Panama Elida Estate Catuai Natural
Cup Characteristics: Aromas of sweet tea, pina colada, and pineapple. Flavors of raspberry, lemon, and bakers chocolate. A puckery but sweet cup with a long finish.
A direct trade coffee, Elida Estate Catuai Natural is always popular here for fans of natural processing. This is a powerful natural from a producer who has world class knowledge of how to bring out deep fruit flavors from fully ripe coffee cherries. That said, deeply fruity naturals are not for everyone.
We have offered coffee from Panama Elida Estate for numerous years, and this season is no exception. Elida is producing some of the best coffee in Panama today. While this coffee is their tradional varietal Catuai, they have set multiple world records for the #1 top ranked coffees in both the Geisha Washed and Geisha Processes categories in the Best of Panama competition. Their natural process Geisha set a new world record for coffee at auction, $1029 a pound green in 2019! This past year, in a private auction of solely their coffees, one coffee was sold for over $6,000 a pound and that is not a typo. Adding to the credentials of this great farm, their two #1 wins in 2019 were repeats from 2018. Wilford Lamastus and son Wilford Jr know every aspect of coffee growing, processing and cupping. Their farm is the highest elevation farm in Panama and they know every inch of it. This Catuai Natural is a superbly processed coffee, big and powerful, but very clean. The Lamastus family can grow and process Naturals like few others and the Catuai represents a very good value for the quality offered.
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 2015
This lot is 100% Catuai, a varietal developed in the mid-twentieth century. Catuai is a cross between the Mundo Novo and Caturra varietals, both of which were created by selective cross-breeding programs. Mondo Novo was the result of combining Bourbon and Typica varietals, and Caturra is a combination of two Red Bourbon mutations. This is a natural processed coffee, a brief explanation of which is required to understand the terminology. Until about 15 years almost all coffee in Central and South America (and elsewhere) was Washed, meaning that coffee cherries had their outer skin removed and the remaining cherry covered in pulp, were placed into fermentation tanks where the fruit pulp would break down so it could be washed away. In doing so the flavors were not fruity but rather clean and bright. Natural processing allows the entire coffee to dry, including skin and pulp. The drying process can take anywhere from a two to four weeks depending on location and climate, and requires attention multiple times a day. That is how this coffee was processed.
Elida Estate is masterful at producing Natural processed coffees. They are to produce deeply fruity flavors, yet despite the intensity, there is finesse. The Lamastus family are excellent coffee cuppers, very unusual in the coffee growing world. Their palates enable them to develop, and in a sense customize, flavor profiles to the preferences of their customers, us in this case.
Barry (from Willoughby's) and Wilford Sr in 2017
Wilford Senior and Junior
Handmade wooden trays used for drying natural and honey coffees
- Province: Chiriqui
- District: Boquete
- Township: Los Naranjos
- Altitude: 5600 - 6200 feet above sea level
- Coffee variety: Catuai
- Processing: Natural
- Farm: Elida Estate