Beans: Typica, Washed & Patio dried, Boquete, Panama.
Shop: Out of the Grey, Pennsylvania, USA.
Panama Boquete – Background information:
Boquete is a region in the north of Panama where some of the best Panamanian coffee comes from. This particular coffee is from a small farm that lies in the green and fertile mountain area of Boquete. The finca, or farm if you will, is situated at an altitude between 1350m and 1750m above sea level. The surrounding forests are covered in tropical fruit trees, wild coffee plants and an abundant wildlife. The climate and flora in this area make it very suitable for growing coffee. The coffee farm covers about 100 hectares with 5 hectares of new Geisha plants that have rapidly conquered the coffee world. Out of the Grey roasted this Panama Boquete medium dark.
Out of the Grey – Panama Boquete: Opening the package:
The Panama Boquete comes in the usual Out of the Grey package that has a ziplock and degassing valve. There is some further information about the coffee on the package but not about the finca, altitude etc. Since this is a Panamanian Boquete I am already looking forward to the milk chocolate flavor that is so often found in these coffees. I open the bag and smell the aroma of chocolate and spices come forth. The roast looks good, and might even be more towards medium than medium dark. The hopper is quickly filled up and while grinding I notice the same aroma’s coming forth: chocolate and spices, maybe even a little earthy on the nose. I weigh off 19 grams and start brewing!
Out of the Grey – Panama Boquete: The tasting.
I flush my machine and put the portafilter in. Pull the handle and watch how the beige syrup flows out on the filter. It takes a couple of tries for me to get that good shot with which I can start the review. I bring the cup to my nose and inhale softly at first. There is a definite aroma of chocolate that is carried by a grainy undertone. There is also a sweet caramel aroma that comes to the surface when I stir the espresso. I take a sip and slurp oxygen in my mouth. I swirl the coffee and let it rest in my mouth as I take in the flavors and mouthfeel of the coffee. The thing that I notice first is how big the sensations are. The acidity is medium to high and could best be described as bright and a little citric perhaps. The coffee feels flimsy and cloudy in your mouth but thickens while swirling. The flavors that I taste are that of chocolate, grain and soft macadamia nuts. In between there is a fruity prune flavor that does not push through. Swallowing the coffee presents an aftertaste that is not like the milky chocolate I would have expected, but a more darker chocolate with a hint of sweetness to it.
As a latte based drink the Panama Boquete does a great job. The sweetness and chocolate notes come forth very well while the grainy and macadamia flavours tend to fade into the background a little. This becomes more apparent with a flat white, while with a Cappuccino this is less so. My favourite drink would be the Macchiatto; keeping all the flavours of the coffee but also the creamy froth of the milk.
Out of the Grey – Panama Boquete: The Verdict.
This Panama Boquete is powerful and will overwhelm your senses at first. The mouthfeel, acidity and aftertaste are right in your face but definitely not in a bad way. I loved the caramel aroma on the espresso and the flavors of chocolate mixed with macadamia nuts that are topped off with a faint prune fruitiness make this a well rounded coffee. To me, however, this is not your all-day-every-day coffee and I would preserve it as a treat to my senses in the morning and afternoon.