From the Production Areas of the Best Of Panama (B.O.P.) Competition Winners.
Panama coffee can be traced back to 1780 when the first batch of Typica coffee was introduced by the European immigrants. Situated in Central America with favorable natural conditions such as plenty of sunshine, soil and altitude, not to mention a labor supply, these factors have contributed to the region being one of the perfect spots for growing high-quality, exquisite coffee. The Geisha Coffee produced in Panama has begun to lead the world trend in specialty coffee, and has successfully attracted the attention of coffee lovers around the world. The Boquete region is the oldest and most famous coffee production area in Panama. Located on the east side of the Baru Volcano, it is plateau with altitude between 1000~2000 meters, amongst which the Volcan Baru National Park is an ecological preserve with rich biodiversity and has 7 types of micro-climates. Surrounded by mists all year round and with an abundance of rainfall, the area has become a favorable planting environment and the Boquete coffee produced here has a unique aroma. This area has become the main production area for the most and best quality Panama Coffee. During harvesting season, the coffee farmers will use wash and natural methods to process the coffee and dry the coffee in the sunlight to ensure the raw coffee beans are rich and full of flavours.
The Baru Volcano is not only the highest mountain rig in Panama, the residue from its early volcanic activities and eruption has also provided an abundance of rich, fertile soil for planting. The soil is rich in minerals and volcanic ash is especially rich in phosphorous and sulphur. When mixed with clay, and with an optimal climate, the area provides an environment conducive for quality coffee growing. The dense forest and many animal species will also provide much biodiversity.
About 50 of the coffee farmers here have united to form a cooperative. These farmers use traditional Boquete methods of coffee farming to cultivate the coffee in a near natural environment. Although production yield is not high, the environment and soil quality can be sustained, even improved. The natural planting method is not only beneficial for the environment. As the coffee plant grows slowly, the coffee plant will be influenced by the environment to produce coffee berries that have enhanced quality and flavor. After harvesting the ripe berries by hand, the berries are sent to the nearby Café de Eleta S.A. for processing. The processing plant is about 4 kilometers away from the plantations and is equipped with modernized laboratory for quality testing and manual screening.