Best of Panama 2021 winner Geisha Natural Café Gallardo Dabov Specialty Coffee

And the Best of Panama 2021 Winners Are…

All six coffees, ranked in the top three in both Geisha categories, received 90+ points.

As we have already informed you, Best of Panama 2021 came to DABOV Specialty Coffee since the 25th edition of the competition had to be held remotely due to the pandemic of the new Coronavirus. That is why Jordan Dabov welcomed the best Geishas in the world and evaluated their qualities in our laboratory under the strict competition rules.

Our coffee hunter, who already has a solid experience in judging specialty coffee in a number of competitions around the world, was invited to participate in the international jury for the third time. This year’s edition marks 25 years since the birth of Best of Panama and that is why the invitation for Jordan Dabov is yet another compliment for his qualities as a specialty coffee juror.

And the Best of Panama 2021 winners are…

With 94.75 points, the Café Gallardo’s lot Nuguo Fermented took first place in the Geisha Natural category. In the other Geisha category, Geisha Washed, the first prize went to the lot Avalanche of Flavors with 93.50 points cultivated by the farmer Itza Priscilla Setton Vega de Amar. What is remarcable about the competition is the fact that the first three places in both categories gained coffees with 90+ points!

In the category Variety Natural, the lot Mama Cata Mokkita of the Garrido family won the first place. It garnered 93 points. In the category Variety Wet, with 89.25 points first is the lot Santos Pacamara White Stallion of Santos Café Panamá.

Daniel Peterson, president of the Specialty Coffee Association of Panama, said this year’s competition offered many surprises, a variety of flavors in various categories, as well as innovative varieties that have achieved extremely high results. He also noted that some of the winners have climbed the top with innovative solutions and excellent coffee having participated in the competition for a number of years and gradually bettering their outcome.

Best of Panama 2021 Geisha Washed farmer Itza Priscila Siton Vega Dabov Specialty Coffee
The winner in the Geisha Washed Best of Panama 2021 category.

And now let’s tell you a more about the history of this unique competition.

How was the Specialty Coffee Association of Panama born?

To get to the first Best of Panama competition, we have to say that in 1989 there was a global price crisis in the coffee sector. At the time, the price of a pound of coffee had dropped from $ 1.79 to 74 cents. This literally led to the collapse of the coffee market in Panama. To this also contributed the fact that there has been an increase in the coffee production in Vietnam.

In search of a solution, Panamanian farmers turned their attention to the still very few specialty coffee producers in the Central American country. We remind you that Erna Knutsen coined the term ‘specialty coffee’ in 1974. As a result, in early 1984 the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) was established in the United States.

Thus, in the early 90’s, the Specialty Coffee Association of Panama (SCAP) was born. Panamanian specialty coffee producers founded it. Among the founders there are names such as Ricardo Koiner, Price Peterson, Wilford Lamastus, Jaime Tedman and others. The Panamanian and American associations have to this day strong ties in their common mission to bring coffee-producing and coffee-consuming countries closer together.

Where was Panama on the specialty coffee map in 1990?

In the early 1990s, Panama was not among the world’s leading coffee producers. Also, Panamanian coffee went mainly for local consumption. The main goal of the Specialty Coffee Association of Panama was to advertise its production outside the country. That’s why they hired a consulting firm. As a result, surged an idea to organize a competition for specialty coffee from Panama.

Jordan Dabov with Wilford Lamastus from Elida Estate checking the quality of Panama Geisha.

When and how was the first Best of Panama competition held?

The first edition of Best of Panama was in 1996. Best of Panama is the first specialty coffee competition in the world ever. In addition, it was and still is organized entirely by the producers themselves, through the Specialty Coffee Association of Panama.

In 2002, the second Best of Panama auction took place. The winning coffee from Elida Estate received $ 2.37 per pound from the buyer. That was about five times the market price at the time. This was unprecedented.

Panama Geisha – the most expensive coffee in the world

The following year, Best of Panama achieved something even more unprecedented. In 2003, the quality of Geisha was extremely high. At that point, Geisha was still not very popular coffee variety around the world. But the Peterson family, who grew this Ethiopian variety on their Hacienda La Esmeralda farm, submited a lot to the competition. Daniel Peterson, the now president of the SCAP, is from the said family.

The La Esmeralda Geisha sold for an incredible $ 21 a pound!

At first, this provoked interest in the Panama-grown Geisha. And gradually it made the country the number one high-quality Geisha producer in the world.

Since then, every year, Panamanian Geishas set a record in the online auction after the BOP competition. In 2020, the producer of winner in the Geisha Wet category received $ 1,300.550 for it, and in the Geisha Natural category – $ 1,000, $ 50 per pound. Thus, since 2003, Geisha has gradually become the most expensive coffee in the world. To our delight, we have been able to offer you several of these remarkable coffees over the years!

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