This past March, we visited the Lamastus Family Estates in Boquete, Panama. The Lamastus estates is family run and managed mostly by Wilford Sr. and his son Wilford Jr. Their estates are world renowned and have multiple awards from ‘Best of Panama’ competition. Their family has been in the coffee business since 1918 and are not only incredibly experienced, but the most genuine and amazing hosts.
While we were in Boquete, Wilford Sr. and Wilford Jr. took us to four different farms (Elida, Luito, El Burro, and Senderos). Each farm has their own unique microclimates and elevations which impact the flavor of the coffee. Another unique thing about Luito, El burro, and most of Elida is that they are situated on a national park, therefore protecting the delicate microclimate and micro-organisms.
While we were in Elida, we were able to hike up to the Aguacate lot. We bought from this lot last year at the Lamastus Family Estates’ first private auction and secured the delicious natural carbonic maceration anaerobic slow dry processed geisha for $555.50 per pound which we currently sell in our cafes for $30 a cup.
Since March is within the harvesting season, we were able to visit the coffee trees and watch the farmers pick the ripe coffee cherries for processing as well as attempt to pick some ourselves. Farmers could be out picking for upwards of eight hours a day, picking hundreds of pounds of cherries and carrying them down to be processed. Watching this experience definitely gives you an immense appreciation for the hard work put into creating a delicious and consistent coffee experience.
After our hike, we toured the Lamastus facilities including the drying beds, wet mill, roasting lab, and the famous ASD vault. ASD stands for Anaerobic Slow Dry which means that the coffee cherries are placed in the fermentation tanks for a number of days before beginning the slow drying process. This term was first introduced by Wilford Sr. and is now widely used in the coffee community. Inside the vault were the newly installed ASD fermentation tanks. The new tanks are meant to help control and monitor certain variables to improve the consistency of this particular fermentation process.
On a separate day, we visited the drying facility where the Lamastus Family Estates takes their coffee to dry. One particular thing that they are doing to improve quality of life for the farmers is using coffee pulp, food waste, and cow manure to power living quarters at the drying facility. We also hiked down to see part of the Caldera river that flows all throughout Boquete and the water was so clean that we were able to drink straight from it.
We tasted coffees from the Lamastus Family Estates in their lab that oversees the beautiful terrain of Boquete. We cupped 45 different cups of coffee there and will be bringing back a few that we hope everyone will enjoy! We were incredibly grateful for the genuine hospitality from the Lamastus family and their team as well as gaining a deeper perspective on the hard work and dedication put into producing a beautifully crafted cup of coffee.
Article written by Alyssa Rosenblatt
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