Finca Santa Teresa is a boutique coffee farm and mill located high in the cloud forest of Panama. FST sits close to the border with Costa Rica and Panama’s highest peak, the Volcan Baru. Adjacent is La Amistad National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
FST produces coffees of singular quality. The key to this is terroir – rich volcanic soils, high altitude, weather systems driven by the Pacific and Atlantic and a series of ridges and valleys. The result is coffee redolent of honeysuckle, lychee and strawberries.
The coffee produced by FST is the antithesis of monolithic simplicity.
Between November and February, coffee is picked from the 20 different lots on the farm. Soon after picking, the coffee is processed using one of three main processing methods – washed, honey or natural. Depending on the method, this can see the coffee drying on raised beds (known as Camas Africanas) for up to a month.
In the same way that wine grapes come in different varietals, so too does coffee. Coffea Arabica has literally dozens of varietals – Caturra, Catuai, Bourbon, Pacamara – and perhaps most famous of all, Geisha.
Geisha originally came to Panama from Ethiopia in the twentieth century as part of efforts to find disease resistant fruit.
The result was serendipity – the unique terroir of the Panama coffee region speaking to the Geisha varietal to produce the most beautiful coffee in the world. Geisha is now the “go to” coffee in specialty coffee competitions internationally and is found on the menus of the most discerning coffee houses and fine dining establishments around the world.