About Panama Auromar Geisha Washed
Auromar Geisha from the farm of Roberto Brenes. This is a stunning example of the Geisha varietal from a relative newcomer to already highly sophisticated coffee farming community of the Panama highlands.
Geisha, for those who may not be familiar, is a seed variety that is native to Ethiopia and probably a relative of the Longberry. Its shape is elongated and somewhat large. This seed was experimentally planted in Boquete Panama along with many other other varieties as a test of what might grow well in this particular micro climate. The result was the birth of a superstar in the world of coffee. Originally planted and brought to celebrity by the Peterson family of Hacienda Esmeralda, this variety started to break price records and the reputation and market for this coffee continued to grow, with devotees throughout the world and especially in Asia and Australia.
Name: Auromar Estate Ironman Geisha
Growing Region: Candela, Volcan
Varietal: Geisha 100%
Elevation: 1600 meters (5250 feet)
Roberto Brenes is a really interesting person with interests well outside that of coffee farming. Farming coffee is what he plans to do through his retirement years and the land has been in his wife's family for generations. Roberto is also the head of the Panamanian stock exchange so he has a lot of knowledge of international finance; Panama because of its location and the canal in particular, is tremendously growing country with interests from all over the globe. Panama City, the capital, is sometimes referred to as the Dubai of the Americas and a place where there is much international investment. It wasn't always that way. During the Noriega years when under dictator rule, Panamanians suffered and lived in fear. A younger Brenes was an outspoken critic of the Noriega regime and was twice exiled from the country, something of a badge of honor when looking back on it. Educated in Panama through secondary school Brenes went to Columbia University in New York where he earned an MBA, which led him to work in banking when he returned to his country. Later, while exiled and in South America he elevated his career to investment banking. Post Noriega and exile, when Panama was coming out from under dictatorship, Brenes was offered the role of Central Banker for the country. The zeal he brings to everything in his life is now being poured into his coffee farming and the results are obvious.
At 68 Brenes is engaged in Ironman triathlon competitions, for which he clearly has a love. We are happy to count ourselves among Roberto's friends and acquaintances and look forward to our next meeting. Judges at the Best of Panama 2016 adored this coffee and there was no shortage of compliments for its huge bag of flavors.
Cup Characteristics:Milk chocolate aroma. Floral notes of hibiscus and rose. Gentle soft texture. Finishes with some orange blossom and citrus flavors. Lingering finish.
Roasting Notes: Geisha coffees need to be roasted on the light side in order to preserve their floral nature. Roast them too much and it will dissipate and much that you paid for will be lost. Let the coffee get fully past first crack, but if your roaster allows it, kick the heat down to nearly zero once first crack gets going and allow the coffee to slowly develop.
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.