Willay: The Rare Gesha Varietal You Could Be Drinking Right Now

Metric Coffee is proud to offer Willay, a rare gesha varietal from Dionisio Pintado in Peru, available for the first time in the United States.


Cover photo by Chris Hershman

Metric Coffee is now offering Willay, a rare Gesha from Southeastern Peru that has never before been offered in the United States. Metric Coffee is highly connected to the San Ignacio province where this coffee comes from—their director of quality control, Jose Rivera, comes from the region, and his family has had a hand in virtually all aspects of coffee production. “Jose exposed us to his work back in Peru and shared some of the most beautiful coffees I have ever tried from Peru, much less anywhere,” Xavier Alexander, co-owner of Metric Coffee, says. “Through Jose, we began to see and taste the quality of the coffees that are coming out of this part of the world.”

The packaging design is inspired by a Peruvian parable, where farmers, plagued by unpredictable weather, rely on yachachichi (shaman) to provide guidance. It was designed by Jourdon Gullett of Solemn Oath Brewery. Photo by Elika Liftee.

“The first harvest of this coffee occurred three years ago with the original seeds coming from Pun, a city in southeastern Peru,” shares Dionisio Pintado, the grower of this coffee. “The seeds came from a farm owned by Raul Mamani, whose award-winning five-acre farm grows among the world’s best coffees.” This is the first time the rare varietal will be offered in the United States, and the coffee boasts flavors of jasmine, vanilla, and lime. “This is a special coffee, a real treat for coffee lovers like myself. Because the coffee is generally roasted light to highlight the innate characteristics of this cultivar, people who drink this coffee are fans of the floral and elegant qualities followed by good body and sweetness,” Xavier says.

Metric Coffee, pictured above, entered the Willay into the 2018 Good Food Awards, where it was distinguished as a finalist—and was the only non-Ethiopian coffee to earn that honor. Photo by Chris Hershman.

Geshas aren’t exactly common to Peru, and Dionisio is aware how special it is to have the Willay growing among his other coffee plants, especially considering the hardships many farmers in South and Central America face. “Acquiring the varietal is extremely difficult unless you have the right connections because of its value in the market,” Dionisio says. “There are also growing concerns over the elements such as lack of rain, increase in temperatures, and Roya, which is … rampant all across Central and South America and eradicates entire fields, which generally has producers cultivating and selling inferior-quality coffees.”

Metric Coffee has deep ties with Peru—their director of coffee quality comes from a coffee family in Peru, and they continue to highlight coffees from the country. Photo by Chris Hershman.

This coffee—which was a finalist for the 2018 Good Food Awards and had the distinction of being the only non-Ethiopian coffee amongst the finalists—is only available at Metric’s website, and is priced at $25 for 150 grams (about enough to make six to eight cups of coffee). Metric anticipates Willay being available only for the next two to three weeks, so jump in and grab this special coffee soon!

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Ashley is the Online Editor for Barista Magazine. She's based in Chicago. If you want to share a story or have a comment, you can reach her at ashley@baristamagazine.com.