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