COUNTRY: Panama REGION: Boquete VARIETAL: Geisha FARM: Finca Stal S.A. FARMER: Eugene P. Altieri ALTITUDE: 1750 - 1800 M ROAST: Medium PROCESS: Natural
SPECIAL ROAST DATE: 5/8
2015 Coffee Review's Overall Rating: 96 points
With its bold, boat-shaped beans and distinctive floral and crisply cacao-toned cup, the Geisha (also Gesha) variety of Arabica continues to produce some of the world’s most unique coffees.
Taste assessment: Begins with a complex fusion of dried cherry, stone fruit, peach, with a finish of lilac and orange zest at the tip of your tongue.
Who should drink it: Those who seek a beautifully structured coffee that delivers a lyrically complex aroma, rich, seductive flavor and crisp, authoritative finish.
We're excited to introduce our newest Geisha from the Altieri family. This Geisha placed #6 in the Best of Panama Auction! It offers a super clean complex fusion of dried cherry, floral and citrus aroma. Then, it brings out the bright and sweet notes of stone fruit, peach, lime and orange zest in the cup. With it's signature geisha honey-tea undertone, this natural processed coffee will definitely put you in a "klatchtastic" mood!
Finca Stal S.A. is neighbors with the Elida Estate (Wilford Lamastus) where we get the Elida Natural from. Farm owner, Eugene P. Altieri mentioned "Our Coffee is between 3 to 5 years old. It has been among the best coffees in the last 3 years in competitions in Panama."
Eugene was gracious enough to give us his time and answer some fun facts about himself and the origin of the farm. Read below:
I am a native New Yorker living in Panama for about 40 years. I have several businesses in Panama. They are the production of gourmet coffee, ice production, paper converting, office supplies and real estate.
When exposed to coffee production I became very interested in the process and how it could be improved.
I acquired two farms in the Boquete region of Panama which were completely abandoned and started to get involved with the Special Coffee Association of Panama (Scap).
Each farm has its own micro-climate.
One is located at about 1350 meters above sea-level and the other extends from about 1600 meters to 2000 meters above sea-level.
The lower farm is in a wet area of Boquete and the higher in a dry area. Due to the difference in meters above sea-level and distinct general climates each has its own unique growing environment and as a result the coffee qualities produced are different.
The lower of the farms produces more from each coffee plant while the higher farm produces less per plant but in general a higher grade of coffee.
The coffee varieties produced are Criollo, Caturra, Catuai, Catimor and Geisha.
At first, I followed the normal practices of coffee farming but as I became more knowledgeable in the processes involved I began to concentrate on improving them and also the living conditions of those who collaborate in these processes.
The coffee has improved considerably and the addition of various Geisha varieties has been producing coffee of outstanding character. The Geishas, Caturra and Catuai varieties have won various Best of Panama International competitions and continue to improve with each harvest.
The workers of the farms are of native Indian origin. However, the normal living conditions for them are normally very dismal. We decided to change that by starting a pilot program which has improved all aspects of theirs lives.
Instead of being housed in barrack facilities each family now has their own apartment with living, kitchen and bathroom areas.
In order to maintain their families in this housing area each family must sign an agreement with us which prohibits any drinking or family abuse and the entire community is governed by their own board of directors which is responsible for the general behavior of each family and assuring that all common areas are maintained and clean at all times.
Parents and children together attend religious services once a week.
The wives of the farm workers who wish to participate, attend a sewing school on the premises and learn how to make clothing for their own use and for sale at fairs taking place all year long.
The children attend a public school but are bused to and from the school. They also receive private tutoring when necessary and their school grades have improved immensely- some even receiving honor roll grades at the schools they attend.
Once a month the community is visited by physicians who donate their time for general checkups and when required they attend individual problems as they occur.
We feel proud of the fact that as the coffee farms grow and the quality of the coffee produced improves, the lives of all those involved also improves.