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Panama Coffee Beans – Production Facts, Brewing Tips & Buying Guide

Table of contents


$ 0.40 - $12 per ounce

  • How to serve: Best served as black coffee as like an Americano form. Recommended filtering the coffee through a Collator as many Latin countries do.
  • flavor: Pleasant acidity with hints of honey as well as a floral aroma reminiscent of Jasmine flowers.
Varieties Arabica, Typica, Geisha, Pache, Caturra, Catuai, Mundo Novo, Bourbon
How to Serve Best served as black coffee as like an Americano form. Recommended filtering the coffee through a Collator as many Latin countries do.
Flavor Pleasant acidity with hints of honey as well as a floral aroma reminiscent of Jasmine flowers.
Recommended Machine French Press, Pourover, Stovetop, AeroPress or Moka Pot
Good As Espresso, Americano, Doppio, Lungo
Price Range $0.40 – $12 per ounce
Caffeine Level 1.34% on average

Although Panama is not one of the world’s leading coffee producers, it does have the globe’s most pricey coffee, Panama Geisha. Since 2004, the Panama Geisha coffee is the most expensive per-pound coffee ever purchased, which has turned it into a target for every coffee connoisseur in the world.

Panama Geisha coffee sold for $1,029 per pound in 2019, breaking its previous record of $803 per pound set in 2018. They say quality comes at a cost, and this is more or less true with Panama Geisha coffee beans. Naturally, we haven’t really tried the $1000 coffee, but we’ve found pretty nice alternatives.

Geisha coffee is a sub-variety of the Arabica coffee bean and is actually commonly grown in places like Hawaii and Colombia, but is originally from Ethiopia. However, due to supply scarcity and a feeling of exclusivity, only Panama Geisha has managed to reach the prices it has today.

However, this is not the only coffee Panama is known for. More than 8 different varieties grow in this country, which are worth a try on their own. These varieties include:

Arabica Typica Geisha Pache
Caturra Catuai Mundo Novo Bourbon

Other types like Robusta beans are also cultivated here, but on a level that can’t really be considered commercial at this point. And why would Panama waste its resources on an objectively lower grade bean when it can produce some of the best sub-varieties of Arabica?

Well, enough about Panama’s successes, let’s take a look at where these beans are grown, why they’re so expensive, and what products you can get your hands on online.

Why is Panama Geisha Coffee so Expensive?

Genuine geisha coffee from Panama is extremely costly due to the unusual growing circumstances. Each year, only a specific amount of coffee can be cultivated, which is far from adequate given how many people would like to get their hands on it.

Geisha coffee from Panama is in such demand that coffee shops can’t just go and buy a bag of beans anymore. In order to add it to their menu, they have to place bids to compete with other coffee shops, resulting in an extremely competitive market and therefore these astronomical prices.

Panama Geisha Coffee is now available for up to $600 a pound, or as little as $9 each cup in Panama and $18 in some coffee houses. When compared to cheap instant coffee, which costs approximately $0.50 per cup, it’s no surprise that even the most sophisticated coffee connoisseurs dispute its pricing.

Geisha is a difficult cultivar to grow. Indeed, it necessitates a certain height (preferably 4900 to 5600 meters above sea level), has reduced photosynthetic efficiency, and the hand-picked coffee beans must be plucked at the appropriate time. Green beans must be dried for 8 days after being gathered before being shipped offshore or roasted.

Because of the high cost of Geisha Coffee, a lot of coffee consumers who wish to sample it or drink it more frequently seek cheap Panama organic coffee or cheap gesha coffee on Google. The trouble is that almost all of these items are unlikely to be the top coffees that you are searching for.

Panama Coffee Regions – Where Are The Best Beans Grown?

The three coffee-growing areas of Panama are centered on the nation’s three volcanoes: Volcán Baru, El Valle, and Le Yeguada. These areas offer remarkable climatic conditions, rich and fertile soils, and are kept cool by mild winds both from the Pacific as well as Atlantic oceans.

As the winds blow from the north, they generate a fine mist known as bajareque, which reduces the warmth surrounding the mountain coffee fields and delays cherry ripening. Slower ripening cherries have a greater sugar concentration and more of the volatile oils that make coffee so sweet, nuanced, and wonderful.

Boquete Valley – Best Quality Panama Coffee

A volcano called Volcán Baru separates Boquete and Volcán. Robust transit and manufacturing infrastructures in both areas, particularly excellently wet and dry mills, are significant elements leading to the region’s high-quality output.

The coffee business started here in the 20th century and has been continuing steadily ever since, growing a few of the world’s highest quality coffee. Boquete coffee has a fruity flavor and is moderate texture, yet rich, with spicy undertones, making for a wonderful cup of coffee.

The altitude of this region (4000 feet above sea level), volcanic nutrient-rich soil, and the climate are ideal for growing Panama Arabica beans, which the region prides itself on.


Renacimiento is slightly less well-known than Boquete and Volcán, owing to its remoteness and difficulty of access. This distance also adds to a lack of manufacturing and transportation facilities.

However, these difficulties and issues do not impact the quality of coffee beans grown here. Renacimiento has the same perfect conditions (3000 feet altitude and humid climate) as Boquete and Volcán, although, with the best resources, it has the potential of becoming their equal in terms of value, as well as export volume.


Volcan Baru is situated on the Baru volcano’s rugged southwestern slopes. The Geisha variety is most often cultivated in this area. Excellent grounds and high altitudes (up to 12,000 feet) create almost ideal growing conditions for the globe’s most famous coffee variety.

The La Torcaza Estate, situated in the extreme western region of Panama, only 25 miles to the east of the Costa Rican boundary, is a famous coffee plantation. The estate is located at an excellent altitude of 4,500 feet on the slopes of Volcan Baru and is widely known for its Geisha plantations.

The mixture of altitude and the volcanic ground is ideal for producing the best Panama Arabica beans. Because of the high elevations, the growing seasons are longer, which is ideal for enabling coffee beans to create complex tastes and differentiating exquisite specialty coffee characteristics. The colder environment reduces the number of bugs that may wreak havoc on the ripening process.

Top 5 Panama Coffee Brands on Amazon

How We Rated Them

We pay attention to the following:

For more detailed information on how exactly we rate the coffee products we suggest in our guides, click here.

Individual Overviews of Our Top Choices

Now that you’ve taken a look at the products we’ve tried and tested, let’s now dive a bit deeper into the individual overviews of these products to see what exactly made us choose them.

Hayman Panama Geisha

Price: $$79.99 (subject to change)

Size: 7 oz

Type: Geisha

Roast: Light

Producer: Hayman

Beans: Whole

It’s not surprising that our first choice was the renowned Hayman Panama Geisha. It’s believed that this particular brand fields the best possible options for this exquisite coffee.

In this product’s case, we were searching for something completely unique and different, which is why we decided to go for a light roast coffee bean just so you could feel all of the flavors that Geisha coffee has to offer.

This product is a bit on the acidic side, but not too much that is common with other Arabica beans. The soft undertones of jasmine, fruit, and other floral aftertastes is just one of a kind. There is simply no other product like this on Amazon, or anywhere else. It doesn’t remind me of any other taste I’ve ever had, it’s completely a thing of its own.

Check Price on Amazon

Aguacero Geisha

Price: $$49.95 (subject to change)

Size: 12 oz

Type: Geisha

Roast: Light

Producer: Aguacero Coffee LLC

Beans: Whole

This brand stood out with its subtle notes of jasmine, juicy strawberries, sweet peaches, and flowery fragrance.

It is part of the Aguacero private collection of coffee, but not to a point where Hayman had its beans, thus the difference in pricing.

These beans are also light roast as it helps express the flavor much better than a dark or medium roast would. This Panama roast coffee may not be the best of the best of all the options we have, but it certainly is a really good alternative for a slightly cheaper price.

Check Price on Amazon

Esmeralda Private Geisha Collection

Price: $$59.95 (subject to change)

Size: 8 oz

Type: Geisha

Roast: Medium

Producer: Panama Coffee Gold Reserve

Beans: Whole

The moment I saw the packaging on this coffee, I immediately knew I was in for something exquisite. I simply couldn’t hold myself back and placed an order even though it seems pretty pricey for such an amount of coffee.

I have to say that this Panama coffee company did not disappoint me in any way. I truly felt like I was drinking a product designed for royalty or something. True, I was feeling every cent I spent on this on every sip I took, but boy was it worth it.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend drinking this in the morning or after a meal, but rather during a cozy evening with some friends (although there’s not much to share).

A nice evening with some sweets would be ideal for this coffee. The medium roast level helps elevate the natural flavors of jasmine and sweet fruits of the Geisha beans but reduces the acidity compared to light roasted ones.

This truly is a product of one of the best Panama coffee brands out there today. Highly recommended. Just make sure you portion it pretty well, and only make Espresso with it.

Check Price on Amazon

Volcanica Boquete Estate Arabica

Price: $$17.99 (subject to change)

Size: 16 oz

Type: Arabica

Roast: Medium

Producer: Volcanica

Beans: Ground

I just had to include Volcanica on this list. I mean come on, the brand is named Volcanica, of course, they would have a premium volcanic coffee product on their list.

The best part about this coffee is that Volcanica has managed to translate the flavor and fragrance of Panama Geisha coffee beans into a much cheaper package. Naturally, it’s not as good as the Hayman or the Coffee Reserve coffee I’ve described above, but it’s not too different as well. The difference in price makes up for the difference in taste in my opinion.

The medium roast helps mask the acidity much better than the light roast, giving this coffee a more pleasant morning or after-meal coffee vibe.

I suggest you brew this as a Lungo so that not only is the flavor a bit more concentrated than an Americano, but it also lasts you longer.

Check Price on Amazon

Grand Parade Boquete Beans

Price: $$38.95 (subject to change)

Size: 5 pounds

Type: Arabica

Roast: Unroasted

Producer: Grand Parade

Beans: Whole

A fruity, energetic coffee with citrus notes that complement a caramel sweetness as well as milk chocolate texture with Almond undertones. The Fair Trade, Panama locally brewed coffee is grown on the famous Finca Lerida, which is known for producing excellent Panama coffee. This sprawling house in Boquete is located beside the nutrient-rich Volcan Buru. This is the HIGHEST grade Panama green coffee beans you can get off of Amazon.

Even though the price may seem like it’s not a budget option, consider that this is a 5-pound pack, whereas the top 3 were a maximum of like 10 ounces and cost more than $50. This is a great bargain for those who already know the taste of Panama coffee or those who expect to love it very much.

The beans come unroasted so you can adjust them as you please. I recommend giving them just a light roast because anything above medium would take away the naturally sweet and pleasant aromas. Roasting it and then immediately grinding it for a brew is recommended.

Check Price on Amazon

Ways to Brew Panama Coffee – Tips & Tricks

Geisha beans are very delicate things. They need their specific approaches to yield the flavors you’re expecting. Below you will find the best methods I’ve tried so far with different coffee machines.

Colador Filtered – Best Way to Brew Panama Coffee

The colador is a traditional tool used for making coffee in Latin America. It may have taken a different shape over the years, but traditionally, it was more reminiscent of a sock rather than some kind of cloth filter.

All you need to do with this method is just grab the colador, pour in your ground Panama Geisha beans (light or medium roast recommended), and just slowly pour hot (not boiling) water over it.

Once you see that there is no more liquid coming out of the colador, it’s time to squeeze it just a little bit to get those extra flavorful drops of coffee into your mug and enhance the flavor even further. That’s all there is to it.

If you don’t have a Colador at your disposal, then you can just grab any Pour Over coffee maker you have at home and use that instead.

Our List of Pour Overs

The Espresso Machine

An Espresso machine is good for Panama coffee, but be sure to use freshly ground and freshly cleaned machines because otherwise, the residue of older brews is going to mess with the final flavor of your coffee and potentially ruin it.

Many people underestimate the impact that the manner you grind your coffee beans has on the flavor of your finished brew. The coarseness of the grind must be determined by the method you want to use to brew your Geisha coffee. A fine grind is the best method if you are going to prepare Espresso or use a filter brewing technique.

Best Espresso Coffee Machines Here

The Drip – Cheap & Easy

The Drip coffee machine is a pretty easy one to use. It’s really good for a group of people as well as for a person who drinks more than one cup per day.

The machines vary in size, it can have a capacity of 8-12 cups depending on how much you want to spend on it. Furthermore, it can come with either a thermal carafe or a glass one, depending on how long you want that coffee to sit there before you pour yourself another cup.

The process is pretty simple as well. All you do is fill it with water, add at least 4-5 tablespoons of ground Panama coffee beans, and let it do its thing. You literally don’t have to do anything else.

Check Out The Best Drip Machines

Recommended Coffee Brew Types for Panama Coffee Beans

And now, the types of brews I personally recommend you try with Geisha beans. Remember, we want the taste ro remain untouched.

Espresso – Less Popular

Espresso is a pretty common way to brew Panama coffee, but I wouldn’t really recommend it for a few simple reasons. It’s not enough!

That’s right, I said it. Panama Geisha coffee is supposed to be enjoyed for a prolonged time, and Espresso doesn’t really deliver on that with its small sips and volume.

Yes, the taste is definitely there, but it’s simply not enough for many coffee connoisseurs, including yours truly.

But it’s not like making it as an Americano is a good idea either. It dilutes the taste way too

much, so an Espresso is still a good option.

Espresso Brewing Guide


This is a step-up from Espresso for sure. Doppio is basically 2 cups of Espresso in one. The flavor is extremely concentrated and delicious, just as you expect from Panama beans, but it can get a bit too much. Although the acidity is mild, concentrating coffee so finely but in such a high quantity could be overwhelming. Be careful when you brew this one. It does prolong the taste, but maybe a bit too much in my honest opinion.

Doppio Brewing Guide

Lungo – The Best Way To Brew Panama Geisha Coffee

Lungo is something between an Espresso and an Americano. It is not as diluted as an Americano, nor is it too concentrated like the Espresso. I would say that this method is by far the best way to drink Geisha coffee from Panama. Furthermore, it’s the go-to method to drink coffee in Panama and many other Latin American countries as well, so who are we to disagree?

Lungo Brewing Guide

Things to Avoid with Panama Coffee Beans

There are best ways to brew, and there are also the worst ways to brew any coffee, regardless of its premium quality. With Panama geisha coffee, I would not recommend trying to brew it with any additives that would change or dilute the taste too much. Therefore the brews that should definitely be avoided are:

The milk added to macchiato, latte, and cappuccino dilute the natural taste of Geisha beans way too much, making them a pretty bad method for brewing. The Americano dilutes the taste with way too much water, which is why it’s on the list. And mocha introduces a new taste of cocoa that doesn’t really sit well with the acidity and floral notes of Panama roast coffee.

Frequently Asked Questions on Panama Coffee Online

What is Panama Geisha coffee?

What is the most expensive coffee in Panama?

Why is Geisha coffee so special?