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The Aromatic History of Panama Coffee

and where to sip the best coffee in the world

The Aromatic History of Panama Coffee

The history of the coffee industry in Panama is fascinating and covers more than two centuries of cultivation, production and commercialization of one of the most appreciated products worldwide. From its modest beginnings in the 18th century to Panama’s consolidation as a renowned producer of high-quality coffee, this historical review will examine the key events and transformations that have shaped the country’s coffee industry.

Coffee arrived in Panama at the end of the 18th century, introduced by Spanish friars seeking to diversify the region’s economy. The country’s climatic conditions and mountainous topography proved to be ideal for growing high-quality coffee. As coffee production spread throughout the country, the first plantations were established in regions such as Boquete, Volcán, and Chiriquí.

For much of the 19th century, coffee became Panama’s main export product, playing a fundamental role in the national economy. The demand for Panamanian coffee grew rapidly in Europe and the United States, leading to an increase in production and the appearance of larger plantations.

In the 20th century, the Panamanian coffee industry faced a series of challenges. Competition from other coffee-producing countries and the decline in international prices threatened the stability of the sector. However, Panamanian producers responded to these challenges by seeking to differentiate themselves through the production of gourmet and specialty coffee varieties.

It was in the 1990s when an important milestone shook the coffee industry in Panama. At the Hacienda La Esmeralda farm, located in Boquete, a variety of coffee called Geisha was discovered. This coffee is characterized by its exceptionally smooth flavor, floral notes and distinctive aroma. The discovery of the Geisha created a stir in the international coffee community and positioned Panama as a high-end coffee producer.

World’s favorite

Panama’s Geisha Coffee

The news of Geisha coffee spread quickly and Panamanian coffee growers began to receive worldwide recognition for the quality of their beans. Panamanian coffee became a true gem among coffee connoisseurs and lovers, and Geisha coffee auctions fetched record prices in international markets.

The specialty coffee boom in Panama led to a greater focus on quality and sustainability. Producers strove to grow coffee sustainably, protecting natural resources and adopting responsible farming practices. Associations and cooperatives were established to foster collaboration among coffee growers, improve cultivation techniques, and promote Panamanian coffee as a distinctive brand in the world market.

Other coffee varieties besides geisha coffee

Over the years, the Panamanian coffee industry has continued to evolve and adapt to market changes. Specialty coffee production has grown in popularity, and growers have been exploring different varieties and processing methods to offer a wide range of flavor profiles.

In addition to Geisha coffee, other varieties such as Typica, Caturra and Bourbon have stood out for their quality and distinctive flavor. The mountainous regions of Boquete, Volcán and Chiriquí remain the main epicenters of coffee production in Panama, but high-quality coffee is also grown in other parts of the country, such as the highlands of Tierras Altas de Veraguas and the Azuero region. .

The Hight Quality of Panama Coffee

Currently, Panama coffee is considered one of the most coveted and exclusive products in the world. Panamanian coffee farmers continue to be dedicated to the production of high quality coffee, using traditional methods and modern cultivation techniques. The industry has focused on sustainability, working to preserve the environment and ensure the long-term viability of coffee production.

In conclusion, the coffee industry in Panama has come a long way from its humble beginnings in the 18th century to becoming a recognized producer of specialty coffee. The discovery of Geisha coffee in the 1990s and the focus on quality and sustainability have led Panama to gain prestige in the world coffee market. With a rich history and an ongoing commitment to excellence, Panama coffee continues to delight coffee lovers around the world.

Altieri Coffee Farm Tour

Awarded farm in Alto Lino, Boquete

Visit Altieri Coffee Farm located at the precise altitude of 1800 meters where an specific micro-climate is perfect the development of Geisha coffee.

Altieri’s Geisha coffee has a special citric touch with complex flavors of strawberry, cantaloupe, jasmine, lemongrass usually found in this variety.

This tour is operated by Feel Free Panama who will take special care on handling groups and transportation.