OCEAN TO OCEAN
Panama is most known for its canal more than anything else…oh! And the Panama hat I say! And the Panama hat you say! Well, umm, no. The Panama hat in fact comes from Ecuador so out there goes my (what I thought was) a cool (now not so) obvious fact, out the window!
So, back to the canal, which connects the North and South American continents. Panama is only 9 degrees north of the Equator and is known for its natural beauty, diverse plant and animal life. It also boasts a rainforest which is also home to Panama’s capital city – the only capital city in the world to be sharing a rainforests land.
Panama’s terrain is quite unique with its mountainous regions and nutrient rich volcanic soil creating numerous microclimates across the country. The winds blowing over the mountains from the north create the bajareque, a fine mist acting like a huge air conditioner which slows down the ripening of the coffee cherries (which ultimately contributes to the sweet and complex cup of Panamanian coffees)
If you are a fan of gourmet coffees, then you will know that Panamanian speciality coffee is recognised as one of the highest quality coffees in the world. Many will tell you that it is the Gesha (or Geisha) variety that makes this possible. This is true and since the 2000s, Panama and Gesha have become almost synonymous. Gesha has an Ethiopian heritage and so is an ancient and very rare coffee variety. It is naturally resistant to a disease called Fusarium and was first brought to Panama in 1963 in the hope that it would be resistant to the leaf rust which was at the time affecting Central American coffee crops. Gesha’s yield in terms of agronomy is extremely low which is why you can’t find commercial plantations growing Gesha.
Although Gesha is the superstar of the Panama coffee varieties, most coffees being produced in Panama are of speciality grade and considered some of the best in the world.
The Boquete region has over a century of coffee producing knowledge behind it. Its topography is mountainous and as mentioned above, generates various microclimates and a cool mist. This helps with the coffee cherries’ development with some producers claiming that this mimics a higher altitude thus producing better quality coffee. This does make complete sense to me; as we all know, the higher the altitude, the better the bean! Boquete quality coffee is truly a one-of-a-kind coffee from Central America. If you like your coffee to have a brightness with an earthy undertone, light body but complex, then this is the one for you!
So, here’s a question for you. What would it be like to be able to swim in the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean in the same day? Well, how about you grab yourself a bag of our finest Panamanian coffee beans, make yourself a brew and start planning your trip to Panama!