Whether you like it or not (why wouldn’t you?) Panama is the land of coffee, the heaven of coffee.
Panama is a country that produces quality over quantity (with less than 1% market share) and it’s up to date on farming and processing techniques from the picking to the processing (wet processing stations and dry mills) as well as transportation.
Panama produces mostly arabica beans which grow in the Chiriquí highlands, in the surrounding area of Volcan Baru and in the least-known Renacimiento.
This country is known mostly for producing one of the finest Arabica of the world. It’s known especially for the Geisha varietal. The Plants have elongated coffee cherries as well as elongated leaves.
The cherries are picked by hand from Volcan Baru, the tallest mountain in Panama. The Cherries are then dried for eight days to reach 10,5% of humidity ready to be sold.
Panama Geisha Coffee
Geisha seems to has its origin from the Gesha village in Ethiopia and it was imported from Costa Rica around 80 years ago. Legend has it that a farmer from Don Pachi family brought some beans from Costa Rica to Panama because they were resistant to disease, especially the coffee leaf rust which is famous for having devastated several countries at that time.
This family still own a plantation in Boquete Region. Growing in the Boquete Region in the Province of Chiriquí, this bean has light body, bright acidity and tea-like aroma (like jasmine and bergamot) with honey, mango, papaya and citrus tastes.
Geisha coffee owes his success to a unique weather which is characterized by different microclimates found nowhere else: the trees grow in high elevations (about 1200 to 2000 meters above sea level) in a volcanic soil with abundant rainfall, shade from trees and cool temperatures which are ideal for the growth of the beans.
That’s why this Arabica varietals is always setting record after record regarding the auction selling price. In 2016 a Geisha of Esmeralda Ranch has been sold for $601 per pound in a lot of 100 pounds setting out the highest coffee price about green coffee.
Personally, nothing compared with the highly publicized Kopi Luwak, a coffee made from the feces of the civet cat or the Black Ivory which is made from the poop of an elephant.
But back to the plant varietals, this country produces other arabica beans varying by growth and yelding, quality and resistant such as Pacamara, Typica, Bourbon, Yellow Catuai, Caturra, Pache, Mundo Novo and San Ramon.
All of them do their best at high elevations.
Drinking a cup of geisha is definitely a bucket list for a coffee lover, even if it will cost 20-30 pounds!
If you are interested in coffee producing countries don’t forget to read our post about Uganda