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By Damian Blackburn
Panama remains as one of our very favourite coffee origins. It’s a relatively tiny producer in terms of volume, but it possesses some of the more innovative producers, enviable estates and sought after coffees. And it’s the true home of Geisha/Gesha.
I’ve visited the coffee producing areas around Boquete and Volcan on three occasions since 2008, visiting and buying coffee from the likes of Hacienda La Esmeralda, Café Kotowa, Finca Lerida and the Ninety Plus Gesha Estate.
In our first season as Dark Woods Coffee, we selected a few lots for our customers to enjoy, and these went down really well including the outstanding Kotowa Wine and Finca Lerida Natural. This year we’ve gone a step further. We have a lot of time and respect for the SCAP (Speciality Coffee Association of Panama), so we wanted to show our support for their annual Best of Panama programme and competition. This started with roasting and cupping the 50 BoP coffee lots available, in a blind tasting at the roastery.
The auction of award-winning coffee lots from the competition (chosen by an international panel of coffee cuppers) was held on 30th June, and we bought a small micro-lot named “Don Nery” from the La Huella producers. This is a washed lot of “traditional” Catuai Arabica.
There are 10 producers within the La Huella Café de Panama project, focusing on the production and export of specialty micro-lots, and it’s been a pleasure to hear more about what they do and their aspirations through Pedro, one of their founding members.
So we have also directly bought a very small lot of La Huella Natural Gesha, which had reached the semi-final of the BoP scoring 91.5 points, but it hadn’t quite reached an award.
These two amazing coffee lots will be available as wholesale and retail to our customers from September 2016. We are so excited about these.
Panama La Huella Best of Panama Lot, “Don Nery”
Process: Washed & Sun-dried on raised beds
Location: Alto Quiel, Boquete
Panama La Huella Natural Gesha Lot
Process: Sun-dried Natural
La Huella Café de Panama
Specialty Coffee Association of Panama
Don Nery Lot from the Best of Panama auction