The Authority for Investment Attraction and Export Promotion of Panama (PROPANAMA), will showcase Panamanian specialty coffee at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE), taking place from 27 to 30 September at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Around a dozen coffee producers will be part of the Panamanian delegation attending the expo for the first time with a country stand, including Lamastus Family Estates, Hacienda La Esmeralda, Janson Coffee Farm, Creativa Coffee District, Tierra Blanca, Kotowa Coffee, Finca Lérida, Abu Coffee, Grupo Garrido, and Anbec.
Wilford Lamastus Jr, Co-Owner of Lamastus Family Estates and member of the Board of Directors at the Specialty Coffee Association of Panama (SCAP) will be among the exhibitors promoting the high quality of Panamanian coffee to the global coffee sector.
“Specialty coffee tastings will be exhibited and offered at our stand, featuring Panama Cataui, Caturra, Pacamara, Bourbon, and Geisha varietals. We want to focus on the Geisha coffee as that’s what Panama has become famous for,” Wilford says.
Panama Geisha beans are exclusively grown in the highlands of the Boquete region in the Chiriqui Province of western Panama.
“The Panama Geisha variety is currently considered the best Geisha coffee in the world, as it repeatedly scores the highest number of points of all competitors with the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA),” says Wilford.
“Its flavour profile is very unique and impressive, featuring peach, mango, lime, and bergamot, sometimes papaya or honeysuckle.”
According to Wilford, MICE represents an opportunity for Panama to further promote its well-known coffee in a region that has the best baristas in the world, and that consumes this product on a daily basis. For Panamanian exporters, reaching the markets of Asia and the Pacific will generate a unique experience that will result in benefits for the entire value chain of specialty coffee.
“Panama and Melbourne are both trendsetters in terms of the way they’ve produced coffee to cater for the consumer market. Melbourne has revolutionised specialty coffee from the traditional Italian espresso style to a more flexible approach, incorporating milk and different flavourings. I think both countries have a very strong influence on the industry, so to see them come together at MICE is quite remarkable, especially after three hard years of lockdowns and international borders closing. In my opinion, MICE will be the biggest coffee event since COVID-19 hit,” says Wilford.
Ambassador Carmen Gisela Vergara, General Administrator of PROPANAMA, says the event is important for the growth of the coffee industry in Panama.
“This is one of the most emblematic Panamanian exports and we want the world to have a chance to appreciate the high quality and exquisite taste our coffee has to offer, and what better way than attending international events such as MICE, that gives our growers the opportunity to share this unique experience with the world,” says Carmen.
Wilford says MICE is a “must-see event” because it’s the host of the World Brewers Cup (WBrC) Championship, in which Wilford Lamastus will represent Panama for the third time. The WBrC highlights the craft of filter coffee brewing by hand, promoting manual coffee brewing and service excellence.
“I’ve gained experience every time I compete, so this year feels a bit more manageable. I plan to fly into Melbourne well before the competition so I’m well-rested and ready for the event. I’m humbled to represent Panama and eager to show the world how Panamanian coffee creates an outstanding cup character and profile,” Wilford says
MICE falls at the perfect time for Panama as the Best of Panama Auction 2022 will take place shortly after the expo, on 6 October at 6pm PTY time.
Wilford says it will be a great promotional tool for the Best of Panama auction, and for the global coffee community to gather in one place since the pandemic.
“For Panamanian producers, we’ve had strong enough trade from several Australian companies, such as Campos Coffee, Five Senses, and Ona Coffee, for many years. Now that we’re able to travel there, I think interest is going to rise when people can taste and purchase the coffee directly from us. You can feel the excitement in the industry, not just for Panama but for the entire coffee industry. The atmosphere for specialty coffee gets stronger when you’re in Melbourne,” says Wilford.
SCAP is planning to host a tasting event at Proud Mary Coffee in Collingwood, Melbourne on 2 October, so people can get a taste of what will be on offer at the auction.
PROPANAMA is pleased to fulfill its mission, supporting the fast-growing specialty coffee sector of Panama, while working hand in hand with the delegation of exporters of the industry.
For more information, visit www.propanama.gob.pa