Panama Elida Estate Geisha Natural ASD - Torre Lot
About Panama Elida Estate Geisha Natural ASD - Torre LotThis is one of today's most sought after coffees. After two back to back years, 2018 and 2019 in which Elida Estate won 1st place in both Natural and Washed Geisha categories in the Best of Panama competitions, this coffee became extremely scarce. It was an unheard of accomplishment when one considers the quantity and quality of the competition. The prices those coffees achieved at auction broke world records at the time. The Geisha Natural from Elida that won in both of those years was from this very plot of land, at the highest elevation of the Elida farm where there is also a sweeping, panoramic view of the surrounding Panama Highlands beneath and all around.
We have offered coffee from Panama Elida Estate for several years, and in 2021 this continues. This exceptional lot is a Geisha Natural ASD (Anaerobic Slow Dry) from La Torre, the most coveted plot of land on the Elida Estate located at the farm's highest growing elevation.
Elida Estate has been run by the Lamastus family for four generations, starting in 1918 when
the founder of the farm, Robert Lamastus, bought property along the Baru
Volcano. There are three farms in the Lamastus family: Elida Estate, El Burro
Estate, and Luito Geisha Estate. With elevations between 5500 and 8200 feet
above sea level, Elida is the highest coffee farm in Panama, although coffee is
only grown between 5600 and 6200 feet. A large part of the farm is a dedicated
ecological reserve area in Volcan Baru National Park, a world heritage site.
Barry Levine (Willoughby's) and Wilford Lamastus (Elida)
The world price records, that we referenced above, were for the highest prices paid for coffee (per pound). In 2018 Elida's Geisha Green Tip Washed sold for $661.00/lb at auction, and their Geisha Green Tip Natural sold for a whopping $803.00/lb. In the 2019 Best of Panama competition, Elida Estate won first place in the two categories again, Natural and Washed Geisha, and again broke records when their Natural Geisha sold for $1029.00/lb. at auction. The 2020 Auction saw Elida place in the top ten of several categories; one Geisha Natural lot from La Torre placed #6 in its Category. This year (2021) Elida held a private auction in which several more records were broken. Two lots of Torre ASD sold for $311 and $201 per pound. A special, small lot called Aguacatillo Geisha Natural ASD sold for --- wait for it --- $4,100 per pound! Most of this coffee is purchased by roasters in Asia.
Wilford Lamastus, owner of Elida in 2015
ASD (Anaerobic Slow Dry) is a relative newcomer to the coffee processing game; at Elida Estate the coffee is picked from the trees and immediately transfered to an airtight container. The coffee sits for 5 days undisturbed, before the bag is opened and the coffee sorted and picked over. Unlike traditional washed and natural processes, ASD coffee has an elongated drying time in an unusual location. Wilford Lamastus sends most of his coffee down to the lower altitudes on his farm to dry, usually for 10-20 days, but this lot is dried up in the higher reaches of the farm for over forty days, until it reaches the correct moisture content. This unique processing system creates coffees with previously unseen coffee cherry flavors and intensity.
Wilford Lamastus describes the Anaerobic Slow Dry "ASD" process
- Province: Chiriqui
- District: Boquete
- Township: Los Naranjos
- Altitude: 5600-6200 feet above sea level
- Coffee variety: Geisha
- Processing: Natural ASD
- Farm: Elida Estate
The vacuum packed boxes in which we receive this coffee.
Handmade wooden trays used for drying natural and honey coffees
Cup Characteristics: Aromas of plumeria and other florals, dried orange peel, and cocoa. Flavors of almond, Cointreau, and sweet chocolate. A winey cup that is very floral and fruit forward.
Roasting Notes: Our preferred roasting range for this coffee is midway between 1st and 2nd crack. The delicate qualities will be present throughout this range, with lighter variations highlighting piquancy and citrus notes, while Full City levels will enhance body. Keep in mind that natural processed coffees tend to roast a little quicker than washed, and plan your roast accordingly.
Panama coffee facts:
Population (2018): 4.1 million people
Coffee Production: 100,000 bags (60 kg)
Country bag capacity: 132 pounds - 60 kg
Domestic Consumption: 50,000 bags
Coffee Export: 50,000 bags
Cultivated Area: 26,000 Hectares (64,200 acres)
Harvests: October - February
Arabica Introduced: Arabica was imported from Costa Rica in 1820.
Specialty Coffee Regions: Boquete and Volcan, near Volcan Baru, Chiriqui.
Grades: Strictly Hard Bean (SHB), HB.
Farms: About 30,000 farms.
Botanical Varietals: Typica, Caturra, Gesha, Catuai, Pacamara.
Panama is a rising star in the specialty coffee world. In the Boquete in particular, farmers are taking Arabica coffee cultivation to new levels and recent auctions of small, specialty lots have garnered record, if not silly, prices. Nonetheless, some of the coffee is excellent. Gesha, a varietal that stems from Ethiopia, has been grown here with good success, yet other cultivars noted above, can produce superb results.