FINCA LA SANTA | PANAMA CHRIQUI
Region: Jurutungo, Santa Clara, Chriqui
Producer Jose and Aileene Gallardo
Cultivar: Catuai, Typica, Caturra
Finca La Santa owned by Jose Manuel and Aileene Gallardo is a hidden gem. The farm and its owners combine quality, passion, dedication that translates into an amazing coffee.
Finca La Santa is situated between 1100 and 1400 MASL in the area of Jurutungo, Santa Clara, in the province of Chiriqui, nestled between a natural rainforest reserve on the one side and the border of Costa Rica on the other side. The location and environment of the farm are challenging; with cold temperatures at night, lots of wind and high rainfall. And even so, Jose, manages to produce some incredible coffees. Or, as Jose says, it’s because of these conditions that while production and productivity is low, the end result is a coffee with intense flavour. The cold wind and rain that come from the Atlantic through the mountains dividing Panama creates La Santa’s special flavour notes.
The farm is based on a family tradition, which started when Jose’s father came to the region in the 60’s and started to plant coffee about 10 years ago. Jose and Aileene have taken over the farm management and separated it in 5 micro-areas, all located in a different microclimate. They process all the coffee on the farm with the final preparation done in a bigger mill.
The secret of the success of their coffee is a result of several factors all playing together in the right way. At the top of this list is Jose’s own dedication and his near obsession to grow and process exceptional specialty coffee. He speaks passionately about the farm and coffee and has very passionate interest in processing specialty coffee. This is an area he strongly believes in, learning and improving techniques continuously. Jose takes meticulous care of the plants and during harvest, ensures only ripe cherries are picked. He cups continuously during the processing and separates lots by day and location to determine the microlots that produce the best quality. Other important factors coffee are the selection of the seeds, the particular location of the coffee and the microclimates.
Biodiversity in the farm is highly valued. There is already a great variety of birds on the farm and in the coming years Jose and Aileene want to dedicate more time and effort to conserve this biodiversity and possibly investing in ecotourism.