Feature #35

A very warm welcome to Malatto Coffee. This is what we hope to be the first of many collaborations with the Malatto Coffee team. Exciting is an understatement when we talk about our conversations about future coffees and projects ahead. Firmly focused on traceable mirco lots, our conversations made it clear that we could works with Malatto every other month and always have standout coffees with amazing stories to share. An absolute pleasure to partner with a new roaster with such passion and connection to the coffees they roast. 


Words by Malatto Coffee.

During the early 1920’s, Mr. Segundo Diaz, a Colombian soldier started the coffee plantation La Berlina Estate. By the early 1930s La Berlina Estate Coffee Farm was producing a well-recognized, quality coffee; however, in time, the self-sustaining farm could not produce enough to support the growing family, which by now included more children and several new members through marriage. As years passed and as depressed coffee prices took their toll, Don Manuel, Mr. Diaz’s son, was forced to sell the farm. Now managed by the Ruiz Family, La Berlina Estate Coffee still promotes the coffee planted from the original seeds in Boquete. The fourth generation of the family continues to learn about growing and processing coffee, not just through the use of current technologies but also gaining experience from lessons learned from the past with the goal of providing delicious coffee from La Berlina Estate to the world. Coffee from the estate regularly wins competitions both at the national and the international level. Production Process The state is fully equipped with a systematic approach in growing their coffee beans, and have adopted an artisan / manual processing system, utilizing both dry and wet processing methods. This organic collection is made by the indigenous groups of Ngäbe-Buglé and local people, who have dedicated their lives by skill and tradition to the collection of cherry-picking, that are later carefully cleansed with natural spring water fountains, which preserves the powerful characteristics profile of the coffee bean, which makes it so sought after.


Boquete, one of three primary coffee growing regions is the oldest and best known coffee region of panama was founded in 1911. Located in the mountainous region near the border of Costa Rica in Chiriqui Provence, the area known as the valley of the moon by the indigenous people who once inhabited the land. Made up of mostly small farms, Panama produces approximately 1% of the worlds coffee or put into a different context, there are estates in Brazil who single handedly match the annual production of Panama. The reputation of quality is awarded to Panamanian coffee through a variety of factors. Nutrient rich volcanic soil, altitude and climatic conditions provide a great basis thanks to nature and geographic location. The careful selection of varietals known for their exceptional cup quality such a Bourbon, Typica, Caturra, Catuai and famously Geisha combined with attention to detail, has cemented Panamas reputation as the holy grail for many coffee lovers the world over. The nature of the countries small scale production sees picking to processing done in small lots, on individual farms with great investment in well run wet processes and dry mills, the results in turn speak for themselves. Among the estates producing coffee, Berlina Estate, producer of our Geisha lot, is one of the oldest and most regarded. The estate is the first to roast gourmet coffee in the Boquete region.


Geisha or Gesha, the spelling is a hotly contested topic, with no definitive answer to which is correct. Geisha is widely used by coffee researchers as it was first recorded this way, while the discovery was made in a region of Ethiopia with a name that translates to Gesha in English. This variety has become synonymous within the coffee industry and has come to command high prices and cult like following, but nothing quite has the draw of Panama Geisha. Genetically part of the Ethiopia landrace family, its unsurprising to learn that Panama Geisha is genetically different from other Geisha varietals grown elsewhere, although their origins may have been geographically close. Discovered in 1930 by the British, it was taken to Tanzania for research before making its way to Panama in the 1690’s via a research facility in Costa Rica on the count of its resistance to coffee leaf rust. It wasn’t until 2005 that Panamanian Geisha from the region of Boquete made headlines, a lot entered into the best of Panama auction by the Peterson Family or Hacienda La Esmerelda, it won the highest bid on the day, breaking the standing record of $20/pound, with bids closing at $21 per pound. From that auction on the coffee world has had an unquenchable thirst for the delicate cup profile Geisha offers, doing especially well at high altitude and offering characteristic Jasmine like floral and Peach aromas.


Country: Panama

Region: Boquete

Producer: Casa Ruiz

Farm: La Berlina Estate

Altitude: 1700 - 2300 M.A.S.L

Varietal/Species: Geisha

Process: Washed

Tasting notes: Aromas of Lilac, Stone fruit Plum, Fruit candy sweetness Chocolate finish

Index Previous Next

A Bunch of Snobs

© Copyright A Bunch of Snobs
New Zealand