Panama Natural

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 Carmen Estate which is just south of Boquette and sits at over 5,000 feet altitude on the Boru Volcano, with native trees making up over half the estate to provide natural shade for the coffee. The volcanic clay soil is perfect for the coffee, and the cool nights with sunny days keeps the plants happy.

Carmen Estate holds a stellar reputation for their coffee, and they produce about 1000 bags a year. However, 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. In a 5 pound roast we are picking out just 3 or 4 quakers each time. It's easy to roast but does roast quickly -- you need less heat than you might expect to get these beans up to temperature.

We 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.