We sample so many boring Panama coffees every year. They're almost all overpriced -- even when you find a really nice one, it costs more than it should. But Panama DOES churn out really, really good coffee, you just have to either pay through the nose or else hunt far and wide to find it.
This one comes from the Lerida Estate which is less of an estate, and more like a tropical rain forest. There are trails throughout the ecological reserve, and over 500 species of birds live here. Exotic fruits and plants are abundant -- and even more importantly -- respected. The coffee growing in the reserve is seen as a bonus, not the primary focus.
This is a microlot of natural processed coffee, of which they only produce a few dozen bags. These sun-dried beans are of stellar quality -- they are well-sorted and very clean with few defects. It's all single varietal Catuai and hand processed.
It's easy to roast but does roast quickly -- you need less heat than you might expect to get these beans up to temperature. Pretty much roast this like a dry processed Ethiopian except give it about 3 extra degrees at the end. The taste is sweet and fruity -- lemondrops, flowers, watermelon. A great summer coffee, with a really nice acidity to bring out the flavor. Now on our very first roast, I absent-mindedly thought this was a honey-processed coffee and I took the drum tempurature low before dropping the beans, nudged it up carefully, gave it a fairly quick roast with very high airflow so as not to scorch it. That mug of coffee had almost no citrus, but instead it was bright with tastes of blackberry and watermelon. Suffice to say, there are flavors and complexity hiding in this coffee that you can explore and you may find new flavors that we don't know about depending on how you roast, grind, and brew it.
This coffee arrived in the USA in June 2016.
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