Panama

Posted by tobysadmin in Coffee Trails

1560 metres up, overlooking the pristine cooling rainforest punctuated by giant up-flung trees sits Finca Santa Teresa, the farm I’ve dreamed of having since I got into the coffee game. It’s great to be handed a bag of green beans, to roast them, grind them and so on. But being able to grow the fruit ourselves, to have a hand in that process, it’s another world.

It lets us play around with different growing conditions to see how they affect flavour. It makes the ritual of coffee that much richer. It also gives you a real sense of the value of coffee. If a bag of beans gets spilled in a café you can tell the people who have been to a farm. They’re the ones who hunt down every last one.

The manager José-Raul came with the place and our next-door neighbour is our agronomist (growing expert). He’s going to let us use one of his fields for drying in return for us running electricity over to his house. The locals here are awesome. To be honest they were worried when we arrived – who are these crazy westerners, are they going to sack everyone and build a resort, that kind of thing. But as soon as they realised we were coffee people it was alright.

We’ve been able to re-open the school here for the local kids and obviously that’s great, plus José-Raul is learning English which should make a few things a bit smoother, because my Spanish is rough. The one remaining mystery is what the boys are going to call the soccer team. Santa Teresa Quetzals? The Panamaniacs? We’re still working on it. At long last, Toby’s Estate has an estate. We hope you enjoy the fruits.

We’ve been able to re-open the school here for the local kids and obviously that’s great, plus José-Raul is learning English which should make a few things a bit smoother, because my Spanish is rough. The one remaining mystery is what the boys are going to call the soccer team. Santa Teresa Quetzals? The Panamaniacs? We’re still working on it. At long last, Toby’s Estate has an estate. We hope you enjoy the fruits.

Toby Smith, Founder