(PanamaGringo) I’ve been drinking coffee since roughly the age of ten (mine and grandpa’s little secret) so when I first came to Panama many years later I was ecstatic to try some of the beans this place had to offer. Panamanian coffee has been severely underrated and overlooked in the past; however, in recent years many more coffee lovers, connoisseurs and distributors have heard the good word on the amazing coffee Panama has to offer. While you can find seriously select coffees life Café Geisha that can go for up to $125 a pound at specialty coffee auctions in Panama, they aren’t very practical for the everyday Joe. After trying nearly every brand of coffee that I could get my hands on in Panama City (none were disappointing in the least) I came up with two brands that I thoroughly enjoyed and return to time after time.
My first choice in Panamanian coffee is Café Duran. Café Duran is available in every grocery store and most restaurants or even pharmacies in Panama and it’s for a good reason. It’s great. I prefer the Café Tradicional which is robust, yet naturally sweet and smooth at the same time. A 15 oz bag will only set you back around $5-6 in your local market and it’s more than worth it in my opinion. You can even order it online (at 7.95 a bag) and have it shipped to the U.S. or email them for information on shipping to other countries.
What I really like about Café Duran is that they have established a reforestation program on 2000 acres in chiriqui where numerous exotic mahogany and cedar trees have been planted. They also implement their own recycling program for raw materials by using coffee cherries as natural fertilizer and grain husks as combustion in their roasting ovens. They also use an advanced purifying system which eliminates any pollutants from entering the environment.
My other top pick would be Café Ruiz. Café Ruiz is slightly more expensive than Café Duran but is also well worth the $9-11 per 16 oz. Café Ruiz is also grown in the Chiriqui province of Panama in Boquete and produces a rich flavorful blend that is popular with countless Panamanians and coffee drinkers worldwide.
Enjoy your cup of joe at this little American coffee house.