About This Coffee
The Franceschi family immigrated to Panama in 1800 from their home in Corsica, France. In Panama, they were involved in multiple enterprises, including cattle ranching, farming and ship building. In 1950, Carmen Franceschi suggested to her husband, Efrain, that they start a coffee plantation. They named the plantation Carmen Estate in honor of Carmen Franceschi’s insightful suggestion.
It was love at first sight and the Franceschi’s have continued to be involved in coffee production since that fateful suggestion. Today, the farm is operated by the third generation of coffee-farming Franceschis and Carlos Aguilera Franceschi is the farm’s managing director. Carmen Estate is now owned by Dashang Group of Dalian, China.
Geisha grows particularly well in the high altitudes and ideal conditions of Panama and this lot is no exception. The region’s microclimate creates the perfect environment for growing floral, nuanced Geisha and we’re delighted to offer this exquisite lot.
Coffee is grown under shade, where the cooler temperatures help grow sweet, dense cherry.
Geisha is a variety that was first documented in the Ethiopian village of Geisha but was popularized when a Geisha lot from a Panamanian farm won the “Best of Panama” auction and received the hitherto unheard-of price of $20.10 per pound.
Harvest & Post-Harvest
Cherry is selectively hand harvested and laid to sun dry on patios. As cherry dries, workers rake parchment frequently to ensure even drying and remove any damaged beans by hand.
It is evident that the producers place the utmost care into processing this coffee. This coffee in this lot was processing using traditional Natural processing techniques. They call the processing method ‘winey’ process in order to differentiate this smaller-scale processing from the larger-scale Natural processing that is common throughout Brazil.
Coffee in Panama
Though small in coffee production, Panama is a mighty player in coffee quality. In particular, Panama is famous for producing Geisha variety lots that have fetched prices exceeding $800 per pound. Today, its renown as a producer of rare and sought-after varieties positions Panama as a contender for a new kind of ‘coffee-tourism’ that has the potential to change the way we produce, purchase, consume and talk about specialty coffee on a global scale.
The high value of Geisha has brought out both the best and worst in the industry. For established producers who receive excellent prices for their Geisha and other lots, the high prices they receive have often been reinvested in their communities and in renovating their farms to be as environmentally sustainable as possible. Unfortunately, the lure of Geisha’s high value has led some people bypass traditional land purchasing agreements and illegally deforest areas of national parks to get the best location for new (and illicit) Geisha farms.
Even as the number of producers those receiving high prices for their Geisha remains relatively low, the blossoming coffee industry in Panama has demonstrated potential to raise incomes for a wider spectrum of producers and coffee workers.