Boquete, Chiriquí, Panama
Thursday, May 29, 2014
We arrived at the mountain town of Boquete in Panama.
There are many coffee plantations in Boquete. Today we took time and visited one of Panama’s most famous family owned coffee companies: Cafe Ruiz.
Our tour guide Carlos informed us about the art of growing, processing and tasting coffee.
We saw the 92 year old owner of Cafe Ruiz sitting outside on the terrace of the coffee shop. Carlos told us that he is still active on site. It must be his passion for coffee, which is keeping him young!
The golden grains of the coffee fruits are protected by 3 different shells. All of them have to be taken off before the roasting process can start.
Imperfect coffee beans are carefully sorted out. A great deal of the sorting process is done by hand. Patient workers are doing this for hours day after day. Most of the sorting process is done by throwing the beans in a big container, which is filled with water.The beans, which float on the water have a low quality. They float because worms have damaged them. Holes inside make these beans float. Carlos told us that floating beans are sold to instant coffee makers.
Last but not least, we learned that locals like to drink just 1 cup of medium-roasted coffee in the morning. Why?
- It is very humid and hot in Panama. People sweat most of the time, even if they are not doing anything at the moment. Because of the climate locals do not feel like drinking warm coffee often during the day. One cup of coffee in the morning is just fineCafe Ruiz – Selection of coffee and sweets.
- Medium-roasted coffee has a long pleasant aftertaste. Light or dark roasted coffee, on the other hand, does not have a long aftertaste. Locals like medium-roasted coffee best because they can still enjoy their special ‘morning cup’ many hours later.
- Locals like a to live a balanced life-style. The lighter the coffee is roasted the more caffeine is retained. Medium-roasted coffee is the ‘golden middle’.