Joyce and Diego Lagache from Belgium first fell in love with the coffee estate now called Finca Bocas del Mar, on the fresh and humid slopes above Boquete, in 2012. With hypnotizing views across to Volcan Baru and the ever-changing shapes of the clouds, it is a magical place where the finest-tasting boutique coffee is carefully cultivated.
Here, in the nutrient-rich volcanic soils and equatorial rain-systems, three varietals of premium Arabica beans are currently grown in a sensitively-managed natural environment; the world-famous Geisha, Caturra and Catuai.
These high-quality, artisan coffees have until now been destined for the discerning local and international clients of the family’s boutique hotel and restaurant, Hotel Bocas del Mar, situated just a short drive away on the warm, tropical lowlands by the Pacific Ocean at Boca Chica. The hotel is consistently voted by guests as one of the best in Panama and the restaurant is in the top ten in Chiriqui. We like to think that out hotel’s success has more than a little to do with the coffee our guests drink! Many hotel guests take home a packet and enjoy a taste of Panama on breakfast bars and in living rooms across the four corners of the globe.
Finca Bocas del Mar is on west-facing, moderate slopes in the Jaramillo Abajo district. The estate covers six hectares, rising from 1350 to 1400 meters above sea level (4430-4560 feet). Temperatures range from a fairly constant 25ºC (77ºF) maximum to 15ºC (59ºF) minimum, with annual rainfall reaching 3,000mm (118 inches), driven by Pacific and Atlantic tropical systems. This all helps to create an exceptional climatic mix bringing the best possible flavors.
Our plants are protected and cared for with only the most sensitive techniques to ensure a superior berry. A moisturizing mist, known locally as ‘bajareque’, turns seedlings into mature producing trees in less than four years. There are around 4,000 plants per hectare, a lower density than in many other estates and which are arranged over micro lots.
In their time owning and managing Finca Bocas del Mar, the Lagache family has insisted on constant improvement to the seed and plant stock and new drying and processing facilities.
Coffee beans are dried using the honey wash method, an increasingly favored, semi-washed technique. They are expertly cared for by Ngöbe-Buglé indigenous peoples, using their exceptional knowledge and skill. Some live all year in the area and others come for the harvest, (from mid-December to mid-March), from the San Felix area of Chiriqui. All our berries are handpicked of course, quality controlled and dried for around three weeks.
Of our coffee varietals, Geisha is the jewel of Panamanian coffee; a consistent international award-winner and reassuringly expensive. The beverage itself is distinguished by its light body with honey and citrus flavors that provide an outstanding taste profile and cup character.
The cup characteristics of the Caturra varietal, a descendant of Bourbon, include well-pronounced acidity with delicate citric or lemony notes and great flavors.
Catuai is most widely recognized for the hardiness of its plants and its sweetness in taste.
The distinctive climatic combination of our estate helps creates a foaming effect coveted by top baristas and all those who value not just exceptional taste but excellent presentation as well.
Finca Bocas del Mar estate coffee can currently be savored on the terrace overlooking the sailboats of the Pacific Ocean by diners at Hotel Bocas del Mar, in Boca Chica. It can also be purchased from our hotel reception or sent on special request by contacting us.