cafesittonWhile strolling around the grounds of the International Flower and Coffee Fair in Boquete, I came upon the most lovely display of local coffee, Cafe Sitton. The striking blue and white booth, blazing with signs, shelves of coffee bags and cups, and a lovely mural, showed the pride of this well-known Boquete gourmet coffee producer.

The bag boasts that Sitton coffee is “Panama’s finest mountain grown coffee” and it comes “from Panama’s high mountains, deep in the Boquete rain forest, we bring you one of the best and well-known coffees of the world.”

Their website,, gives much information about the roasts they offer, the history of the company and facts about the processing necessary to produce a fine cup of coffee.

cafesittonmuralAs seen in the mural, there is much work that must be done in order to produce a fine coffee such as Cafe Sitton.  The work is varied; hand-picking only the red cherries, spreading them out to dry in the sunshine, raking them every hour, and cleaning them in high water pressure.  The process is time-consuming and must be precise at all stages.  Some producers use a comb to brush the cherries from the trees, but coffee from Boquete is all picked by hand, one red cherry at a time.

What isn’t shown in the mural is the roasting process to the perfect color and grinding to the correct size of grain.  That’s very important if you want to get the full-bodied flavor we all enjoy so much.

cafesittonbagsI purchased the French Roast bag of Cafe Sitton and at a cost of $3.44 per pound, it’s a medium priced Boquete coffee.   As I opened the bag, I noticed the nice aroma that quickly filled my kitchen.

Using my new French Press, I measured 4 tablespoons  of Sitton coffee and added 3 cups of hot water, which equals 4  six-ounce “coffee-size” cups of brewed coffee.  Smart, uh?  From now on, that’s the formula I’ll use when making the various brands of Boquete and Panama coffees, 4 + 3= 4.

After a 4-minute wait, I gently pushed down the plunger in my press.  I could see the dark, rich coffee bubbling around the surface of the brew, coating it with a thick beige foam.  It smelled amazing.  As I poured it into my cup, the flow was almost opaque, a delightful quality not often seen using my automatic maker.

The taste was one I won’t soon forget, as bold, complex and full-bodied as any gourmet coffee I have ever sipped at any price.  I could taste tones of chocolate and a slight sweetness that lingered on my palate.  It was a treat to have one of the finest Boquete coffees brewed the correct way, using our local fresh, clear spring water.  Coffee doesn’t get any better than this.

Try some Sitton coffee yourself and see if you get the same “ah, ha” experience I had, one that I would like to share with all my friends.