Coffee originates from ancient Ethiopia in the 9th century. A legend tells that the properties of coffee were discovered with a Yemeni shepherd named Kaldi, who upon seeing his goats excited and full of energy from eating the fruits and leaves of a bush, decided to do the same, leading him to feel the same result. When taking some fruits and branches of that bush to a religious superior in a nearby convent, he decided after a failed attempt to put the fruits on the grill and when it began to boil produced a delicious aroma that prompted him to prepare an infusion with the fruits already roasted, thus creating the coffee. By 1600, coffee spread throughout the different countries of Europe and the first coffee shops began to open, and by 1689 it had reached America.
More than 170 Years Ago Coffee Arrived in Chiriqui
According to history, coffee arrived in Panama in 1742 from the French Antilles, from the little-known island of Martinique. However, it was not until 1780 that the planting of coffee was recorded for the first time in Panamanian territory, specifically in Portobelo.
Later, in the mid-1850s, coffee arrived in Chiriqui province and was planted in medium-altitude areas where better results were obtained.
At that time, Panama was under the control of Colombia and upon seeing the success of coffee exports from that country and Costa Rica, several families took the risk of planting coffee in mountains with higher altitudes and a cooler climate. This is how these groups of settlers arrived in Boquete and founded various coffee farms, some still operating today.
Since then, coffee has been part of Panama’s history of economic growth and export, tasting the palates of thousands of people around the world.
Coffee…Essential Part of Tourism in Chiriqui
People who visit Chiriquí from all over the world are looking for the experience of enjoying a good Panamanian coffee while enjoying the views of the mountains and the exuberant nature of the region. Ingredients that, accompanied by a cool climate, make the experience even more sublime for the senses.
This is the reason why many farms offer the experience of learning in depth the coffee-making process and finishing the tour with the best of views while drinking a cup of the best coffee.
Types of Coffee by Region
Boquete: Coffee in this region began to be cultivated at the end of the 19th century by European immigrants and has areas with very different microclimates. From relatively dry Volcanito to the humid areas of Bajo Mono, Boquete’s coffee profile offers medium to high acidity, low to medium body. Very balanced.
Volcan: On the southern slope of the Baru volcano: The coffee from this area has a good body and a higher acidity than could be expected due to its relative height. Very aromatic and suitable for mixing with espresso coffee.
Renacimiento: It is the region with the greatest growth potential in coffee production, which is grown in the areas of Rio Sereno, Cotito and the highest area of Piedra Candela. The altitude ranges between 1,200 and 1,350 meters and coffee with similar characteristics is produced throughout the area.
Each of the more than 30 coffee farms that exist in Chiriqui has its own story of how it began to produce coffee. Stories that are worth discovering when visiting Chiriqui and that leave in the memory of each Visitor a more human link to what is today one of the most consumed drinks in the world.