Panama - Hacienda La Esmeralda - Catuai
Location: Palmira, Boquete, Chiriquí
Farm: Jaramillo and Cañas Verdes
Farmer: Rachel Peterson, Hacienda La Esmeralda
Harvest Date: January 2023
Received Date: August 2023
Varietal: Catuai (Diamond Mountain)
Growing Altitude: 1450 masl
Processing Method: Washed
Total Volume Ordered: 1200 kg
Roast: Light Roasts for espresso or filter
Flavour Notes: Milk Chocolate, Nougat & Biscuit
About the farm
The lands that make up Hacienda La Esmeralda were first brought together as a single estate by a Swede named Hans Elliot in 1940. This land comprised several hundred hectares in what are now the Palmira and Cañas Verdes farms. In 1967, a Swedish- American banker by the name of Rudolph A. Peterson (1904-2003) bought Hacienda La Esmeralda as a retirement venture. At the time, the land was predominantly pasture for beef cattle, with some small smatterings of coffee mixed in.
By 1975 the Petersons had switched the farms over to dairy cattle which performed quite well and continues to make up half of Esmeralda’s farm land today. In the mid- 80s, the family was looking to further diversify and coffee, with its rich production history in the Boquete region, was a perfect opportunity.
Coffee had been growing on lands in and around Hacienda La Esmeralda since at least 1890. It was this huge reservoir of coffee knowledge and culture that helped the Petersons redevelop much of their land for coffee farming and even make their first coffee farm expansion at Palmira in 1988. It bears mentioning that coffee at this time was almost exclusively an undifferentiated, mass-market, endeavor in Panama. It was not until the mid-1990s that some North American coffee buyers started talking about Specialty Coffee widely.
In 1997 the Petersons purchased the land that became the Jaramillo Farm. This plot on the sides of Volcan Baru was selected for its high altitude, in hopes of developing higher scoring, livelier and more nuanced coffees. That said, it was only by serendipity that the famous Geisha coffee was planted on this farm.
About the coffee
It is our second season buying from Hacienda La Esmeralda, but our first time purchasing their Catuai varietal.
This lot is called "Diamond Mountain", and is spread on two of the farms: Jaramillo & Cañas Verdes, surrounded by Gesha lots. Diamond Mountain offers a different flavor profile from the surrounding lots, with nuts, orange & biscuit character.
Catuai is a cross between Mundo Novo & Caturra, first introduced in 1979 in Honduras, then commercially introduced in 1983.
Learn more about this varietal on the World Coffee Research.