Panamanian specialty coffee tasting begins that achieves record prices

Photo: Courtesy.
Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora

Nail 169 samples of the best specialty coffee participate in the national tasting of "Virtual Best of Panama" among which the samples that will go to an international competition that attracts buyers from all over the world will be chosen..

Panama's specialty coffee, is famous for reaching record prices in electronic auctions, especially the Geisha variety that is priced above a thousand dollars a pound.

The competition is organized by the Association of Specialty Coffee of Panama (SCAP for its acronym in English), and in 2021 the selection of the best grain will be in charge of 17 national judges.

The SCAP president, Daniel Peterson said that in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, for the second year in a row the tasting will be virtual to avoid risks in the midst of the health crisis, the best batches will go to an international tasting that will take place at the beginning of August.

Peterson explained that among the coffee samples it is expected to find the best classic Geisha beans, Natural Geishas, and washed and natural Varietals, whose quality is very important to "keep the name of Panama as high as possible".

In the national tasting that will run until 12 July are in competition 169 lots with 14,250 pounds of Geisha coffee and 11,100 pounds of coffee of other varieties, explained José Garrido, main boss of Best of Panama (BOP).

The national judge, Victoria Koyner said that each cup is looking for a juicy acidity, citrus, and fruit trees, make it balanced, along with the notes that each producer worked to enhance their coffee such as cherry or more floral.

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The experts consider that the first cups evaluated during the tasting point to “be coffees of the highest quality” in the face of the increasingly stringent demands of the competition, while the goal is to "send the best of the best" of Panamanian coffee to the world.

Judge Rachel Peterson, of the Hacienda La Esmeralda, stated that in the new category of varietals they have found coffees that had not been discovered in previous competitions, since it observes that the quality is superior to the previous year.

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"For the first time they are going to make a semifinal of natural varietal, they were received 45 samples in this category, and the best 16 who obtain scores higher than 88 they will enter a semifinal to advance to the next round ", He said.

In 2020 Panama's specialty coffee once again set a record in price, then a batch of the Olympus Geisha variety washed from the Sophia Estate, cultivated among the 1,900 Y 2,124 meters above sea level, reached $1,300.50 per pound during the Best of Panama electronic auction (BOP).