Panama Don Julian Pacamara Natural
New crop Panama Finca Don Julian Pacamara Natural just arrived late a couple of weeks ago by airfreight and available quantity is very limited. This is one of the best quality years for this coffee in recent memory. But due to unseasonal rain at the outset of the season, trees lost their fruit and all throughout Central America crop sizes were cut sharply. Don Julian's entire production of Pacamara Natural was a mere 90 pounds! We have all of it through our Direct Trade relationship. Despite the tiny crop the coffee is delicious.
This Panama Pacamara happens to be one of our all time favorites. We were lucky enough to visit the farm where this incredible coffee is grown, and on arrival it became clear that the extraordinary taste of the coffee is the direct result of the exraordinary characteristics of the farm. At first perusal you might assume that you were walking through a nature preserve, where coffee trees are surrounded by other plants and enormous shade trees tower above. It is no accident that the farm feels this way; the owner, Mrs. Burneskis, thinks the farm should be left in as natural a state as possible. She has a level of respect and connectivity for the coffee plants that really comes to light when you walk through the sprawling greenery. Finca Don Julian is located about 1600 meters above sea level, and grows their coffee in rich, black volcanic soil. The growing area being in a protected tropical rainforest gives the coffee a unique flavor, great acidity and bold body.
Pacamara is a hybrid of two coffee varietals: Pacas, which is a Bourbon mutation, and Maragogipe, which is a Typica mutation. It was developed in El Salvador in the mid-twentieth century. The mixture at its best produces very deep, brothy flavors that always seem reminiscent of dark fruit like plums, raisins and prunes. It is a natural processed coffee, a brief explaination of which is required to understand the terminology. Since the advent of micro milling machines, most notably that developed by Penagos in Colombia, small farms have the ability to process their own coffee for a somewhat modest cost of entry. These machines use pressurized water mist to strip away the outer skin of the coffee cherry, and can remove pulp (the fruit surrounding the coffee husk) to a fine tolerance, leaving selective amounts of pulp to dry on the husk. When all the pulp is removed it is fully washed. When a tiny amount remains, it is called yellow honey; when a little more remains it is considered red honey, and a lot remaining is black honey. Neither the skin nor the pulp being removed results in a natural processed coffee (like this one).
- Province: Chiriqui
- District: Boquete
- Altitude: 1600 meters above sea level
- Coffee variety: Pacamara
- Processing: Natural
- Farm: Don Julian
We have maintained a long relationship with the producer and we are fortunate to have access to this coffee that is produced in such small amounts. The price is a little higher than last year but it should be noted that some coffees from the Panama Highlands are breaking auction price records each year, notably Geisha coffees but also Pacamaras and new varieties which attract buyers from around the globe.
Price is for a full pound.