Geisha, Finca La Mula, Panama
Winner of Good Food Awards 2016 and Best of Panama 2014!
The sundried natural processing style brings out a unique complexity of fruit notes and floral tones. The natural environment of La Mula combined with the unique location justifies this natural sundried processing style. We reserved a limited quantity of the #1 lot from the 2014 Best of Panama competition. La Mula natural process coffees are harvested for optimum ripeness and dried during 22 to 27 days on specially constructed raised beds.
Aroma of black currants, passion fruit, cacao and jasmine. Multi-layered, lingering flavors of dried papaya, tea rose, jasmine-infused caramel and black tea.
One 8 oz. bag of whole bean coffee.
Geisha, La Mula
From our friend and producer, Willem Boot: “It was love at first sight; Geisha swept me off my feet on a remarkable day in 2004 and my life hasn’t been the same ever since. Back then, I participated as a cupping judge during a coffee competition in Panama and for the very first time I experienced the flavor profile of this remarkable coffee variety called “Geisha”. The perfume-like aroma of jasmine and roses followed by the lingering taste notes of fresh papaya and tamarind were truly unparalleled. Immediately, I became fascinated by the mesmerizing characteristics of this coffee, which inspired me to purchase 5 hectares of forest on the slopes of the Baru Volcano. In 2006 we started planting our Geisha trees which are surrounded by a beautiful, lush sub-tropical rainforest. Coffee from the second production year (2014) competed in the prestigious Best of Panama competition and we won first place!”
Finca La Mula is a small, quality-focused micro-farm owned by Willem Boot and managed by Kelly Hartmann of the multi- generational Hartmann coffee farming family. It was planted in 2007 by a group of 15 indigenous Ngöbe-Buglé coffee farm workers, who were students of the Escuela de Café. This school was founded by Panamanian coffee farmer Graciano Cruz, and he organized courses in coffee cultivation, harvesting, processing and cupping. The planting of Finca La Mula was part of the curriculum of this school, and training focused on learning coffee farming techniques that would produce high- end coffee in a sustainable environment. Finca La Mula is located on the southern slopes of the Baru volcano in the Chiriqui province of Panama, at an elevation of 5,575 to 5,906 feet. The farm consists of 5 hectares of land, four of them planted with roughly 6,000 Geisha varietal coffee trees. Within the Geisha varietal grown on the farm, three strains have been discovered including the Green and Bronze tip, as well as a spontaneous hybrid dwarf varietal. Two full-time employees live on the farm in environmentally friendly housing built by farm owner Boot. The housing materials offer a high level of comfort to the employees and protect against cold and moisture. Cooking is accomplished with an environmentally friendly Oneil oven that requires 80% less wood for burning, protects the employees against smoke inhalation and creates a naturally warm environment. A fifth of an acre of the farm is dedicated to growing beans and vegetables for the father and son living on the land.
Finca La Mula is a micro- farm which employs sustainable farm practices that focus on using inputs at an absolute minimum. The environmental policies of the farm have banned the use of herbicides or insecticides. Fungicides are rarely used, and only when the farm has experienced an aggressive fungus attack. Fertilizers are applied strategically in order to maintain necessary plant nutrition in soil. The natural habitat of Finca La Mula is a unique high mountain, tropical forest environment. The owner of Finca La Mula has elected to develop the farm in full harmony with the natural environment. The farm is densely packed with primary and secondary old growth trees, a large population of mammals (including the occasional sighting of a jaguar) and a rich and varied insect life. Cloud forests attract at least two hundred species of migratory birds and provide natural shade throughout the year. This shade keeps the soil moist, reduces the average temperatures which leads to longer maturation for coffee cherries, and negates the need for irrigation. The soil is very high in organic matter and the farm is surrounded by untouched forest land. Finca La Mula has a conservation program regarding water that involves drawing it for local consumption from a nearby stream, and taking coffee to be processed at the nearby Finca Hartmann farm. Plastic and compostable waste are centrally collected on the farm, and taken to be recycled and disposed offsite. Trails are built throughout the farm, with the native, deep rooting ‘mirto’ tree to avoid soil erosion. Finca La Mula pays workers well above the Panamanian minimum wage and includes added premiums for health care and other social benefits. The two workers employed on the farm live year round on the property and are given food packages during the year for added health benefit. Health care is provided as needed. This farm exemplifies the non-traditional philosophy of new generation coffee entrepreneurs to go vertical all the way down to the farm level in order to produce unparalleled coffee qualities. In the case of Finca La Mula, the owner offers his employees substantial more economic and personal benefits than in a traditional worker-farmer relationship.