Let's Talk Coffee 2014 - Panama

Two weeks ago, we attended the 12th Annual Let's Talk Coffee event, in Panama City, Panama. Let's Talk Coffee, is an event that brings more than 500 coffee producers and roasters together, for three days, to connect and collaborate on important topics and themes within the specialty coffee industry, as well as taste some extraordinary coffee. The common partner for all attendees of the event, is Sustainable Harvest, a coffee importing company located in Portland, Oregon. This was our fourth year attending the event, and first ever origin trip to Panama. 

One of the highlights for us in the passed year, has been participating in the US and World Barista Championship, alongside coffee roaster - Phil Beattie and barista, Laila Ghambari. Laila took first place at the US Championships, and 10th place at the World Championship. 

At Let's Talk Coffee, Emilio, Phil, and Laila were able to share our story of collaboration in order to achieve the top 10 finish on the world championship stage. Each of them were able to tell their part and give ideas about what made this particular team so successful. 

Beyond the conferences and meetings with many of our roasting partners, one of our interests in visiting Panama, was to see some of the farms in the growing regions outside of the capital. On Sunday, we boarded a small plane to take us to the city of David, 455 km west of Panama City. Once there we rented a truck and drove up to the mountains, surrounding the small town of Boquete, one of the most well known coffee growing regions in Panama. 

Over the course of the next two days, together with Laila of Cherry Street, Phil and Bjorn of Dillanos Coffee, and Dane of Sustainable Harvest,  we were able to visit some of the finest coffee farms in the country, including 90 Plus Geisha Estates, Don Pachi Estate, Elida Estate, and Hacienda La Esmeralda

Every aspect of the supply chain was represented in our trip, and it made for interesting ideas, stories, and conversations. We can't say enough about the hospitality and welcome we received from Sustainable Harvest and each of the producers we visited, nor about the unique and beautiful characteristics of Panamanian coffee.

Hope you enjoy some photos of the group, and visit the gallery of photos from our trip here: LET'S TALK COFFEE PHOTO GALLERY. 

Our group with Joseph Brodsky of 90 Plus. 
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