Following the Best of Panama competition in 2007, PT’s Green Coffee buyer Jeff Taylor, visited Elida Estate. It was the beginning of a very fruitful Direct Trade relationship. It was obvious that Wilford Lamastas was passionate about producing one of the best natural coffees in the world, a process that requires extreme care during the drying. Elida Estate’s Natural Processed coffee has had great success in the Specialty Coffee Association of Panama, Best of Panama coffee competition. They have finished in the top 10 in one or more categories every year since 2007. They received 5th place in the Natural division of the 2012 competition.

Over the years of our partnership, Wilford’s successful crops have translated into some of our best offerings with several of our roasts receiving high praise from both our customers and others in the industry. In 2009, our roast of Elida Natural recieved a stellar 95 point review on Coffee Review. This year, the tradition continues with a solid 93 Point score from Ken Davids at Coffee Review!

This year also saw an evolution in our relationship with Elida Estate. When Jeff and Maritza last visited the farm, they noticed some issues with cherry selection when picking. Pickers work hard, but are generally paid by volume, so will often pick cherries regardless of ripeness unless they are given training, or a financial incentive, to pick only the ripest cherries. From Jeff’s blog post, “With the selection of cherry as a small concern, we are working with Wilford to harvest a special lot just for PT’s that is only the ripest of red cherry that is selected and sorted before drying. This will be a first and should lead to an even more exceptional lot of Elida Natural when it arrives later this summer.”

Well, the specially picked coffee has arrived and the pickers’ hard work paid off! Notes of chocolate, strawberries, and brandy are strongly pronounced in the cup. We found the best way to brew Elida Natural is using a pour over brewer, like a Chemex or Beehouse. The soft and sweet profile is also good as an iced coffee. The fruit notes shine through with a crisp and refreshing body over ice. More about the Cup Profile can be found here.