After a few days of cupping, scrupulous selection and evaluation, the winner of the Best of Panama competition for 2018 was selected.
The annual edition of Best of Panama was held in Valle Escondido Resort & Spa and ran from 22 to 26 May. The event hosted more than 15 local judges, 18 international judges from the USA, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Australia, EUA and Japan and over 25 international guest testers from Asia, the United State, and Europe. We are also proud of our founder, Jordan Dabov, who was the only European to be invited as a judge for the last few years! They all confirm that the Geisha variety has the best and most deserved reputation in Panama.
On Best of Panama, a new record was scored by the washed Geisha
The washed Geisha scored a record result this year – 94.38 points out of a maximum of 100! This is a historic record since the highest rating so far is 94.11. It is for this reason that the question arises whether a maximum score of 100 points can be reached? “It would be great, but it would also mean that there would be no better coffee,” said Wilford Lamastus, President of the Specialty Coffee Association in Panama.
Will last year’s highest score on Best of Panama be reached in 2018?
For comparison, natural Geisha received 93.63 points, which is 0.48 less than its personal record from previous years of 94.11 points. Last year, the winner coffee was sold for $ 601 per pound at an online auction. Five years earlier, the price for the winner was $ 350.25. These differences not only show the quality of coffee but also help local development and gradual improvement in production. One can only guess how much the buyers will be willing to pay on this year’s online auction.
“Our costs are very high compared to the rest of Latin America. Only if we remain in the special category, this branch of coffee can provide better returns to the country,” appreciates producer Ricardo Koiner, manager of Kotowa.
Koiner supports his assessments of climate challenges, and Lamastus adds the impossible competition in volume with other exporting countries.
The weather this time led to the farms to have low production rates. “In many regions, 50% of the capacity was produced; in others, only 20%, “recalls Koiner.
In terms of volume, Lamastus takes Colombia as an example. The South American country sends abroad a minimum of 11 million bags per year. The special category of the Chiriqui highlands allows the harvest of some 200,000 bags, of which an average of 50,000 are sold in other markets.
For these and other organoleptic reasons, that is, texture, color, aroma, flavor and acidity, according to Bermúdez, the 50,000 bags of Panamanian special coffee captivate the public that seeks the most exalted grain.
Since last Wednesday they participated in the tastings of the coffee varieties produced in the highlands, where the pacamara, traditional, natural and geisha varieties are worked in their different modalities.
They are the cream of the coffee industry. “The buyers come, savor and negotiate quantities of 80 or 100 bags with the producers,” says Lamastus.
Others wait until the July auctions to compete for the most exquisite pounds of coffee in the world. Last year a buyer paid $ 601 for a pound of Geisha from Best of Panama. This year, experts now consider, that record can be broken.
Stay tuned for more info from the world of Specialty Coffee!