by CBS Saturday Mornings April 1, 2023
Note: Despite the mention in the original article by CBS, the highly esteemed and generous Boquete leader Price Peterson is alive.
CBS has corrected the story.
“Panama grows some of the world’s best coffee, but no brew may be more coveted than the “Geisha” varietal grown in remote parts of the country. The Panamanian version of the coffee, which can sell for up to $100 a cup in the United States, is among the world’s most expensive.
In western Panama’s Chiriqui Province, coffee grower Ratibor Hartmann, his son Rabitor Junior, and coffee importer Ellen Fan took CBS News behind the scenes of their operation. The estate where they grow the coffee is located on the side of a mountain, where altitude and volcanic soil make it the perfect place to grow the famous beans. Ratibor said that breezes from the Pacific and Caribbean grace the mountain’s slopes, adding to the flavor. Hartmann describes Geisha coffee as “very juicy, very sweet,” while Fan describes it as having “fruit notes like candy and grapes.” “This varietal, Panamanian Geisha, is the best,” added Fan. Geisha coffee beans actually originate from Ethiopia. They were originally called “Gesha” beans, named after the region in Ethiopia where they originated, but the misspelling stuck.
The bean made its way to Panama thanks to an experiment by Price Peterson and his family, who found that Geisha beans could survive some unfavorable weather. That experiment yielded a coffee unlike any they had ever tasted, and in 2004, they entered the coffee in a “Best of Panama” competition. “It was no competition,” said Daniel Peterson, Price Peterson’s son. “Judges, international judges that had been exposed to coffees around the world just – they fell in love with it.” Ever since then, Daniel and Rachel Peterson have been working to top that. They’ve experimented with different varities, fermentation and drying methods, and more. Some of their batches sell for more than $500 a pound, due to the limited supply of the beans and the estate’s meticulous handling of the prized products. Panamanian chef Charlie Collins said that sales of Geisha coffee have helped draw tourists to Panama and to the city of Boquete, which is near the Peterson farm. One of his baristas, Kenneth Duarte, loved the coffee so much that he learned the fine art of brewing it. “Business has increased, it’s been very good for the community of Boquete, but it’s also been very good for Panama,” Collins said.
The success of the Geisha coffee has benefited the local community and helped promote tourism in Panama. Although this article is about coffee production, it does provide an interesting perspective on how a unique product can have a positive impact on the local economy and tourism. In this case, Geisha coffee has helped to draw tourists to Panama and increased business in the community of Boquete. This highlights the importance of recognizing and promoting local specialties and unique products as a way to drive economic growth in the community.”
To see the video and read the full article click here.
More Boquete News:
- Boquete Coffee Selling for $75 per Cup in San Francisco
- CBS features “Jurassic Park” of Panama
- New York Times Announces the 52 Places to Go Worldwide in 2023 and Boquete Made the List!
If you’re interested in coffee farms with rich volcanic soil or ranches for sale in Boquete and Chiriqui please visit here.