At the end of each year, it is time to take a look back and look ahead to start next year, both clean and loaded with the best of the past – as a fuel to help us get even farther and climb even further, high. And in our case – to find even more amazingly delicious coffees to serve in your glass.

Over the past 12 months, several events have happened that fill us with joy, pride, and confidence that our efforts to bring you a better cup of coffee every day, day after day, are worth it.

1. For the third time, Jordan Dabov was among the privileged jurors from the international jury in Cup of Excellence Brazil. And not only that. His sharp eye was quick to see the qualities of the coffee that won the first place in the Pulped Natural category – Brazil Paraiso, and in the disputed auction after the competition we succeeded in making the winning bid. The coffee will be soon in Bulgaria and you are already able to order it on presale.

2. Our coffee hunter was invited to be part of the jury in Cup of Excellence Nicaragua. He came back with the wonderful Nicaragua La Virgen COE #6 2018, which have won the prestigious 6th place in the competition.

3. Jordan Dabov was the only juror from Europe in Best of Panama, where predominantly Queen of Arabica coffees, Geisha, are evaluated. We are proud that we succeeded in securing from the auction Dona Elvira Geisha Washed #16 BOP 2018, which was ranked number 16 among world’s most exclusive coffees.

4. Our founder was invited to participate as a juror in the regional specialty coffee competition in Honduras – Oro de Santa Barbara. Thanks to his insight and successful participation in the auction, now we are offering two coffees – Honduras Finca Valentina – two lots with Obata variety, which won 4th and 15th place from the competition and Honduras Ventura – which won 17th place from the competition.

5. This year, we welcomed in our office dear guests from the specialty coffee world. In November, Paul Starry visited us, and his coffee Guatemala San Gerardo is part of our black label catalog. In August, we shared thoughts with Honduras farmers Marysabel Caballero and Moises Herrera and Yunson Lee, one of South Corea’s Q-Graders, Alliance for Coffee Excellence board member and South Korean Terarosa Café coffee hunter.

6. DABOV Specialty Coffee was included in the Сup of Еxcellence Year in Review with a special member profile.

7. We have organized again a Charity Christmas Bazaar and succeeded in gathering 2120 lv. A great part of this sum is from the Christmas cards that DABOV’s employees’ children have created. We thank to all of you who participated in the bazaar and helped is gather money for the treatment of Vivian Kostova, 6 y.o., from Sofia and Tania Andonova, 4 y.o., from Sliven. We know that we can count on your support for an event like that and this makes us extremely happy.

8. On October 1st, DABOV Specialty Coffee celebrated its 10th anniversary. You can read more about our history in our Specialty Coffee and Tea Journal in Bulgarian only and in the interview with our founder.

9. In June, Jordan Dabov visited Fazenda Aliança in Mogiana region of Brazil, so that he could check on the harvest gathering. You are already enjoying the new crop in Brazil Alianca, which right now is coffee of the month and could be ordered with a 15% discount.   

10. In December, Jordan Dabov flew to Ethiopia – the birthplace of coffee. He visited Heleanna Georgalis’ farm Moplako where the harvest was also being gathered. Now our coffee hunter already has a very good idea what coffee we will be able to offer to you from there and in the meantime, you can try our Ethiopia Yirgacheffe and Ethiopia Kambata.  

11. This year, Jordan Dabov visited personally the farm Ninety Plus and negotiated with its owner, Joseph Brodsky, to buy one of their best coffees, Ninety Plus Panama Geisha Lycello. And from the exclusive partnership between the two Panama Geisha by Dabov was born which is a must try!

12. Our founder Jordan Dabov was invited to participate in Kapital’s special project “The lessons – 13 business leaders talk about success“.

As we bid good bye to 2018 with gratitude, and welcome 2019 with hope, we would like to thank all of you – our clients and partners, for the extraordinary year that we had. We hope we will continue enjoying your support and bringing to your cup unique coffees.

We would like to thank all for appreciating our coffee – to those who buy it to enjoy it at home and to those who serve it to their customers. With this choice, you make our non-stop efforts in finding and securing exceptional specialty coffees worth all the hard work, sweat, and tears!

We wish you all the best in the new year and we hope we could share this year with you!

We bring you the world’s most expensive coffees, not because of their price, but because they are really quality standards. Like Geisha, for example. And we are about to present to you several outstanding Geishas from our catalog! 

Everyone who is familiar with DABOV Specialty Coffee’s philosophy knows that we bring to you some of the world’s rarest coffees, the price of which often exceeds many times the one that unpretentious coffee lovers are accustomed to pay. When it comes to very expensive coffee, however, what makes us choose them is not their price but their quality. Speaking about Geisha, the high price corresponds to the exceptional quality of the coffee, and when the said Geisha has passed the Best of Panama test, we can be sure that the best of the best coffee is bubbling in our glass.

Where was Geisha born?

Geisha is one of the most famous and sought Arabica varieties. Despite its misleading name, Geisha (or more correctly Gesha) was found in the mountain regions of Abyssinia in southwestern Ethiopia in 1931. It was transported to Kenya and Tanzania in the 1930s, and in the 1950s to Costa Rica. It was from there that the coffee tree reached Panama in the 1990s, thanks to Don Pachi, who used to cultivate it in Costa Rica.

When Geisha became popular?

In 1998, the American Daniel Peterson, who settled on his father’s farm La Esmeralda in Boquete, Panama, discovered Geisha’s exceptional qualities. According to the legend, he prepared coffee from the grains of the said coffee tree and when he tried it, he exclaimed, “I met the Lord!” Since then, the news about the divine coffee from Panama has spread. For several consecutive years, La Esmeralda’s coffee has won all possible specialty coffee prizes in Panama – Best of Panama (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2015) and also Coffee of the Year, Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality, and others almost every year since 2004.

What is typical of Geisha’s taste?

It is not known exactly how this tree came to La Esmeralda farm, but the fact is that it was the Peterson family who managed to get the most out of the coffee first. To reach the desired taste profile, sweetness, notes of berries, mandarins, papaya, honey, jasmine, and bergamot aftertaste, it is necessary to grow the coffee tree at high altitude with a certain terroir. The acidity of the coffee is delicate, the body is light, the mouthfeel is creamy.

Is Geisha easy to grow?

Many farmers are directing their efforts to grow geisha, although climatic conditions and terroir on their farms may not bring the desired flavor profile. Since 2004, they have been working hard to get more and more quality crops in Panama. One of the important Geisha qualities is that the variety is resistant to devastating leaf rust. Panama’s unique terroir provides the perfect growing conditions for Geisha. Microclimates, caused by many different terrains (hills, mountains, rivers, gorges, etc.), combined with high elevations, nutrient-rich volcanic soils, mist-forming winds, and cool nights, contribute to improving the complexity of coffee. However, Geisha is not easy to grow. The plants are low yield and maintenance intensive. The Geisha trees have shorter root systems than normal. If grown below 1600m, the plants are susceptible to death and fungal attack. However, if they grow over 2100m, the leaves and cherries are exposed to the sun and burn easily. Geisha coffee trees take longer than the average coffee tree to start giving fruit – they can make the farmer wait for up to 8 years, unlike the usual 4-5 years.

Do you know that…

In 2007, 1 pound of coffee from the Peterson’s La Esmeralda was sold at an auction for a record $130. And this is not the only record of the Geisha variety. The next one is $169 per pound – and for a coffee that hasn’t been harvested yet! The amount has been paid in advance for the autumn 2010 harvest. This is a very big amount, given that the coffee had not been harvested, and the prices for transport, roasting, packaging, salaries, the percentages of the roastery, buyers, and the coffee shop where you would have the chance to try it had not been added. In 2017, La Esmeralda broke another record, selling their coffee for $601 per pound.

Best of Panama auction 2018 auction has just finished with record prices gathered and Dabov Specialty Coffee has acquired one more great coffee for its catalog!

Lamastus Family Estates that won the two first places on the Best of Panama 2018 auction for Geisha Washed and Natural earned more than $150 000 for 90 kg of coffee. This is an amazing price in the world of Specialty Coffee.
As we have already informed you, Best of Panama is one of the most significant events for the world of specialty coffee. This year the competition was held for the 22 time and gave the world the opportunity to get closer to some of the most exclusive cafes such as the incomparable Geisha. The industry experts confirm their opinion that 2018 was a spectacular year for the specialty coffees tasted and rated in Best of Panama.
The prices went crazy on the Best of Panama 2018 auction after last year’s $601 paid for the best coffee in Panama from Jason Kew – an Australian Chinese coffee hunter.
The Best of Panama 2018 auction lasted for more than 8 hours and finished with record prices. 49 lots of really special coffee varieties were bought by some of the best coffee trading companies in the world and brought the farmers that have cultivated them the deserved payback.

Do you know that Dabov Specialty Coffee was one of them? We succeeded to secure lot №16 from the washed geishas from Agricola Geisha, produced by Dona Elvira. Our coffee hunter Jordan Dabov gave it 92,50 points!

As you remember, he was the only judge from Europe in this year’s competition – a rare and hard-earned privilege that many industry insiders from all over the world still can only dream about.
Prices started from $30 per pound (approximately $60 per kg) and the record price was paid for the best coffee in 2018, found in Panama, in the Lamastus Family Estate – the Natural Geisha which was bought for $803 per pound (approximately $1600 per kg).

The prices of the geishas on Best of Panama 2018 auction went crazy starting from $50 per pound ($100 per kg)

All lots from the famous Esmeralda farm led by the Peterson family were traded for very high prices:
Esmeralda Geisha washed – 9th place was sold for $140 per pound
Esmeralda Geisha natural – 3rd place was sold for $151 per pound
Esmeralda Traditional washed – 1st place was sold for $100 per pound

Who won the best coffees in the world from Best of Panama’s online auction?

Only a few companies dared to bid in the auction. Some of them started showing interest in more than three lots and finishing with none. Most of the companies are from the Asian market, some from the USA and Europe.
The total sum in the auction paid by the buyers was around $550 000 paid for 109 boxes of 50 pounds of green coffee.
Three times the bids were placed at the last possible second and this infused the auction with more tension.

Do you know that…

Geisha coffee neither comes from Panama nor does its name have a Japanese influence. It originates from Gesha, Ethiopia but it was in Panama where this variety has blossomed because of the high altitude and the combination of a climate and soil perfect for its needs. A little more than a decade ago it attracted the attention of coffee experts worldwide after it won the Best of Panama competition in 2004.
Read more about the winning coffees from Best of Panama 2018 on our website. Check out the official page of Best of Panama as well!

After a few days of cupping, scrupulous selection and evaluation, the winner of the Best of Panama competition for 2018 was selected.

The annual edition of Best of Panama was held in Valle Escondido Resort & Spa and ran from 22 to 26 May. The event hosted more than 15 local judges, 18 international judges from the USA, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Australia, EUA and Japan and over 25 international guest testers from Asia, the United State, and Europe. We are also proud of our founder, Jordan Dabov, who was the only European to be invited as a judge for the last few years! They all confirm that the Geisha variety has the best and most deserved reputation in Panama.

The international jury of the Best of Panama 2018. Our founder Jordan Dabov is the only European who has been invited to participate for the last few years.

On Best of Panama, a new record was scored by the washed Geisha

The washed Geisha scored a record result this year – 94.38 points out of a maximum of 100! This is a historic record since the highest rating so far is 94.11. It is for this reason that the question arises whether a maximum score of 100 points can be reached? “It would be great, but it would also mean that there would be no better coffee,” said Wilford Lamastus, President of the Specialty Coffee Association in Panama.

Will last year’s highest score on Best of Panama be reached in 2018?

For comparison, natural Geisha received 93.63 points, which is 0.48 less than its personal record from previous years of 94.11 points. Last year, the winner coffee was sold for $ 601 per pound at an online auction. Five years earlier, the price for the winner was $ 350.25. These differences not only show the quality of coffee but also help local development and gradual improvement in production. One can only guess how much the buyers will be willing to pay on this year’s online auction.

“Our costs are very high compared to the rest of Latin America. Only if we remain in the special category, this branch of coffee can provide better returns to the country,” appreciates producer Ricardo Koiner, manager of Kotowa.

Koiner supports his assessments of climate challenges, and Lamastus adds the impossible competition in volume with other exporting countries.

The weather this time led to the farms to have low production rates. “In many regions, 50% of the capacity was produced; in others, only 20%, “recalls Koiner.

In terms of volume, Lamastus takes Colombia as an example. The South American country sends abroad a minimum of 11 million bags per year. The special category of the Chiriqui highlands allows the harvest of some 200,000 bags, of which an average of 50,000 are sold in other markets.

For these and other organoleptic reasons, that is, texture, color, aroma, flavor and acidity, according to Bermúdez, the 50,000 bags of Panamanian special coffee captivate the public that seeks the most exalted grain.

Since last Wednesday they participated in the tastings of the coffee varieties produced in the highlands, where the pacamara, traditional, natural and geisha varieties are worked in their different modalities.

They are the cream of the coffee industry. “The buyers come, savor and negotiate quantities of 80 or 100 bags with the producers,” says Lamastus.

Others wait until the July auctions to compete for the most exquisite pounds of coffee in the world. Last year a buyer paid $ 601 for a pound of Geisha from Best of Panama. This year, experts now consider, that record can be broken.

*NEW RECORD* Geisha Washed Category Elida Geisha 94.66 Cantar Don Tito Janson Geisha 4. Carmen Estate 5. Hacienda Santa Barbara 6. Garrido Geisha 7. Don Pepe Estate 8. Rojas Geisha

Geisha Natural Elida Green-tip Geisha Don Tony Geisha Hacienda La Esmeralda Cañas Verdes 4. Carmen Geisha 5. Kotowa Rio Cristal 6. Longboard Specialty Coffee. 7. Janson Geisha 8. Santamaria Geisha

Pacamara Category Kotowa Duncan Special Minerva-Nat Doña Elvira Natural @ Valle Escondido Resort, Golf & Spa.

Stay tuned for more info from the world of Specialty Coffee!

We are thrilled to share with you that one of the most significant events in the world of Specialty Coffee is currently underway – Best of Panama 2018!

Founded in 1996 by the Specialty Coffee Association of Panama (SCAP), the competition is now held for a 22 time! This event gives the world the opportunity to get closer to some of the most exclusive cafes such as Geisha for example! Thanks to SCAP’s members who have developed and established cultivation systems and processing methods that aim to create an outstanding product: „Our coffees have been ranked by experts as some of the best in the world in many international competitions, and our production is highly prized by the most demanding and discerning in the industry. We strive to promote a culture that is friendly with the environment: We understand that our water sources, forests, and wildlife are not only a key part of the success and uniqueness of our coffees, but also the most important asset to our communities,” said the locals.

Currently, SCAP has more than 50 active members that export its varieties of Specialty Coffees around the world and that are winners of prizes and recognition in different international taste competitions.

Also, the best of Panama represents the opportunity for local estates to promote the quality of their harvests, as this competition is overseen and judged by national and international experts in the specialty coffee industry. „For us coffee growers, the Best of Panama is a very important event, as it continuously raises the bar for the quality we strive to offer in our product,” said the producers.

This year, Best of Panama 2018 will take place in Valle Escondido Resort & Spa on May 22-26th. The event will host more than 15 preliminary local judges, 18 international judges from USA, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Australia, EUA and Japan and more than 25 International Guest Cuppers from Asia, USA, and Europe.

We are so proud to announce that our coffee hunter Jordan Dаbov was invited to be a part of the international jury in Best Of Panama. This honour is granted to cuppers from USA, Asia and Australia with high experience in cupping quality coffees. For years a European judge has not been a part of this event.

Follow us for more up-to-date information about the event and the results!