About Panama Elida Estate Typica Natural
We have offered coffee from Panama Elida Estate for several years, and this year is no exception, despite the smaller crop sizes throughout Panama. This Typica Natural had tiny production, just a couple of bags, so we bought what we could. This coffee was produced at the highest elevations of the Lamastus farm.
Bob, Wilford Lamastus (owner of Elida), Barry
Elida and the Lamastus Family celebrated 100 years and we were fortunate enough to be in attendance for the event, first cupping in their brand new cupping facility and then being a guest at the 100th party to inaugurate their beautiful new building and welcome center. 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.
Wilford Lamastus, owner of Elida since 2015
Elida made headlines earlier this year at the Best of Panama competition, where two of their coffee lots broke world records for the highest prices paid for coffee (per pound). Their Geisha Green Tip Washed sold for $661.00/lb at auction, and their Geisha Green Tip Natural sold for a whopping $803.00/lb. While prices in previous years were lower, the Lamastus family has had an impressive showing in the Best of Panama competitions; at least one lot from their farms has qualified since 2005, and usually they have more than one listed.
Handmade wooden trays used for drying natural and honey coffees
This lot is 100% Typica, and is a natural processed coffee, a brief explanation of which is required to understand the terminology. Natural processing dries the entire coffee cherry intact, a process that can take up to a couple of weeks depending on temperature, humidity and airflow. By drying the entire cherry fruit flavors penetrate to the bean or seed of the fruit. These fruit flavors can run from mild to intense. Elida naturals have leaned toward the more intense side of fruit penetration and have become a signature style for them. Fans of naturals will love interpretation; those that favor washed coffees, where the pulp is washed away before drying, will not.
- Farm: Elida Estate
- Coffee variety: Typica
- Process: Natural
- Province: Chiriqui
- District: Boquete
- Township: Los Naranjos
- Altitude: 6200 feet above sea level
Cup Characteristics: Super floral aromas for this varietal and process. Lots of lemon and other citrus notes in the cup plus berries such as blackberry and blueberry. Fruit held up throughout the temperature range from start to finish.
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 (2006): 1.3 million people
Coffee Production: 180,000 bags (60 kg)
Country bag capacity: 132 pounds - 60 kg
Domestic Consumption: 80,000 bags
Coffee Export: 100,000 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 near Volcan Baru, Chiriqui.
Grades: Strictly Hard Bean (SHB), HB.
Farms: About 30,000 farms.
Botanical Varietals: Typica, Caturra, Gesha.
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.