Panama has arrived!
This coffee is sourced from Finca Lerida Coffee Estate that is located near the town of Boquete within the province of Chiriqui, Panama. Finca Lerida Coffee Estate has a rich heritage beginning with specialty coffee exports dating back to 1929. Great care has been taken to cultivate coffee in harmony with the ecological paradise that surrounds Lerida Coffee Estate, which includes Volcan Buru National Park, La Amistad International Park, and over 550 species of birds. At the center of Finca Lerida Coffee Estate there is a vintage hotel with amenities that equal the natural beauty.
A beautiful larger bean screen.
Tasting Notes: Very clean, rich and fuller bodied cup with pretty low acidity. On the sweeter side, the light to medium roast points will have just a hint of citrus upfront and a nice soft fruit tone fading quickly into a more malty/chocolaty cup profile. As the roast progresses towards or into 2nd crack the acidity dissipates quickly but the soft fruit tone will retain giving nice and tasty balance at the fuller roasts. Once you hit second crack it will introduce some smoky, toasty notes and give more semi-sweet dark tones.
Roasting Notes: A bit different to roast, the beans will darken up quickly. Right after first crack they already look a couple shades darker than it is. Watch the patchiness of a single bean to help judge roast. They will develop a bit of sheen on the surface a shade or two before 2nd crack. A nice medium roast should make anyone happy, if too smooth and delicate, go a little darker, not quite crisp enough, take it a shade lighter.
Panamanian coffee has gone through some wild changes in the last 5-10 years. Bulk competitively priced lots of Panama coffee have dried up. Panama coffees have been demanding a huge premium, due to better paid pickers and cutting edge growing techniques and strains. Very cool stuff but the larger operations that were competing on the commodity end of the market were no longer able to compete, with higher paid workers and more costly production, the large worldly coffee buyers would go buy a similar scoring Honduran or such versus a Panama, which would run almost twice the cost of some of the neighboring countries production. A slow transition where only the farms producing high end premium coffee can thrive. The rest have switched to other crops. The market in Panama for coffee has basically just turned into boutique high end operations.
Panama is an origin that constantly makes headlines in the specialty coffee world mostly for the astounding auction prices in each year’s Best of Panama cupping competition. Finca Lerida is a 900-acre estate in the famed Boquete growing region nestled under the ecological wonderland of Volcan Buru National Park where over 550 species of birds make their home. A vintage hotel with amenities that equal the natural beauty, serves as a landmark to more than 100 years of coffee history and a source of tourism income, which was the primary focus when Sonia Amoruso’s family purchased the estate in 2009. Sonia was quickly captured by the estate’s coffee production and has managed the coffee operations ever since. Sonia works with 30 year-round employees and another 60 people who meticulously pick ripe cherry during the harvest. The estate has a mill with more than 100 years of history where cherries are still sorted to remove under ripe and damaged beans using the siphon invented by the original owner in the 1920s. Then the coffee is depulped, fermented, washed, and carefully dried on covered patios and raised bed. Finca Lerida also has housing and a school for employees and their families.