These past few months, I’ve shared some information about coffees grown in and near Boquete, the coffee growing capital of Panama.

Since I live in Panama, and I enjoy writing about what it’s like to live in Boquete, sharing my experiences relating to coffee and the coffee industry here seems to be a natural.

The very first day I arrived in Boquete, I knew I was in “coffee heaven”. Smelling the aroma of coffee roasting everywhere was invigorating, almost exhilarating. The locals were drinking it on the streets and the general conversation centered around the coffee-growing business in Boquete.

It wasn’t long before I became a bit of a devotee of fine coffee. I buy and taste every brand name I can find, read every book and article I see on the subject, and visit as many coffee growers as possible. Finally, I developed my own way of enjoying the many varieties of Boquete-grown coffees, which I’ve set out below.

Designer Appearance – Beginning with Café Ruiz, one of the oldest and most famous Boquete coffee, I looked at the bag and how it appeared to the consumer. The Ruiz designer gave their bags an honored red, white and blue coat of arms and red ribbon, to denote a traditional look. To me, it looks like a well established brand showing lots of pride.

Varieties Available – Café Ruiz grows Typica, Geisha, Magarope, Caturra varieties, and is now producing coffee in a variety of flavors. Cafe Ruiz sells their coffee in many different roasts, and in whole beans or ground medium or fine.

Label Information – Ruiz boasts their coffee is strictly mountain grown on century old plantations, roasted and ground with the most modern techniques in Boquete. “A whole new coffee experience”, according to the bag. To make a cup of Café Ruiz coffee, they recommend using 1 teaspoon coffee to 6 ounces of water; for stronger coffee, decrease amount of water and for smoother, increase amount of water.

My View
Fragrance out of the bag – medium, fresh sensation, especially when I grind it myself!
Aroma when water hits grounds – filled the kitchen with gusts of coffee essence, intense enough to travel to the bedroom.
Body look – thin with clear edge, I could see the white cup through the coffee, almost translucent.
Acidity sharpness - this is a special bright, snappy taste, full of rich coffee flavor that lingers.
Flavor – “Ah, ha” at the first sip, this is fine coffee, one of the very best you can buy in Boquete.
Memory – I remember this cup, one to share with my best friend. I refer our guests to the Cafe Ruiz Coffee Shop to take a coffee tour of the Cafe Ruiz fincas and processing plants.

Price – $4.48 per pound for whole beans, Tueste Latino roast.

This is a photo of Dr. Maria Ruiz, showing us an especially heavy branch of green coffee beans. They won’t be picked until they turn red, only 2 cherries are ready to pick here. We live near the Cafe Ruiz processing plant, and often smell the wonderful aroma of their coffee roasting, lucky me. I have gotten to know the owners and a few of the employees. They are all proud to work in this amazing industry, and are constantly trying to improve their brand of coffee, their processing techniques and their place among the world coffee markets.

By developing better ways of growing and harvesting the finest coffee available, Cafe Ruiz will remain one of my top favorite coffees. The www.caferuiz.com website carefully explains their complete operations and is full of valuable information about the coffee industry here in Boquete.

Try a steaming cup of Ruiz coffee as soon as you get a chance. The new Boquete Gourmet Community Cookbook suggests serving Cafe Ruiz coffee with Coconut Coffee Squares, how decadent!
You’ll love this coffee!
Cora