A Boquete Coffee Tour: Panama’s Finca Dos Jefes
Boquete, Panama is a frequent vacation destination and part-time home for my husband and I. We thought we’d better brush up on the coffee making process since this region is famous for its delicious java.
The most recommended coffee tour in Boquete from both friends and locals is to Finca Dos Jefes. It is also the most popular per TripAdvisor. Coffee farm owner Rich Lipner, a California expat, not only conducts the tour but also picked us up in town and drove us to his farm.
Finca Dos Jefes is a fair-trade organic farm and produces the Cafés De La Luna coffee brand. The products are really tasty, which you will see for yourself on the tour. Beware, Rich’s passion for coffee will win over even the non-coffee drinkers.
My First Coffee Tour In Boquete
Finca (country estate) Dos Jefes is a 7-acre estate in the highlands of Boquete. Rich began our tour by walking us through the life cycle of the coffee bean. While exploring his farm, he explained they handled the delicate coffee cherries.
Cherries are what the fruits on the coffee plants are referred to. After they ripen, they are twisted off the branches by hand as so not to spoil the fruit. The cherries are then dried and roasted. The drying process for Dos Jefes beans is the same as in Africa, or over mesh wire beds to roast in the sun. The beans are turned frequently and with the phases of the moon.
Rich and his staff were friendly and hard-working. Some of the workers live on his property and attend the university to further their education. A walking tour of the property afforded nice photo-ops of beautiful flowers and fruit trees. Leftover fruit is donated to the indigenous families in the Boquete Chiriqui area.
After touring the coffee plants and hearing the picking process, our tour group gathered in the cupping room to help roast the beans. We roasted light and dark beans, then brewed coffee to sample them both. We were served Cafe de la Luna’s dark, medium, and light roast coffees on a cute little patio. There were cookies to pair with the brews. Rich encouraged us to try each of the three roasts.
The Coffee That Made Me A Coffee Drinker
Though I was a non-coffee drinker, Cafés De La Luna’s tastes were unique. I found them coffee smooth and delicious, but I did have to doctor mine up with sugar and cream. I liked that the coffee had no aftertaste. We also tried a sampling of the pre-roasted coffee beans.
At the end of the tour, Rich answered questions. When it concluded, he sent us home with a pound of our favorite roast of coffee. How great is that?.
Taking this coffee tour really opened my eyes about the hard work that goes into brewing the perfect cup. Boquete coffee crops are now produced and exported all over and are known as some of the best beans in the world. Brazil is the leading coffee exporter with over five billion pounds harvested annually.
Fun Trivia Fact: Years ago African farmers noticed their goats were very energetic, a result of eating a certain kind of berries or beans. Finally they tried the beans themselves as a snack. Ethiopia, Africa is the birthplace of coffee and everyone I know would agree that it still produces the best cup of coffee.
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Check out our other Panama posts:
- Sinking My Teeth Into Boquete
- The City of David
- 3 Weeks in Boquete
- Fantastic Birdwatching in Boquete