Panama - San Sebastian Estate

Panama - San Sebastian Estate
Panama - San Sebastian Estate
Panama - San Sebastian Estate
Panama - San Sebastian Estate

Panama - San Sebastian Estate

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Cupping Notes: Almond Rocca, chocolate, strawberry syrup, red apple

Country of Origin: Panama

Region: Boquete

Producer Type: Single Estate

Farm Name: San Sabastian Estate

Wet Mill: Beneficios de Cafe de Boquete

Processing: Washed

Processing Description: Sun Dried on Patios, finished in mechanical driers

Growing Altitude: 1400-1500 MASL

Plant Species: Arabica

Varietals: Catuai, Caturra, Typica

Screen Size: 16 Up

About This Coffee

This coffee comes from the Finca San Sebastian in the Boquete region of Panama. Sitting beteween 1400m and 1500m above sea level, the topography of the estate is mostly flat with some very soft slopes. Located at the foot of the Baru Volcano and to the south of the El Salto farms, the area has a dry micro-climate during the summer with great influence from the southern winds. The estate is managed by Domingo Suárez, a third-generation coffee producer, and is adjacent to Fincas Hortigal and La Gloria, which are run by Domingo's siblings, Eira and Norberto.

History of Coffee in Panama  

There are some indications that green coffee first arrived in Panama as early as 1742, but the first attempts at commercial cultivation didn’t occur until the 1780’s. Planting at low altitudes around the port city of Portobelo, these efforts failed. It would be another 100 years, when coffee was planted in the highlands around the Volcano “Baru,” before commercial cultivation of Panama coffee was successful; however, nearly all coffee grown in Panama was used for internal consumption and the country was better known for exporting tea. Panamanians drank more coffee than they grew and had to import coffee to meet demand until the 1940’s. Exports grew slowly over the years, peaking in 1996 at 181,000 bags.  Although there have been a few spikes since then, exports have settled down around 50,000 bags for the last 10 years as producers shifted their focus from volume to quality. More than 50% of coffee production is still consumed domestically. 

Growing Coffee in Panama  

Panama coffee grows in the west, near the border with Costa Rica in the highlands of Chiriqui, which means “Valley of the Moon.” Most coffee grows in two areas near the volcano Buru: Boquete and Volcan-Candela above 1,500 masl. Many coffee estates in Panama are 30-50 hectares and many coffee families are descendant of American and European immigrants, but there are indigenous farmers and farms as small as a few hectares. Most Panama coffee is washed and sun or machine dried. Panama grows Typica, Caturra, Catuai, Bourbon,  San Ramon, Pache,  Mundo Novo and, of course Geisha. 

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Derek Clement

Your service is prompt. Much appreciated. I find the "cupping notes" kind of pretentious and silly. A few degrees one way or the other or so many seconds to dropping the roast after first crack can really change the flavour. I think as a roaster I would like to know more about the origin of the coffee. Especially the altitude of the crop. Huehuetenango I can guess because I've been there. The orders are always well packed and that's appreciated. You don't need to send a business card with each order.