Green Coffee Offerings : Central America : Panama
Upcoming Crop Comments
We are selling through the last of our Panama quickly.
About Panamanian Coffee
Panama coffee was historically under-rated and overlooked, but no longer. That perception has been corrected in recent years with the outstanding Best of Panama competition held each year, attracting global competition for the best lots, and spectacular prices. The Gesha cultivar produced in some of the small coffee estates has also garnered heaps of attention for it's unique floral cup character.
Panama coffees are brightly toned with vivid floral aromatics and clean fruited notes. Cheaper Panamas are a staple of higher-end commercial roasters and lower-end specialty roasters. There are many lower-grown Panamas that are ubiquitous in the U.S. market and of little interest to us here. It's just the Boquete and Volcan coffees from the Chirqui district, ones from small family-owned farms that produce the truly distinct, unique coffees. They employ N'gobe Indians for the picking season, who will come to the coffee farms to work under some of the best wage standards and work laws in Central America.
For more information on Panama coffees, go way back to the 2002 Panama Cupping Competition. And also see my slide show of the 2003 cupping We have a page about the #1 2004 coffee, Jaramillo Especial, and a page about the 2004 Cupping. And ... boy this is getting to be quite a list ... the January 2006 crop visit to check our small lot coffee, and visit the Gesha trees at Hacienda La Esmeralda. Also see my April 2006 Best of Panama competition trip. In fact - just check out the travelogue section of the Coffee Library for all the trips!
Our Unroasted Panamanian Coffee Offerings:Please refer to our Reference Page for definitions of terms and cupping numbers used below. Check out the Sweet Maria's Coffee Home Roasting Forum for more conversation about home roasting this and other coffees.
We are currently out of stock. The review below is provided for your reference.
We have offered Esmeralda Especial Gesha for a decade now. Gesha (often spelled, wishfully, as Geisha) is a cultivar with strong Ethiopian roots. It's rare that a coffee variety announces itself so clearly in the cup flavors as the Gesha cultivar does in Panamanian coffee. Extremely floral in the aromatics, with loads of tropical fruit, light bodied and delicate on one hand, yet extremely flavorful and long-lasting on the palate. There is no other coffee quite like it. And other farms that have cultivated Gesha don't often attain the cup quality of the best Esmeralda Gesha. The Esmeralda Gesha makes blind cupping almost senseless, since I can identify its amazing fragrance, aroma and cup flavors immediately when I come upon it in a "blind" cupping! It is that dry fragrance that lets you know right away what is coming when the water hits the cup: incredible sweet floral, citrus blossom, sweet honey perfume atomized into the air. In terms of intensity, fruited and floral aspects, wet-processed Ethiopians and Kenyas are more in league with Gesha than any other Central American coffee. But it is difficult to price this sort of cup character. And when it is as exotic ...no, extraterrestrial ... as the Esmeralda Gesha, it is even more hard to quantify. In tasting the Gesha coffees, the cup flavors might seem less intense than the extreme aromatics. As the cup cools, perceived intensity and brightness will increase exponentially.
Aromatically, Gesha from Esmeralda is always a treat. Sweet dark berry aromatics with a floral accent, almost like fresh hopped beer. The wet aroma has jasmine and ripe cherry notes, honey, brown bread, and soft milk chocolate at slightly darker roast levels. The cup has a light-yet-juicy body. Interestingly, after these knock-out aromatics, the first sip of the hot brew can be a little bit underwhelming. Wait for the temperature to drop a few degrees and it really "opens up." The sweetness and fruit juice aspects of this years Esmeralda are astounding. Interestingly, this coffee is slightly inverted this year: the first flavors on the palate are super sweet stone fruits - peach, apricot followed by a juicy tartaric acidity like white grape. Then on the finish and in the "afternose" there is jasmine accents. Usually the floral comes first, then a wave of sweet fruit. The cup has a better structure, well-knit flavors, brightness and body.Note that we have found a few quakers (light-color beans that do not roast, they come from under-ripe coffee cherries) in this years coffees. In reality, there has always been a bit of this in Esmeralda Gesha lots, and just remove the 1 or 2 you might see in your roast before grinding and brewing.
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We are currently out of stock. The review above is provided for your reference.
To view reviews for out of stock coffees, visit our Panama Coffee Archives.
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Tom's Sample Cupping Log | Moisture Content Readings
This page is authored by Thompson Owen and Sweet Maria's Coffee, Inc. and is not to be copied or reproduced without permission