Over the last few years Panama has become known for its export-quality specialty coffee, filling the cups of coffee lovers all the way up to Canada, Russia, Netherlands, Japan, Korea, and as far as down to Australia and Singapore. In fact over the past few years Panamanian coffee has broken back to back records and become the most expensive coffee in the world, reaching the prices of $803 dollars per pound of GEISHA COFFEE in 2018 and then $1,029 per pound in 2019 (And yes, that’s in US Dollars!)
It’s more than just coffee, it’s not just about the bean, the land, the roast and the process, for Panamanian coffee farmers, it’s an art! The story starts in the Boquete and Volcan area, where coffee farmers take advantage of the volcanic soil which is known for its fertility, and rich nutrients.
Harvesting in Panama is still done manually (literally!). Every year during the harvesting season dozens of farmers move into the farms dorms, to rise up early and work the land through the season. The coffee cherries are selected carefully and this is done by hand from plant to plant, avoiding the use of heavy machinery that could damage the delicate specialty coffee plants. Then the cherries are separated and grouped depending on many characteristics.
Then comes the drying, which is a very delicate process and must be done right. The cherries are usually just spread out over a zinc surface and let to dry up under the sun. For how long? Usually several weeks but there is just no set time frame, it varies from season to season, and the coffee-master must have almost kind of an “x-ray vision” to determine the right timing!
Lastly, but not least importantly, comes the roasting, they are heated to around 550 degrees Fahrenheit and then quickly cooled with cold air or water, and then finally comes the grinding where the coffee transforms from the green bean to the black/brown aromatic powder we are used to and enchanted with!
Over the past few years Panama’s Coffee has positioned itself in the minds of the top coffee tasters and connoisseurs around the world. The supply is very limited as the region is small and coffee farmers are mostly sticking with traditional methods and avoid the use of fertilizers and aggressive farming that others are tempted to just to increase the yield but this would reduce the quality and harm the land.
This limited supply and increasing demand is driving prices up, so make sure you get your Panamanian coffee today here at AlturasCoffee.com, while prices are still reasonable!