ST. ALi // Specialty Coffee

Hacienda La Esmeralda

Posted in ST ALi. // Latest news by mattjohn on February 12, 2009

An unusual cold front hit Panama in the highlands and produced what was to be a storm front very out of character for this time of year. It was only 2 months ago that Boquete had its worst flood in 30 years, hence this weather not well received. It was however another day on the farm at Hacienda La Esmeralda and this dampened parade still marched! tallbeansRachel Peterson collected me at the hotel and took me to the farm that produces their prize winning lots.The luscious settings of the Baru Mountainside completely covered the coffee trees in natural old growth forest, a real paradise. It was amazing to see just how giant these coffee Geussha´s were. The cherries themselves really were much longer that your average coffee cherry and were quite a treat to nibble on… just one or two. The new projects are really interesting. Rachel showed me a plantation of Geussha up to 1,800 meters high that is not producing yet, but is expected to cup up with even more character. And my favourite, the coffee library, including approximately 20 different varietals including heirloom Ethiopian varietals, Java and other believed strains of Geussha. A mini coffee Eden.newfarmsIt was then a plan to get my hands dirty with the coffee pickers but the weather was not on my side. It was in my face and in my ears, apparently the pickers weren´t heading up for fear of being attacked by a falling coffee tree.winddamage So heading back to the processing plant for a round of cupping seemed a much better idea. There were 5 Geusshas on the table and one other which I have to admit of having no idea what it was. Probally a good coffee but just didn´t interest me next to the Geusshas. Some started out with a lychee sweetness, other strong lemon zest and jasmine. Apparently the still need to rest so I can´t wait to see what they develop to. It was then lunch at the Peterson’s house were I had the pleasure of meeting Price, Susan and Daniel. I had such a lovely time there that I thought to myself must go back sometime… so I did two days later. A special thank you to the Peterson’s for their wonderful hospitality and time they took to show me their estate. It was a fantastic experience. Thanks again Rachel.cuppingplant


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