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Posts Tagged ‘Cafe Ruiz coffee’

Panama’s Coffee Cup - Cafe Ruiz

Written on April 24th, 2010 by 3 shouts

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 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!

Vi’s Buns

Written on November 21st, 2009 by 2 shouts

bunsCinnamon buns are every man’s favorite breakfast treat, one that isn’t readily available in Boquete.  There are several bakeries that make cinnamon buns from cake batter, but not the real yeast dough and sticky frosting that are found everywhere in North America or Europe.   There is nothing better in the morning than a cup of Boquete specialty Cafe Ruiz coffee and one of Vi’s homemade buns.

When I agreed to co-ordinate this year’s Bid 4 Boquete Charity Auction event, I never thought that by doing so I would meet Vi, the gourmet baker from Volcan who makes what I call “real” cinnamon buns.  Vi’s buns are yeast-risen, full of spices, big, fat raisins and frosted with classic butter icing.

I couldn’t begin to tell you the recipe for Vi’s buns.  They’re not exactly cinnamon rolls, they’re more hearty and are more flavorful.  But, I’m pretty sure that Vi uses the same icing recipe that I’ve used for years.  It’s easy to make and I always have the ingredients on hand.  The sugar here is named XXXXX Azucar Micropulverzada, it comes in a clear cellophane bag.

Here’s my Classic Butter Icing:

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium sauce pan or saucier.  Add 3 tablespoons evaporated milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.  Slowly beat in 1 cup confectioners’ sugar until smooth.  Add more sugar to get a consistency exactly right to spread on the hot buns when they are taken out of the oven.

Rather than to try to find a recipe to make buns the way Vi makes them, you could visit and order them directly from Vi.  She visits David regularly and will deliver them to you there.

Vi is donating some of her buns to be sold at the big Bid 4 Boquete Charity Auction held at the Boquete Feria on Sunday, December 6, beginning at 1:00pm, thanks Vi.  I hope everyone will come to the auction and enjoy all the fine events, especially Vi’s buns.  See you there!

A Special Visit From Carrie and Jonathan

Written on November 10th, 2009 by 2 shouts

carrieandjonathan1It wasn’t exactly a surprise when our ship’s bell rang at our front door last night.  Guests, Carrie and Jonathan asked if they could cook for us in our “Boquete Gourmet” kitchen some evening, and who could pass up such an offer?

This young couple has been traveling the world for the past few years and they arrived in Boquete just a couple days ago.  They are writing about their adventurous journeys on their website, as they travel.  It’s an interesting journal of their unique life-style together, you might enjoy reading it. carrieandjonathan

David and I were amazed at the presentation of dinner, rolled in from their casita to our front door in a lovely, hand-made rattan rolling cart ,that was in our house when we purchased it several years ago.

Carrie and Jonathan’s menu was designed around their love of Italian food; a colorful, diced green salad with balsamic vinegar and oil dressing, and eggplant Parmesan layered with sliced eggplant sauteed in red peppers flakes,  Jonathan’s specially seasoned sauce, and a blend of grated mozzarella, Parmesan and white cheddar cheeses.

For dessert, Carrie made lime ice-box cookies, ready to bake.  We baked them in my oven until golden brown and frosted them with yummy butter-lime icing made with my beautiful, giant, “witch’s whisk” I found on Halloween Eve.

After a couple games of Mexican Train, we enjoyed Carrie’s delicious, tender cookies with steaming cups of Boquete’s famous Cafe Ruiz coffee.  It’s amazing how many gourmet cooks make their way to Boquete, and this couple is a fine example.  Thanks, Carrie and Jonathan, you can cook for us anytime.  TBG

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