"Panama" fosters the world's best Geisha ! Introduction to coffee producing regions around the world

Coffee plantation in Boquete, Panama

In this project to introduce coffee-producing regions around the world, this time we will focus on Panama, the country that produces "Panama Geisha ", which is said to be the most expensive coffee in the world.
We will tell you about the production area and charm of Panama coffee.

Microclimate suitable for coffee cultivation

The Republic of Panama is a country located in Central America, connecting North and South America. It borders Costa Rica to the west and Colombia to the east. Panama has an area of ​​approximately 75,000 km2, which is about the size of Hokkaido. Panama is famous for the Panama Canal, but other major industries include shipping, mining, and Hikaru , and coffee is a major agricultural product.

80% of the country is mountainous, and much of the rest is tropical rainforest.
The climate is tropical, with fertile volcanic soil in some areas, and a wide range of temperatures, making it an ideal environment for coffee cultivation.

Tropical Panama is a treasure trove of nature. Baru Volcano (3,474m), Panama's highest peak, rises near the border with Costa Rica, its western neighbor.
In this area, where mountains range from the Rocky Mountains of the North American continent to the Andes Mountains in the south, cold winds coming from the distant Rockies collide with warm winds rising from the Pacific Ocean in the south. This creates constant clouds that produce rain, and the raindrops form a finer mist that falls over the area. Locals call this fog "bajareke".
At the foot of Baru Volcano, where a lot of fog called "Bajareke" occurs

In the highlands at the foot of Baru Volcano, the climate changes diversely within a small area.
For this reason, it is said that even coffee farms just a few hundred meters apart have completely different weather.
This unique environment, called a microclimate, provides a unique blessing for the growth of high-quality coffee cherries. Each region has different weather and soil conditions, and each farm produces cherries with different characteristics, resulting in the production of a variety of unique coffees.

Coffee producing areas in Panama and their characteristics

Panama's coffee plantations are concentrated in the Boquete and Volcan regions, at the foot of Baru Volcano.
The annual production of coffee is not very large, only 1/10 of Costa Rica and 1/100 of Colombia.
The Boquete area, located on the eastern slope of Baru Volcano, and the Volcan area, located on the western slope, have volcanic ash soil, which is rich in minerals.

Coffee is mainly grown in areas between 1,500m and 1,700m above sea level. This high altitude creates a difference in temperature between day and night, making it possible to grow flavorful coffee. On the other hand, as is typical of tropical areas, there are distinct rainy and dry seasons, and as mentioned above, fog frequently forms and blocks Hikaru sunlight, helping to maintain moderate temperatures.

The coffee selection process is based on a natural method, in which coffee cherries are carefully harvested and dried under the sun, as the climate has distinct rainy and dry seasons. Other selection methods were then used to create a variety of flavours.
Coffee cherry drying process on a farm in Boquete
After the so-called "coffee crisis", Panama switched its focus to specialty coffee production. For this reason, most farms are small to medium-sized, and each one handles everything from cultivation to harvesting, refining, and shipping.

​Each farm is constantly cultivating all kinds of varieties, including the famous Geisha , Pacamara , Catuai, Caturra , and Typica , and each farm has independently conducted research and trial and error on refining methods, and exchanges their know-how with other farms. , is committed to producing high-quality coffee that can only be found in Panama.

History of coffee cultivation

Coffee cup monument in the city center of Boquete
Coffee cultivation began late in Central America, starting from around 1870 to 1890 in the Boquete district of Chiriquí Department in the west.
Around this time, coffee cultivation was already active in neighboring countries, and Panamanian coffee, which was small in size, had a low production volume compared to neighboring countries and was not highly rated in the international market, so Costa Rican coffee was imported via Costa Rica. It is said that there was a time when it was shipped as

Furthermore, due to falling international prices, Panamanian coffee exports, which had a weak foundation, were thrown into crisis. Given this situation, Panama established the Panama Specialty Coffee Association with the aim of improving the quality of its coffee and adding value as a specialty coffee producing region. The company began to promote the quality of its coffee to the world by holding an international fair and auction called ``Best of Panama.''

Within this framework, Esmeralda Farm's Geisha variety emerged like a comet. Panama Geisha , which was auctioned off at an unprecedented price, made Geisha popular worldwide and made the quality of Panamanian coffee known to the world.

Introducing Geisha , the world's most expensive coffee

Harvesting coffee cherries at Esmeralda Farm
Panama's coffee has improved in quality in this way, but the turning point was the appearance of Geisha . Originating in Ethiopia, Geisha was first transplanted to neighboring Costa Rica. In 1963, the first Geisha coffee was transplanted to Boquete, Chiriquí, Panama's most coffee-growing region.

Geisha variety was introduced to Panama as a variety that is resistant to rust, but suitable growing conditions such as the need for high altitude are limited, and the height of the coffee tree is lower than that of Typica variety and Bourbon It has many disadvantages, such as being nearly twice as large as seeds, making it difficult to cultivate and harvest, and the yield is low, so it did not spread to coffee farmers.

However, Esmeralda Farm realized its potential, and a dramatic story awaited in which this variety, which had been planted by chance, was rediscovered.

Since then, Geisha 's rapid progress has continued to this day. The unique and noble flavor, also known as Geisha flavor, shocked the coffee industry and quickly became highly acclaimed all over the world.

And in the advanced coffee farms of Panama, experimental efforts are actively being carried out to find the ``next'' of Geisha .
Various varieties that will lead to the next generation have appeared, and I look forward to seeing what kind of coffee will emerge from Panama in the future.

How about tasting Panama coffee and thinking about Panama?

CROWD ROASTER handles Panama's new varieties such as "Chichogalo" and "Lupao."
Please try the new Panama coffee at CROWD ROASTER !