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A Frayed Knot


Cordillero - a mountain range that is like an enormous corded rope - braided, with many sides, peaks and angles, no two exactly alike. Each perspective of the mountains receives the sun, wind and shade differently - meaning different spans of time, different times of day, different temperatures. So, while much excellent Panamanian coffee is growing in this lush, fertile volcanic soil, yet another set of factors changes EVERYTHING. We gloss over "terroir" and growing conditions, while we focus on variety and process, but is that fair to the coffee and to the analysis of taste? "I prefer coffees grown in SE facing sun from 1-4 pm central time with winds blowing from the west at 5-10 kph." Why not? The light morning mists, the red worms that make the fertilizer, the scary bell flowers that keep the bugs away, it is truly a never ending list that make each tree's microclimate practically magical. We should host a parade for the producers that manage the conditions, know what to anticipate and bring extraordinary coffees to us year after year. Simply the commitment to processing certain coffees together and cupping them along the way is much more that we can expect from a many producers. The business people who run these farms are committed professionals, with infrastructure, diligence and discernment to deliver the best coffees to the Best of Panama auction.

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