Panama Finca Carmen is found in the region of Volcan, Panama, which is named after the towering Volcan Baru that rises just to the east.
Carmen Estate is owned by the Franceschi family who came to Panama from Corsica, a French Island in the Mediterranean Sea, in the year 1800. Upon their arrival to Panama, the Franceschi family started several business- cattle ranching, farming and ship building.
In the 1950s, Mrs. Carmen Franceschi suggested to her husband Mr. Efrain Franceschi to start a small coffee plantation. That was the beginning of the Franceschi family’s involvement in the coffee industry. The farm was named “Carmen Estate” after Mrs. Carmen Franceschi. Today, the third generation of the family is running the business and Mr. Carlos Ahuilera Franceschi is the Managing Director.
Carmen Estate is situated in the Paso Ancho Valley, which is located in the Chiriqui province, close to the border with Costa Rica in western Panama. Paso Ancho Valley lies on the western slopes of the Baru Volcano. The Baru is an inactive volcano located between the Boquete and Volcan-Candela areas. At 3,500 meters above sea level, the Baru is the highest point in Panama.
The Baru Volcano has provided very rich, deep and fertile soils to the Paso Ancho Valley micro region. This coupled with regular rainfall and appropriate altitude are a key factor in the outstanding quality portrayed by the coffee produced in this micro region.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Panama Finca Carmen, from Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters in Dallas, Texas, courtesy of Craft Coffee. Feel free to pull up a chair.
origin: Volcan, Chiriqui, Panama
farm: Finca Carmen
producer(s): Carlos Aguilera Franceschi
elevation: 1750 meters above sea level
cultivars: Caturra, Catuai, Typica
The Panama Finca Carmen’s aroma is certainly that of a natural’s. Really gorgeous scents of raisins, brown sugar, blueberry, honey, blackberry, red grapes, and rose hips flutter up and tickle the tip of the nose.
These aromas open into a cup that is dense and filled to the brim with somewhat intense flavors and a supple mouthfeel that yery gracefully floats on the palate, lightly polishing the sides and top of the mouth with a velvety sheen. Really gorgeous similarities to Shiraz wine—fully bodied, fully flavored. Furthermore, even the flavors are similar to a Shiraz wine—dark red grape, apple, raisin, blackerry, and fair amount of oak barrel and earthiness, while almonds show up in a slightly dry finish.
As it cools the texture of the coffee gets even heavier, more syrupy, with massively sweet flavors of dark cocoa, rum, sweet cream, brown sugar, and silky rose petals.
Full body; supple mouthfeel; winy acidity; slightly dry finish.
the bottom line:
It seems as though Craft Coffee’s goal with this box was to completely decimate their subscribers’ palates. Each coffee they packed in this month’s box was so intensely flavorful that it my taste buds were practically overloaded; I may need to avoid drinking coffee for a while so that my palate can regain its composure.
The Panama Finca Carmen, from Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters, is powerful, intense, and overflowing with flavor.
What’s more, it tastes nothing like any other Panamanian coffee I’ve ever had. While others Panamas (in my experience) tend to be light-bodied with clean fruit notes and plenty of brightness. The Finca Carmen, on the other hand, has a massive body and lots of big, fat, low-end flavors.
This is a fantastic coffee. One that mesmerizes.
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.