Finca Lerida is a farm with a rich and unique history. The farm was first established in 1924 when Tollef B. Monniche, a retired engineer, moved to the farm after working on the Panama Canal. After moving to the land with his wife he soon developed the first coffee plantation by gravity in Panama. In 1929 the farm exported it's first shipment of coffee to Germany, the beginning of a successful operation out of Finca Lerida. In addition he designed and patented the "sifon", a device used to separate good beans from defective ones. This device is now used globally by many coffee farms and is still in use at Finca Lerida where Monniche's original processing plant remains to produce excellent quality coffee.
Presently, Finca Lerida is managed by the Chiari family who coordinates the coffee growing as well as preserves the virgin rainforest that surrounds the farm. Located in the Chiriqui region of Boquete, the farm sits at an altitude of about 1600-1800 meters (5250-6020 feet) above sea level. The coffee varieties grown on the farm are Caturra and Catuai and processing includes both traditional washed as well as honey processing, all coffees are sun dried on patios.
We visited Finca Lerida in May and were very impressed by the investment and work current ownership is performing. The farm's intention to return coffee output to the highest quality is apparent and the cup quality of this harvest a great indication of their success. Lerida took 6th place award in the 2012 Best of Panama competition in the traditional category and a 91 point rating from Coffee Review that same year. Their 'honey' coffee, which we will offer separately, took 3rd place this year.
Today the coffee farm is part of a hotel and tourist attraction that allows patrons to take tours of the farm and enjoy the ambiance of the rainforest and other beautiful surroundings. From it's humble beginnings Finca Lerida is a real success story with great coffee to prove it.
City: Jaramillo Los Naranjos
Region: Boquete, Chiriqui Farm
Elevation: 1600 - 1835 meters, 5250 - 6020 feet
Processing Method: Traditional washed, sun dried on patio
Varieties: Caturra and Catuai
Coffee arrived in July in Grainpro.
Cup Characteristics: Delicate, lightly floral aroma. Flavors of orange citrus, maple. Texture is buttery and softly earthy with chocolate-orange mouthfeel. Very well balanced. As it cools the flavors expand showing more citrusy, bright notes and its high grown pedigree.