During the next several months, I’ll be sharing with you some of the finest coffee grown anywhere in the world, all produced in Boquete, the coffee capital of Panama. Today is the opening day of the International Flower and Coffee Fair in Boquete and the perfect time to begin a series on the 40 locally grown coffees that are showcased at the fair.

Boquete is “coffee heaven” for the true connoisseur of fine coffee and I’m lucky enough to be here to share them with you from an “up close and personal” perspective.

Cafe Duran has been a leader in growing Boquete coffee for 5 generations, bringing 100 years of experience of building their company to one of the largest in Panama. Duran employs over 300 full-time workers and supports more than 500 native families of the Ngobe-Bugle tribe. They purchase freshly-picked coffee beans from over 3,000 families of small-scale growers who bring their coffee to collection centers in and near the Boquete area.cafedurantruck

These bright yellow and black trucks are very recognizable all over Panama and boast their 100 year history of coffee production. These trucks are distributing Cafe Duran coffee from the processing plant in Panama City to countries all over the world.

A new concept to Panama has been the “Coffee Store” and Duran is one of the first to open such a store in Boquete, located near the bridge just across from the fairgrounds. If you are in Boquete, you might want to stop by Duran’s new coffee shop and try a freshly brewed cup of one of the most traditional coffees grown in Boquete.

My impression of Cafe Duran has always been of how dark and aromatic this traditional Cafe Puro is when the bag is first opened. I love a dark roasted, rich and full-bodied coffee and Cafe Duran is a good example of this type of coffee. When hot water hits Duran coffee, the aroma fills my kitchen and wafts to the other end of my house, signaling David that it’s time to enjoy some really fine Boquete coffee.

This is a memorable cup of coffee, one that the light American coffee drinker might find too rich for their blood. If extra water is added at the preparation stage in an effort to achieve a “smoother” flavor, I find the result is disappointing. The Boquete price of $4.22 per pound makes this coffee especially attractive to budget-minded coffee enthusiasts.

cafeduranmachineI went to the Boquete fairgrounds today. I was one of the first customers to enjoy a 50-cent cup of Cafe Duran coffee at the fair this year, served from one of the many machines strategically positioned around the grounds.

It was a surprisingly well brewed, hot, dark, and satisfying cup of one of the finest coffees grown in Boquete.
Enjoy the Fair!