Coffee Tours in Panama | Visit Boquete's Best Coffee Farms

Coffee Plantation in Boquete, Panama

Boquete Coffee Tours: taste the best!

Learn why Boquete's coffee is the world's best coffee...

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Besides being famous for its coffee, Boquete is also known as Panama's eco-adventure capital!

Coffee Tours in Boquete

Ripe coffee cherries

Boquete is to coffee as Bordeaux is to wine. Panama's coffee has been considered to be the best coffee in the world more times than any other place in the last 10 years. So. it would be a little bit strange if you came to Boquete and you left without visiting a coffee plantation, don't you think? Prepare your taste buds for an explosion of flavors!

Several of the world's best coffee producers give you the unique opportunity to have a complete coffee tour through their coffee farms, processing factories (" beneficio"), roasting plants and tasting facilities. Café Ruiz begins their tour at their coffee farm in Palmira, Kotowa Coffee has its coffee plantation in the Palo Alto region where you'll have a chance to see a coffee mill that is almost 100 years old, and both Café Suárez and Finca Lérida run their coffee tours at their farms in Alto Quiel.

Coffee growing

At a coffee tour in Panama you'll learn everything about the coffee process, from when the coffee tree is planted and starts growing, until the way coffee is brewed for you to drink it. You'll be able to appreciate the importance of the Ngöbe Buglé indigenous that hand pick the red coffee berries when they are perfectly ripe.

You'll also have a glance of the shade grown technique which only allows the precise amount of sun on each coffee tree and protects the environment. And you'll end with a cupping, in which you'll sample different flavors and roasts.

Rates
  Habla Ya Student Rate Normal Rate
Coffee Tour $25 $35

* Prices are in US Dollars. The above prices are per person and do not include Panama's 7% ITBMS Sales.

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But warning! If you go on a coffee tour in Panama you risk turning into a coffee snob. After a coffee tour in Panama you'll never look at your morning cup of coffee in the same way.
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Finca La Milagrosa Coffee Tours

Tasting Specialty Coffee in Boquete

At Habla Ya Spanish School, we recommend Sr. Tito's coffee tour at Finca La Milagrosa in the Jaramillo region, who is one of the most respected and 100% organic coffee producers in the country. This small farm is not meant for large productions, and Mr. Tito's specialty coffee is only destined for exportation to Europe and the United States. When Mr. Tito took over this farm from his father 30 years ago, he started without any machines or even coffee plants, and produced his first roasting machines with used pieces of his old Mitsubishi car, and even some computer pieces!

His rather small 5 hectare coffee farm La Milagrosa (which means the miracle, in English), situated at 1500 meters above sea level, has been given it's name because many people in this region did not believe that Sr. Tito could transform this land into a lucrative coffee plantation when he started 30 years ago, and today he produces one of the best coffees of Panama and has won many prizes. The world famous Geisha coffee is one of the eight different types of coffee that Tito produces, which is one of the most expensive delicacy coffees in the world (sold for over $100 per pound in Japan for example).

Take a coffee tour where the best coffee in the world is produced

Even though Sr. Tito became famous internationally for his coffee production, and has appeared on many TV shows abroad (you can find him on YouTube!), he stayed very modest, and is always very proud to explain to his visitors how he produces his coffee, and the differences between French, American and Italian roasts.

You'll get to roast some beans on your own, and will taste a few cups of excellent coffee during your visit! Moreover, Sr Tito is a great economic help to the indigenous community, as he employs 22 Ngöbe Buglé Indians on his farm to help him collect and process the coffee beans.

As you may know, the Ngobe Buglé Indians are responsible for handpicking the coffee grown in the coffee farms of Chiriqui. If you visit Boquete between December and April you'll be able to see them in their colorful dresses harvesting coffee in Ruiz's plantations and if you visit Boquete between October and March you'll be able to see the coffee being processed.

Rates
  Habla Ya Student Rate Normal Rate
Coffee Tour $25 $35

* Prices are in US Dollars. The above prices are per person and do not include Panama's 7% ITBMS Sales.

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Note: All the transportation is provided. Capacity per tour: 10 persons. Instead of meeting at Habla Ya, we can also arrange for you to be picked up at your hotel or host family. Two coffee tours are organized each day. The 3 hour coffee tour begins at 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and is offered from Monday to Saturdays.
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History of Specialty Coffee in Panama

History of Panama's coffee

When written in Chinese, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters: one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity. Opportunity is what a group of 7 coffee producers from the areas of Boquete and Volcan saw in 1996 during the crisis of low international prices of coffee. That year the Specialty Coffee Association of Panama was born. If they could not compete with countries that produced coffee in much larger quantities then they would make a shift and compete in quality.

Drying the coffee in a coffee factory in Boquete

After another price crisis in the 2000-2001 season, even more coffee producers were attracted by the specialty market. As Panama has the smallest coffee production in Central America, the change in direction almost seems obvious more than 10 years later, but that is the beauty about brilliant ideas: there simplicity makes them even more difficult to discover.

One of Panama's coffee was selected as the best coffee in the world for the first time in 2004. Several years before "Jaramillo Special" began breaking records, Panama's coffees had already begun to win international competitions. Coffee producers in the Boquete, Volcan, Bambito, Santa Clara and Candela areas had already started to segment their farms, analyze and taste the coffee produced by each subdivision and catalogue it accordingly. As quality has continued to improve, this has led other coffee farms to achieve and win top rankings in international competitions.

Rates
  Habla Ya Student Rate Normal Rate
Coffee Tour $25 $35

* Prices are in US Dollars. The above prices are per person and do not include Panama's 7% ITBMS Sales.

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For those interested, here is a list of some of Panama's best coffees that have been awarded top prizes in international events: Bambito Estate Coffee, Mama Cata, Carmen Estate Coffee, Kotowa Coffee, Café Ruiz, Santa Teresa Coffee Estate, Elida and El Burro Estate (from Lamastus Family Estates), Finca Don Pepe, Café Suárez, Hacienda Cafetalera, Café Sitton, Finca Lérida, Finca Hartmann, Cafetalera Las Marianas and Café Eleta.
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The Story of Geisha Coffee

Hacienda Esmeralda

The scientific name of the Geisha tree is Abyssinian. The first record of these coffee seeds was recorded in 1931 when they were collected on the remote Geisha Mountain in Ethiopia. In 1932 they were planted in Kenya and in 1936 in Uganda and Tanzania. The Geisha was first introduced in Costa Rica in 1953 from Lyamungu, Tanzania, although it was later imported for several different countries. It still remains debated as to when and how it arrived to Panama.

In 1998 there were some extreme rains in the Chiriqui area that left a plague of fungus in many coffee farms in Boquete. For "Hacienda Esmeralda" it meant loosing half of its coffee plants. Price Peterson had bought this farm in 1996 mostly for the quality of its coffee and altitude. Only three varieties of plants survived and one of those was the "Geisha". As coffee plants take up to 5 years to reach their full potential, the Petersons decided to only plant the 3 strongest varieties. Curiously enough, in the past decades, the plant also know as "Gesha", had been planted in the limits of many farms in Boquete to protect the rest of the plants from wind currents and to avoid erosion, mainly thanks to its height.

The Peterson family and geisha coffee

Panama's coffee gained world wide fame in 2004 after Daniel Peterson of "Hacienda Esmeralda" discovered that certain coffee plants of his family's coffee plantation were producing an exceptional cup of coffee. In January of that year, Daniel began cupping coffee from various parts of the farm, putting to test a suspicion he had. He thought that there might be an area of the farm that was producing an intensely fine cup of coffee which was flavoring the rest of the farms production, but at the same time was being diluted by beans of inferior quality. It turned out that he was right. At the upper extreme of the farm there was a very small valley which had the cup today known as "Jaramillo Special".

Other coffee producers in Boquete have begun to grow this special variety of coffee in their own coffee farms. In years to come we will be able to know if this Geisha coffee of exceptional quality can be replicated or even excelled. Panama's specialty coffee industry has just begun its roll.

Rates
  Habla Ya Student Rate Normal Rate
Coffee Tour $25 $35

* Prices are in US Dollars. The above prices are per person and do not include Panama's 7% ITBMS Sales.

SIGN UP NOW & BOOK YOUR SPANISH IMMERSION PROGRAM IN PANAMA...
For those interested, here is a list of some of Panama's best coffees that have been awarded top prizes in international events: Bambito Estate Coffee, Mama Cata, Carmen Estate Coffee, Kotowa Coffee, Café Ruiz, Santa Teresa Coffee Estate, Elida and El Burro Estate (from Lamastus Family Estates), Finca Don Pepe, Café Suárez, Hacienda Cafetalera, Café Sitton, Finca Lérida, Finca Hartmann, Cafetalera Las Marianas and Café Eleta.
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