Panama is a relatively new player in the specialty coffee market. The best Panama coffee is grown in the Boquete region, just south of the border with Costa Rica. Although processing methods are technically advanced, growing practices tend to be traditional, and the majority of Boquete coffees come from trees of the traditional typica variety grown in shade. Perhaps owing to the predominance of traditional shade-grown varieties, Panama coffees generally tend to display more complexity and distinctive character than coffees from neighboring Costa Rica.
Several very well-run estates (Lerida, Berlina, and La Torcaza, among others) produce meticulously prepared coffees that range from lively but gently acidy and round to others that are rich, complexly nuanced, and boldly acidy. In short, Panama Boquete is a superior Central America wet-processed coffee with all of the range and potential virtues of those coffees.