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Panama Hacienda Palo Verde

July 16, 2006
Bob Yellin

This coffee was cupped blind several times, side-by-side with other coffees. It was roasted three times, twice light (City), and once to Paradise Roaters recommended full City level ending just before the very first pops of second crack. The coffee was rested for about 12 hours prior to formal cupping, and a minimum of 2 more days prior to brewing and pulling espresso shots. For more information on my sample roaster and method, see our reference page.

This coffee was grown by Hacienda Palo Verde in the Piedra Candela Region of Volcan in Panama and exported by the well-known Finca Hartmann. It was among the winners of this year's Best of Panama competition held at the end of May, scoring 88.52.

This coffee is a quintessential Central and, roasted light ("city" roast just beyond first crack), it's clean as clean can be. There are floral aromas in the ground beans, (roses and lilacs); butter, chocolate and caramel in the wet aroma, very fine acidity, light-to-medium body, outstanding balance and a medium finish.

This is a non-assertive, sweet coffee with a "classic coffee" profile, obvious fruit flavors (citrus and stone fruit) and spice. The acidity becomes more pronounced as it cools but the coffee never goes sour. Personally, I prefer this roast level because, when roasted to Full City, some of the acidity and floral qualities are lost, replaced by deeper chocolate and a toasted-nut roast flavor. But that's a matter of personal preference. Both roast levels produce an exceptional cup.

As a SO espresso roasted to full city, it produces an acceptable, sweet, non-complex shot, the subtle flavors having been lost in the roast process. But never-the-less, it is very enjoyable as a cappuccino. Its full flavor spectrum really shows up, roasted light and brewed in a vac pot or French press. I imagine it would be fine as a drip-process brew though I didn't try it that way. All in all this is an outstanding coffee.

Dry fragrance: 4.5
Wet Aroma: 4.6
Flavor: 8.0
Finish: 7.5
Acidity: 7.7
Body: 7.4
Cupper's Correction: +1.0
TOTAL (subtotal + 50): 90.7

  • Lighter Roasts: Highly recommended. All the finer qualities of this outstanding coffee can be experienced at this roast level.
  • Darker Roasts: At Full City, it becomes more chocolaty and nutty and the floral qualites are less obvious.
  • As Espresso: Lack luster complexity but passable as a straight shot. Fine as a cappuccino.


UPDATED: July 16, 2006