This is season four of working with Keith Pech, owner of Damarli Estate. He has some family in the U.P. (Michigan) and passes by our warehouse from time to time visiting his family. Keith is really on the cutting edge of Panamanian coffee. He really hooked us up this season with his best chops but much smaller quantities than normal. Luckily he was able to produce two winning lots from his neighbor as well to fill in the shortfalls. These are high scoring, super fresh and very tasty lots. His mom is actually part of the Ruiz family who we sourced a ton of awesome Panama coffees from in years past.
This Catuai Natural is more wild and is on the stronger side. Awesome prep and one heck of a cup. Pretty exotic stuff, if you are new to Natural Processed coffees, be in for something different. Being highly rated this cup will have some acidity to it. Floral, winy and fruity mark this cup.
Tasting Notes: A very jazzy cup of coffee with a noticeable natural processed spin. This year is a bit less fruit forward than previous seasons but just as tasty. Lighter roasting points (before 2nd crack) are where this cup will shine. Light roasts themselves will be fairly bright with pretty strong citrus floral and fruit tones. The fruitiness is almost winy and more reminiscent of a red grape-skin; complex with a little astringency upfront. The cup will be pretty front loaded at the light roast points but will have a little herbal chocolaty balance that is accentuated the darker you roast. Medium roasts bring much more traditional darker tones to the cup and are where anyone who doesn’t like too much acidity should start, still a bit lemony upfront but fades quickly into soft fruit tones and more potent spicy malty/chocolaty notes. Dark roasting is almost a shame, gets a bit roasty and tends to lose those exotic winy and floral tones. Darker roasts into 2nd crack taste good but mostly full of smoky semi-sweet chocolate tones.
Roasting Notes: A bit dependent on personal taste what to do with this coffee and can be a bit harder to roast. High chaff, good to reduce the batch size slightly. Looks way darker roasted than it is, even at first crack, looks like you are pushing 2nd crack. If you are seeing splotches on a single beans, you are still in the light to medium ballpark. A strong shine to the beans are you are getting closer to 2nd crack than first. If you like acidity, floral and fruit tones, the front loaded light roast cup is pretty cool stuff. If you like traditional Panama and Central American coffee, good to go into the medium roast points to get some darker toned balance. Darker roasts are not recommended but tasty for you darker roast Panama lovers. One can get close to the dark roast profile of this cup with cheaper coffee.
Damarli Estate is a specialty coffee farm located in Boquete, Panama. The estate dates back to 1995 when David Pech, a photographer in the United States and his wife Lia Pech (Ruiz) bought the farm from a bank foreclosure. Lia’s family, the Ruiz family, had been heavily involved in the coffee industry in Boquete for four generations; thus David and Lia were encouraged to get involved with the family industry as well.
Damarli, as a name came from a combination of the original investors: David and Lia and David’s father and mother (Manfred and Ruth Pech) – DA- for David, MA- for Manfred, R – for Ruth and LI – for Lia.
The estate was planted in 1996 and began to produce in 2001. For over one decade Damarli Estate sold the raw coffee cherries to Casa Ruiz, which was Lia’s family’s coffee business. In 2014, David and Lia’s son Keith moved from the United States to Panama in order to begin a new project at Damarli Estate. This was the beginning of a new chapter for the beans.
Keith began to identify all the unique coffee varieties that were grown at Damarli Estate and market them internationally. Keith and David began to process their own coffee at the estate in a way that would create sweet and unique cup profiles that had little to no water waste. They built a house on the estate to accept visitors, a new mill and drying beds to process all the coffees and a coffee tasting lab to accept international buyers. Damarli Estate is a beautiful farm filled with tropical birds, tall canopy forests and enchanting sunrises.