TIME: 1PM AEST
DATE: WEDNESDAY 21 OCTOBER 2020*
* new updated schedule
(Initially posted for International Coffee Day, 1 Oct 2020)
We've been incredibly lucky to get some exceptional Panama coffees from the award-winning Finca Santa Teresa @fincasantateresa including FIVE Geishas!
About Finca Santa Teresa - Panama
Finca Santa Teresa (FST) is a coffee farm and mill nestled high in the cloud forest near the Volcan Baru; Panama’s highest peak, adjacent to La Amistad National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site jointly managed by Panama and neighbouring Costa Rica. The Farm occupies 237 acres of stunning forest between 1400-1900m above sea level.
The Finca is located along a series of beautiful valleys and ridges which create a variety of micro-climates and give individuality to each of our lots.
Coffee planting is interspaced by live barriers, streams, and broad sections of virgin forest. Squirrel monkeys and many of the 600 species of birds in the area are often seen in and around the finca.
FST produces a range of premium specialty coffees, including Gesha, Caturra, Catuai and Pacamara varietals. Their Gesha is a regular finalist in the Best of Panama competition, with more than a dozen awards in the last decade.
Their terroir – rich volcanic soils, high altitude, weather systems driven by the Pacific and Atlantic and a series of ridges and valleys – drives coffee redolent of honeysuckle, lychee and strawberries.
All coffees are carefully handpicked and processed at their mill located on the main, larger farm that comprises FST. The smaller farm – Batista – is a short drive away and is separated by virgin forest and our water source, La Llorona.
FST has a wide range of washed, honey and natural processed green beans from more than 20 microlots. Raised drying beds are carefully tendered each harvest and some of the finest coffees produced are honey and natural prep. They even have a guest cabin on our farm which offers visitors the opportunity to wake up to a sunrise, overlooking the rolling clouds over La Amistad National Park and, in the distance, neighbouring Costa Rica.
Natural coffees are the simplest form of processing, whereby the cherries are picked and spread out to dry in the sun for 12-30 days. Before sale the dried husk is removed in a special hulling machine, leaving a green bean heavier in body, lower in acidity and much higher in fruity sweetness than a washed coffee.
Honey coffees are a development of the pulp natural process, now gaining enormous popularity due to the combination of qualities from full naturals and washed coffee. While challenging to achieve, a quality honey will exhibit enhanced sweetness and body along with the more delicate fruit and floral flavours typical of washed coffee.
Fully washed coffees from FST are friction washed to avoid the contamination risk of protracted fermentation periods. Microlots are dried on covered patios and at very low temperatures in mechanical dryers for precise control of moisture content, then stored in custom built sealed and climate controlled silos until ready for export.
FST operates a best practice approach to all of its activities. Environmentally, all waste material associated with the production process is recycled as fertilizer or used as a fuel source for the operation of the coffee dryers on the farm. Water is recycled from the local stream and use has been approved by the Panamanian environmental agency.
FST employs 20 full-time staff, which swells to more than 100 during the harvest. Panama has one of the highest standards of worker rights in Central America. In addition, FST provides all of its employees with free meals, medical care, accommodation, transport, utilities and education.
No child labor is permitted on the farm. The farm has a school for the children of its employees and it employs a teacher with the assistance of the NGO, Casa Esperanza. A school bus is also provided for those children who attend the local school in Volcan. The finca also sponsors the employees in their local football team! Finca Santa Teresa was established by the Berard family in 1997.
Follow Finca Santa Teresa on Instagram!