Where do we start with the story about the amazing rise in Panama's coffee quality.
The fundamental springboard for this rise has been due to the overwhelming success of the Geisha. It's a varietal that is both delicate and challenging to grow and process. The result when it's done properly are undisputed in terms of being the absolute best in the world. The world's best coffee judges search for superlatives to describe it and in recent years coffee roasters have been using fat chequebooks to spend whatever it takes to buy the best Panama Geishas in order to win medals at competitions
In a short time, the Geisha's of Panama have taken the specialty coffee world by storm - but the hook is that these Geishas are actually beyond the reach of the everyday coffee drinker. That's right, who wants to pay up to $100 a kilo, in some case much more, for a coffee ?
Putting aside the raging success of Panama Geisha's, there is actually a good story to be told about the other coffees that Panama has been producing for 80+ years.
It's a perfect micro-climate and for many US citizens an ideal holiday or retirement destination.
Long before the hype of Giesha, we had known for a long time that Panama could do something very special. Even their SHG (Strictly High Grown) coffees were always a notch or two above the comparable offerings from Guatamala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and El Salvador.
Always sweet with a beautiful stone fruit note, Panamas had been sitting in our top range of coffee qualities for many years.
We have been sourcing lots from Casa Ruiz and Mama Cata. These estates are well regarded for producing exceptional quality washed coffees.
Our current lot is from Mama Cata and it's superb.
Apple and pear crispness with an intense caramel finishing with sparkling citrus acidity.
Panama coffee continue to rise in pricing and command a large premium over comparable coffee from other origins in South America.
The success of Panama Geishas have lifted the overall standing of Panama on the world coffee stage.
Today, Panama occupies the rare space that Ethiopia and Kenya had in the past. The respect and admiration for Panama coffees know no limits or boundaries.
We can't commercially sell Gieshas because they cost a bomb......which means they are priced out of reach for the typical coffee enthusiast which is our target market.
However, we have some great SHB and SHG specialty grade lots cupping at 86 points.
From Mama Cata comes this clean, rich and rewarding cup.
Initial notes of apple and pear move to a complex array of cocoa, dark chocolate and sparkling acids mid-palate that transition to a long caramel and sweet malt candied finish.