Panama, a favorite origin for Novo, put on another special performance at The Best of Panama 2007 competition in Boquete, Chiriqui. Interest in Panama and its coffees continues to increase as more buyers were in attendance than ever before. Once again, the Esmeralda Geisha coffee from Price Peterson and family took top honors. This encarnation of the prized geisha had cuppers routinely scoring the coffee over 95 points. One cupper even gave it 100. A second geisha coffee took second place overall, while Wilford Lamastus' Elida lot was the best non-geisha coffee in the competition.
Graciano Cruz may have had the most interesting coffee in the competition, had he entered it. Graciano combined Panamanian organic farming techniques and added a secret Ethiopian element to his processing to create what he calls "Honey Beach". This cup displayed fine Panama green tea notes with a base of Ethiopia style citrus and berries.
Panama - as always - was a pure pleasure to visit. And Novo was lucky enough to bring Tessie from Finca Hartmann back to Colorado for a couple of weeks. She apprenticed on the roaster and as barista (and trans dancer at Club Vinyl Saturday night!). She left yesterday, and we'll miss her until she comes back.