I remember watching the swell lines approaching Panama City through the airplane window. Reflecting on the stories I’d heard about Boquete,
I wondered what about the town attracted so many adventurers and pioneers whose spirits and legends live on in their coffee. Many coffee farmers
have tried to leave Boquete, but are always drawn back to the valley’s mystique, beauty, and potential for innovation. They always end up back
in the story of Boquete. It’s tempting to think this moment in Boquete is about or because of Gesha, but it’s really about the spirit of the
pioneers who made Gesha possible. Gesha, itself, was a pioneer: and now is a symbol for what is possible in coffee.
The sign greets you when you get off the plane in Chiriquí, Panama, Bienvenido a la Frontera: Welcome to the Frontier. It’s hard to overstate
just how remarkable a setting this is for the most prized and exquisite coffee variety on Earth. Coffee isn’t native to the region, and the variety
that would propel the tiny town of Boquete into the spotlight of the coffee world was actually born in Ethiopia. So, why La Frontera? Why was it
this precise place in the world, this remote corner of the coffee-growing Bean Belt that would come to change the way the global market evaluates
and prices coffee? What drew the original pioneers here and why did they stay? We brought some naïve questions and a lot of film to do some
investigating of our own.
To new frontiers,
FARMLEVEL DIGEST 2 PANAMA
Our second edition of the Farmlevel Digest, brings you even more film photos with essays to boot.
The history and pioneering families of Boquete, gesha, and all that makes Boquete the Shangri-La of Central America.
We believe the coffee experience is our responsibility from seed to cup. Coffee is our craft, our ritual, our passion. It drives us and inspires us. With this simple truth and responsibility we are bridging the gap from farmlevel to streetlevel.