ST. ALi // Specialty Coffee

Tour of Ruiz Cafe

Posted in ST ALi. // Latest news by mattjohn on February 7, 2009


The day started off kind of slowly with a 13 hour sleep to help heal the bumps on my head from the day before. Had a quick brekky and head up the road 20 minutes to where I heard about a cafe / roastery that also was one of the major green bean produces on the Boquete area.
Cafe Ruiz runs two tours a day servicing up to twenty people a tour but on this fine afternoon I was the only one who signed up so I was in for a special trip.
Carlos was my tour guide and he introduced to his passionate world of coffee which included a wealth of information about sustainable farming practices, cherry picking and the correct spelling for the varietal Guess ha.  He also spoke of other supernatural stories of Arabic coffee houses, Sufi mystics and Indian coffee bean smugglers that were complete rubbish and should not be believed by anyone… even coffee geeks!
It was then down to the mill where he showed me (beyond the 5 or 6 years it takes for the coffee to fruit) the floating, pulping, fermentation, washing, pre-drying, drying, ageing, peeling, sorting by size, sorting by shape, sorting by density, sorting by colour,…then packing and shipping.  This is something every roaster should hear.
It was then back to the roastery where Carlos showed what he thought was the simpler part of the coffee process.  He showed me some of the faults in coffee including over fermentation and over roasting. A bit like a fish and chips shop, “lots of vinegar please”.
Then I got to meet up with Maria who is managing the quality control at Cafe Ruiz. She showed me their Berlina estate coffees and their strict quality control.  Any one coffee that doesn´t cup up to the level is not labeled as Berlina Estate.  There were some real crackers and it was very interesting to see how the individual micro lots would have very different cup profile. Maria also showed me a few tip in analysing fragrances which was fantastic to learn, a great teacher.
Then we busted out a few shots on the Pavoni and we got some good results from one of their lighter espresso roasts. Buy this time time we were well and truly caffeinated but a good time had buy all. It was time to go home and realise that Panama has sun rays too and that warm sensation wouldn´t just go away with a cold shower.

One Response

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  1. Bridge said, on February 8, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Juzzie, wondering if you have the man kilt packed?

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