Discover the Rich World of Specialty Coffee in Panama

by | 4:51 pm | Gastronomic, Panama, Travel

The Coffee Regions of Panama

Panama’s specialty coffee is primarily grown in the highlands of the Chiriquí Province, particularly in the Boquete and Volcán regions. These areas are nestled on the slopes of the Baru Volcano, the highest point in Panama. The rich volcanic soil, combined with the cool, misty climate and ample rainfall, creates the perfect conditions for cultivating high-quality coffee beans.

The Cultivation Process

  1. Planting and Growing:
    • Coffee plants are typically grown at elevations between 1,200 and 1,800 meters above sea level. The higher altitudes contribute to the slow maturation of coffee cherries, allowing them to develop complex flavors.
    • Farmers carefully select Arabica coffee varieties known for their superior quality, such as Geisha, Caturra, and Typica.
  2. Harvesting:
    • The coffee harvest season in Panama runs from December to March. During this time, workers handpick only the ripest cherries, ensuring optimal sweetness and flavor.
    • This meticulous handpicking process is labor-intensive but essential for maintaining the high standards of specialty coffee.
  3. Processing:
    • After harvesting, the cherries undergo various processing methods, including washed, natural, and honey processing.
    • The washed process involves removing the cherry’s outer fruit and fermenting the beans before drying them, resulting in clean and bright flavors.
    • The natural process leaves the cherries intact during drying, imparting fruity and sweet notes to the coffee.
    • The honey process is a hybrid method where some of the fruit is left on the bean during drying, creating a balance of acidity and sweetness.
  4. Drying and Milling:
    • Once processed, the beans are dried either in the sun or using mechanical dryers. The drying process is carefully monitored to ensure even and consistent drying.
    • After drying, the beans are hulled to remove the parchment layer, sorted, and graded based on size and quality.

The Unique Flavors of Panamanian Coffee

Panama’s specialty coffee is celebrated for its vibrant and diverse flavor profiles. The Geisha variety, in particular, has gained international acclaim for its floral and jasmine-like aroma, bright acidity, and complex notes of tropical fruit, citrus, and bergamot. Other varieties from Panama offer rich chocolate, caramel, and nutty flavors, making each cup a unique and delightful experience.

Sustainable Practices

Many coffee farms in Panama are committed to sustainable farming practices. These include shade-grown coffee, which protects biodiversity and provides habitats for wildlife, and organic farming methods that avoid the use of harmful pesticides. Additionally, several farms focus on fair trade practices, ensuring that workers are fairly compensated and work in safe conditions.

Visiting Panamanian Coffee Farms

Visitors can explore the lush plantations, learn about the cultivation and processing techniques, and sample some of the finest coffee in the world. It’s an immersive experience that deepens the appreciation for the craftsmanship and dedication behind each cup of specialty coffee.


Panama’s specialty coffee stands out in the global market for its unparalleled quality and distinctive flavors. The combination of ideal growing conditions, meticulous cultivation processes, and a commitment to sustainability ensures that each sip is a testament to the rich coffee heritage of this beautiful country.

Whether you’re a seasoned coffee aficionado or new to the world of specialty brews, there’s always something exciting to discover in every cup from Panama.



Stay caffeinated and curious!