟夥伴認同,並特別挑選的咖啡品種比賽,而不是只有瑰夏。這並不是說這些咖啡就不稀有或不特別,2015年的WBC冠軍,澳洲的Sasa使用極為稀有,傳說中的Sudan Rume品種。作者認為在探索咖啡這件事上,知識的吸收與奉獻心力提升咖啡品質,比其他的外在因素更有價值。
瑰夏是咖啡比賽的標準配備

The reality of Geisha’s non-existence in cafes
瑰夏難以在咖啡店供應的事實
As much as it is well endeared amongst professionals, the famous Geisha has yet to struck a chord with café consumers. We can partly blame it on the fact that these coffees taste best as filter brews (and cafés are pretty much a 80% espresso based business), lower supply than demand in terms of cultivation, and the hefty price tag.
雖然咖啡業者都相當推崇瑰夏的美好,但消費者似乎不為所動,部分原因我們可以說是呈現這些咖啡最好風味的方式就是手沖,而咖啡店幾乎80%的客人都點咖啡機製作且以濃縮咖啡為基底的飲料,需求小於供給,而且這咖啡要價不菲。
Truth be told, simply not enough café operators and/or owners are willing to break the bank and buy the greens to be roasted and supplied to their respective cafés only to be drunk by their very own baristas! Customers get turned off by the idea of having to fork out four to five times more than they would for their regular coffee. The reality is that the majority of consumers simply do not possess the knowledge to understand the price and the hype. Some consumers find it too gentle to even be considered as coffee! This is not hard to understand when the standard order is a tall milk-based drink with a blend that is roasted to bring out the chocolate and caramelised flavours while sacrificing bean complexity.
老實說,不會有太多咖啡店的店長或營運者,願意花重本買瑰夏生豆來烘焙,只為提供給店裡的咖啡師品嘗及研究用!消費者看到這咖啡比平常喝得咖啡要貴上四到五倍時,通常會產生抗拒感,事實上大多數人並不了解咖啡的知識及其價值。有些消費者甚至覺得味道太溫和而覺得喝到的不是咖啡。這並不難了解,當大家都點牛奶比例很高的飲品,且飲品裡面的咖啡就是巧克力以及焦糖化風味,因而犧牲了咖啡的地域性豐富風味。
To conclude, the idea of Geisha as a mainstream coffee remains a fantasy as long as businesses are not enticed by consumers to even consider buying Geisha and make it available. Perhaps if a great deal of quality Geisha lots were to become available in the future this fantasy may turn into a reality, but for now that’s just an idea. At the end of the day, consumers drive the demand. At least I shall remain content sipping Geisha’s while judging in championships until Barista’s move on to something else.

總結來說,只要咖啡業者不被消費者偏好所影響,將瑰夏咖啡作商業上主流的咖啡只會是一種理想。也許在未來瑰夏在品質好的狀況下能增加產量,這個夢想才可能成真,但現在也只是夢想而已。真的到了那一天的時候,消費者會驅動著咖啡需求量,至少會是在咖啡比賽這件事上,這些評審以及頂尖咖啡師已經找到更佳風味的品種了。


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