STEWED PEACH, RED APPLE, PAPAYA
PRODUCER | Noberto Saurez
ALTITUDE | 1300-1550 meters above sea level
SOIL | Volcanic
RAINFALL | 2660mm per annum
VARIETAL | Typica, Caturra, Catuai
PROCESSING | Fully Washed-European Preparation
HARVESTSEASON | November – February
Finca Palmyra is located within the “Baru Indian High” estate in the Horqueta Region. It was acquired in 1985 and isnamed after the second highest mountain on the Central System – first being the Baru Volcano. The estate’s topography is very irregular, and provides not only spectacular views of the plantation itself, but also breathtaking scenery from the Baru Volcano and the Central System. Due to the location, it also has a wide variety of flora and wildlife – such as white-neck monkeys, deer, rabbits and several birds native to the region. It has four natural wellsprings, two that originate on the estate and two that run through it. These qualities make the soil very rich in organic matter and chemically well balanced.
History of Coffee in Panama
Panama’s coffee arrived with European immigrants in the 19th century, about 50 years after the country achieved its independence from Spain, but as an agricultural product it didn’t gain a real foothold until arguably the last 20 years. In contemporary Panama, coffee is primarily produced by smallholders from two main indigenous groups—the Bugle and Ngobe people—as well as mid- and large-scale estates owned privately, often by European or North American immigrants or their descendants.
The coffee-growing regions comprise microclimates that are varied by soil quality (there is quite a bit of volcanic soil in Volcán, for instance) and altitude (from 1,000–1650 meters), and there tends to be ample fresh water for processing.
The country itself has long been appealing to Europeans and North Americans in search of “idyllic” life in a beautiful, tropical, and relatively stable Latin American country, and the high demand for real estate, comparatively protective national labour and wage laws, and the large influence from the Global North have colluded to make Panamanian coffees among the more expensive to produce as well as to buy. Additionally, on the scale of global coffee production, Panama’s contribution is almost minuscule, and yields have been declining over the past few years.
However, the coffees’ mild profile and approachable sweet/nuttiness continue to draw fans, as a nice foil to the higher and more dynamic acidity of other Central American coffee profiles.