Coffee Made In Boquete

By BobbyRica | September 8, 2010

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When you step foot on Boquete, you’d immediately know that you’re in coffee country. You can start smelling the coffee beans ripening in the forest. But as you walk in the shade, you may wonder where the coffee plants are. Because all you see are orange and other citrus trees that dot the forest. Approach a tree and you’ll get your answer. As weird as it sounds, the coffee shrubs are just below the orange trees. During picking season, the shrubs are filled with ripe, cherry red berries that look amazing together with the orange fruits. From the fruits of the coffee plants are the seeds, which will eventually be sun-kissed, then roasted and then grounded to coffee.

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Coffee here is grown in the shade. This has been the method used by the Panamanian farmers for centuries. Though coffee grown in fields have more yield, the shade-grown coffee in Boquete are far more superior in taste. The farming of shade-grown coffee is also a cleaner and less disruptive way to conserve the land. The trees protect the coffee from pests. The coffee trees yield enough mulch to feed the trees and their relationship also helps in bracing the coil against erosion. Also, shade-grown coffee uses less pesticide and fertilizer. What’s more, farmer can still preserve the eco-system because it doesn’t hinder the habitat of animals like migratory birds. This is more important in light of forest disappearing in coffee-producing countries in Latin America.

So when you do sip that hot cup of java, insist that what you’re buying is the native Panamanian shade-grown coffee. It not only tastes good but you also help in preserving the environment!

If you’re interested in hiking or taking a horseback ride in the “coffee forests” of Boquete, get more information here or here.

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