European immigrants brought coffee to Panama in the early 19th century. In the past, Panama did not have a a great reputation for the coffees produced. Despite that, nowadays the coffee in Panama is all about quality, they are not a big producer, however they produce exceptional speciality quality coffees.
The distinct microclimates in the country has demonstrated to bring the best of specific Arabica varieties that do not do as well in other places. The most well known variety is Geisha which catapulted Panama to the international specialty coffee stardom.
If we mention Geisha we have to mention Hacienda La Esmeralda owned by the Peterson family, this farm has had a strong influence on the coffee industry in Central America. They been growing geisha for many years now, in 2004, they submitted their all-Geisha lot to the Best of Panama auction and received the hitherto unheard-of price of $20.10 per pound which increased to $170 in 2010 to $350 per pound in 2013. As Geisha remains in high demand today, all-Geisha lots frequently score 90+ points on the SCA scale, and Panama retains its status as a leading producer of single-variety Geisha coffees.
The latest best of Panama auction in 2021 set a new record for the winning lot of $2,568 per pound for a natural processed lot by Finca Nuguo.
Coffee-tourism is a growing industry that is offering better incomes and opportunities to Panamanians. The impact of coffee-tourists could spread beyond the producers they visit. Tourists need lodging, meals and transportation and often seek a variety of souvenirs from bags of coffee to locally-made crafts. Increased tourism in Panama’s coffee regions could funnel money into the local economy and small and large farms alike.
The taste profile of the better coffees in Panama tend to be very complex with floral and citrus notes, light bodied and delicate.
We often have at least one Panama origin coffee in our café or available in whole bean or ground bags on our online store. See below for our current products from Panama or click the button to visit our full online store.