Regions and Coffees of Note for Single Origin Coffees in Central America: Panama
Located between Colombia and Costa Rica (themselves no slouches when it comes to coffee), Panama is one of the greatest locations in the world even without considering coffee. The distance between the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean shrinks to almost nothing here, which is why the Panama Canal was built.
Additionally, Panama is well-suited for coffee growing because even though it is a narrow strip of land, Panama has a “spine” of tall, elevated mountains running down its middle – the elevation works great for Arabica varieties of coffee. The temperature is kept stable both by the oceans and this elevation, and the result is some of the best coffee in the western Hemisphere.
Much of Panama’s premium single origin coffees come from estate coffees, which are single origin coffees traced to a specific farm or series of farms. Names like Hacienda La Esmerelda, Duncan Estate, Volcancito Don K, and Kotowa Estate are just a few of the people offering single origin Panama coffee.
Panama Geisha: Grown in the Boquete area in western Panama’s Chiriqui Province, Geisha is probably the variety of coffee that is known best to single origin fans. In fact, it is a type of Arabica coffee that is grown in Panama’s highlands, which feature the kind of environment that is particularly friendly to Arabica varieties. Specifically, Hacienda La Esmerelda is a popular single lot coffee that has won awards and really put this type of coffee on the map.
- Bean description: Geisha coffee comes from long fruits that produce sweet and citrus-y flavors that remind one almost of eating a sweet lemon. They’re also well known for having a significant aftertaste, which is good for those who like to savor their morning cup.