Steaming Panamanian Coffee


Snapshot of a coffee percolator and a cup of coffee early in the morning during breakfast time. It’s the only cup of coffee I drink during the day due to my reflux problems. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

My father was born in the beautiful city of Pereira, capital of the Department of Risaralda in the coffee lands of Colombia in South America.  Risaralda is known to have large plantations of high altitude coffee exported to all corner of the world.  Colombian coffee has a strong demand in the American market.

In the late thirties my father migrated to Panama allured by the lights of the Panama Canal.  He came to work as a carpenter, planned to earn a few buck and then return to his homeland.  He never did.  Fell in love with my mother in a place called Bugaba and planted his roots in this Central American country.

Being from a coffee producing area, he loved black coffee blended in with cigarettes.  Too much of both deteriorated his health and caused his premature death at 62.  Too young to die.  I still miss his wit and his endless love for all his family.  But those are memories reserved for another time.

This coffee percolator replaced the one we had for over thirty years. It was a General Electric percolator which boldly challenged the wear and tear of time. They don’t make them that durable any more. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

As much as I like coffee, I can’t handle it they way I used to.  At home we only drink one cup of coffee in the morning during breakfast time.  The rest of our meals are accompanied by a warm cup of Chinese tea.  Since the love of coffee has been in the family dating back to the days when our father was alive, we still carry the taste of the beverage with us even though we can’t drink it as much as we would like to.

When I visit a restaurant or a cafeteria in downtown Panama City, I love to smell the aroma of fresh made coffee.  It is very difficult to describe in printed words.

We are not a large coffee producer in Panama.  That privilege is reserved for Colombia and Costa Rica, our neighbor countries.  Excellent quality coffee is grown in the Province of Chiriquí in a place called Boquete.  Below is a picture of a guide explaining the characteristics of a special kind of coffee grown in Alto Boquete in a tourist attraction known as Finca Lérida.  I visited this coffee paradise last year.  Wonderful memories of this trip are still vivid in my head.

Snapshot of a tourist guide explaining the characteristics of the type of coffee grown in Finca Lérida in Alto Boquete, Province of Chiriqui. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

You can almost smell the rich aroma of a cup of good Panamanian coffee, just by looking at this picture.  Good Day.

4 thoughts on “Steaming Panamanian Coffee”

  1. I think Panama’s coffee stands up well against anything that comes from Columbia or Costa Rica. I brew my morning mug in the old fashioned “Mocha Pot.” One of my simple pleasures when I first arrived in Panama was sitting on the front porch of the house I was watching taking care of in Potrerillos Arriba with a fresh cup of locally grown coffee and looking down at the Pacific Ocean in the distance. Now, in Boqueron, I sit in my rocking chair on the front porch and listen to the 40+ fighting cocks crowing next door.

  2. Hi Richard:

    When I wrote this blog post, I had you in mind. Yes, you are a great lover of Panamanian coffee and it brings many memories of your days in Potrerillo Arriba. Unfortunately, I can’t drink coffee as much as I would like to, due to my reflux problems.

    Regards,

    Omar.-

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