Panama Carlos Yanguez
CREATIVA COFFEE DISTRICT
Last January, our friends from La Palma y El Tucán invited us to accompany them on a trip to Panama to see their new project in Boquete. They purchased a mill just outside of Boquete with a genuinely huge drying patio, as well as direct access to the highway that runs right through town. With its excess capacity and central location, this mill became Creativa Coffee District. La Palma y El Tucán is famous for stunning competition lots, but the heart of their work is their Neighbors and Crops program. In Colombia, they purchase cherry from neighboring farms to process and sell, and in return, they pay high prices and offer agronomy services as well as organic compost. This program has been very successful, and they have transplanted the Neighbors program to Panama and Northern Colombia. Creativa Coffee District was founded on the same ideals as La Palma y El Tucán. Given Panama's unique microclimates (Boquete and Volán are basically like Napa Valley for coffee) and their history of producing world-class coffee, Creativa has strong potential in the coming years to re-shape how coffees from Panama are perceived. This is their first year on the ground buying and processing cherry. Currently, they're renovating their mill so they can focus more on specialty processing methods while also using it to showcase artists' work through installations and residencies. We were honored to not only accompany our friends on this journey but also to be among the first people to roast coffees from Creativa Coffee District.
LA LLORONA DEL FRENTE
Carlos Yanguez inherited a parcel of land from his father where he grows both Catuai and Caturra. Located in the distant Renacimiento region, La Llorona Del Frente is a 9-hectare farm dedicated to coffee production. Last harvest they had 36,000 trees planted, which they hire 25 seasonal workers to pick during their main harvest. This coffee was harvested and delivered to Creativa mill, where it was naturally processed using their processing expertise. When Carlos delivered his cherries, they asked him two questions.
“What would life be without art?
A problem! It would be a monotonous life. The human being reinvents itself and expresses these changes through art, music, dance, and painting.”
“What color identifies you?
The light blue created by the blend between the sky and the ocean. A color that produces me peace.”
Wanna know more about how we brew? Then visit our brew methods page cause "this is how we brew it" (think Montell Jordan when reading that last part).
FILTER – Hario V60
20g Coffee : 300g Water 200°F
~2:30 Drain Time
If you have also fallen in love with coffees from La Palma y El Tucán, then get ready for their project in Panama, Creativo Coffee District! This Panamanian coffee shines with sweet and tart, wild strawberry limeade in the V60. When fresh, 1-5 days off, the strawberry is a little warmer and winier. The natural processing brings out a nice, creamy body. If this coffee drains too quickly, or under-extracts, it'll taste weak with flavor like a pithy tart lime. If this coffee drains too long, or over-extracts, it'll taste too winey with a long drying bitter aftertaste.
ESPRESSO – Modbar EP
Brew Temp: 198°F, Line Pressure: ~3.5 bars, Max Pressure: 9 bars
Pressure Profile: 0 sec to 4 sec - line pressure, from 4 sec till done - 9 bars
18g in : ~40g out @ ~32s
We started with 19g and were surprised by how tart and sharp this espresso was! We brought the dose down to 18g and extended our extraction time to mellow it out. And presto, this espresso is creamy and smooth with wild strawberry. In milk, look for tart strawberry and brown sugar! If this shot pulls too quickly, under extracts, it is really tart and salty. If the shot pulls too long, over extracts, it is drying and pithy like lime zest.
Panama Carlos Yanguez
This is a Relationship Coffee we bought from Creativa Coffee District during our first visit to Panama. During our visit, we cupped some of the first lots that Creativa had purchased during the October - February harvest. From this, we got an idea of what taste profiles we would see in Boquete. This is a new origin for us, as well as Ally Coffee, who we worked through to receive pre-ship samples. We contracted thirty 35-kilo bags for $7.14/lb on a no approval term contract. We cupped this coffee at an 87 on an SCA score sheet.
- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $0.97/lb when we purchased this coffee.
- The Fair Trade Coffee minimum price was $1.60/lb when we purchased this coffee.
* We as a company believe transparency is unbelievably important. However, we decided only to list what is shown here because we don’t know where to stop. Do we list the amount of coffee lost in roasting due to moisture loss? Should we list our roaster Mark's salary? The warehouse rent? The utilities? The point of listing things above is not to justify what we charge or what we profit, but to give a realistic snapshot of the industry and how Specialty Coffee can be different than other commodity industries. If you have concerns feel free to email us and I’ll write you back when I’m available.
Relationship Coffee is an initiative we, at Onyx, have purposely created to describe our sourcing and buying practices and how we document them. Certifications like Direct Trade, Fair Trade, and others have impacted the coffee communities in mostly positive ways but also in some negative ways. We find that blanket terms and applying them to a multitude of business models no longer describes what we do.
In reality, every company is different, and we wanted to step out from the mold and create a new set of standards that exceeds in every department from quality to transparency to pricing. The growers, exporters, importers, associations, cooperatives, and other entities are always a set of relationships. To be honest, many are our friends as much as they are our producers and partners. We share information, family news, meals, housing, many faiths, and argue politics. Oh, and we love it. Relationship Coffee for Onyx is the mark of an honest exchange ethos that permeates our company, and we hope it encourages the growth of specialty coffee for the future.
We visited the farm or cupping lab and listened to the producer/agronomist or head cooperative/association to ascertain better knowledge about the culture and practices.
We cupped the coffee, and it scored to our industry-high standards.
We do not buy futures or multiple harvests to ensure that what we cupped for that year is what we serve.
We do not ask for exclusivity from producers, binding their options.
We pay what the coffee is worth. This always is at least double Fair Trade minimum due to the quality we buy, and many times is three to ten times the amount.
We do not finance any coffee. Cash flow is just as important as the final price. Coffee is paid in full upon delivery, and we pay a percentage upfront upon contracting.
We are completely transparent from price to logistics to cupping score, to who we work with buying and shipping coffee.
We work to set premiums after a contracted price to incentivize quality and community building. This can be .10¢ - .25¢ extra per pound or community projects such as school supplies in the growing village, sports jerseys, vented chimneys for kitchen fires, etc.