With the wave of World Coffee Events ahead of us, we are excited to be involved in supporting countries and their baristas make the best out of the fruit we are all inspired by.
A special one in particular to mention is Panama, after years out of competition, the eminent coffee growing nation is back in the game for 2017!
Over the weekend, (11th & 12th of Feb) Panama held their National Compeition, and many talented coffee professionals, battled it out for a place. A huge congratulations to Cesar Eduardo Bermejo for taking out 1st place and all the other dedicated competitors representing such an incredible coffee nation.
Key influencers of Panama specialty coffee, the Lamastas family (pictured below), award-winning and respected coffee farmers have been at the forefront of enabling this movement. We recently had a chat with Wilford Lamastas Jnr, and how he and his father, Wilford Lamastas Snr, president of the Specialty Coffee Association of Panama worked together to bring the competition back into the community.
As mentioned, the Lamastus family are well known in the specialty coffee world by their farming of; Elida Estate, El Burro Estate and Luito Geisha Estates and their exceptionally notable coffees produced, consistently fetching the highest prices at Best of Panama auctions. You may have heard of Elida Green-tip Geisha, seen in competition time and time again, or in tiny tins on specialty coffee roasting house shelves with large price tags marked across them.
It is with this support, our appreciation for such coffees, we are contributing to the development of Panama and the indigenous community of Ngöbe. Whether you’re the customer lining up for your 5th coffee for the day, or you’re a roaster selecting your next lot of green beans, and the conversation to the accounts department is going to be heavy – don’t feel bad! You’re helping more than your tastebuds! Here’s a message from Wilford Jnr himself –
“ All this is sustainability thanks to you guys, the people that recognize the value of the coffees we produce, people in developed countries like Australia, USA, Taiwan, Japan, among others. Thanks for the fact that importers from those countries come back every year asking for more coffee because people is appreciating it despite the price we can create all this sustainability that is so valuable for our people and our community”
This legacy is continuing to give back and has enabled jobs, education systems like schools and universities, health systems, infrastructure, sports and food, all while new opportunities in Panama specialty coffee continue to rise for future generations.
We welcome and are inspired by Panama’s involvement in the World Barista Competition this year. See you in Seoul!
by Chanice Parker