Plainspoken Coffee. A Coffee Review for Ordinary People by Ordinary People, #28.
It’s taken too long to get around to reviewing coffee from one of the most well-known coffee farms in the world that is marketed as sustainable, Panama’s Carmen Estate. Although often available from a variety of roasters, this review will feature a top boutique roasters. Let’s look at Paradise Roaster’s Panama Carmen Estate 1750 Reserve.
Carmen Estate is located in Chiriqui province near the town of Paso Ancho (you can input these coordinates into Google Earth or Maps for the exact location: 8.823611, -82.631944). It is Rainforest Alliance certified, and 60% of the property is native forest. It is not certified organic; I know they use some non-organic soil amendments such as calcium. They grow cataui, caturra, and typica varieties, which are represented in this lot.
Carmen Estate has won the following honors:
- 2003, Best of Panama Cupping for Quality competition: 3rd place (88.05 pts)
- 2005, Best of Panama Cupping for Quality competition: 3rd place (92.54 pts)
- 2005, Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality competition: 1st place (90.75 pts)
- 2006, Best of Panama Cupping for Quality competition: 3rd place (89.71 pts)
- 2006, Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality competition: 2nd place (88 pts)
- 2007, Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality competition: 2nd place (88.96 pts)
- 2007, Best of Panama Cupping for Quality competition: 5th place (89.35)
Paradise’s 1750 Reserve is a special micro-lot from the top elevations of the farm (one might assume at 1750 meters, but I’ve read elsewhere it’s from even higher), although the “lowest” elevation of the farm is about 1450 meters — higher than the top locations of many farms.
I have to say, the Miguel Meza, head roaster at Paradise, sure knows how to roast coffee. I may have had some coffee from them I wasn’t crazy about (although none come to mind), but it was never the fault of the roast. He can really read a bean.
This was a light roast, with a truly room-filling, delicious aroma when ground. In the French press, it had all the best characteristics of a classic Central American: very sweet, with understated candy-like caramel tones, a hint of chocolate, and a light body, although not quite as bright and acidic as some Centrals. It was nicely balanced, and consistent as it cooled. Some of its delicate subtlety was, as expected, lost in a drip preparation. This is a great warm-weather coffee, as reviewers felt it was light and refreshing, perhaps even a little on the delicate side. It’s one of those very enjoyable coffees that you can drink all day. As we’ve said many times, it’s hard to really describe a classic Central, but this is as good as they come. It just made me feel….happy. 3.75 motmots.
Review of this coffee from Coffee Cuppers here.