The Lamastus family has been growing coffee in the Boquete region of Panama for over 100 years. At the turn of the twentieth century, Kentucky-born Robert Lamastus arrived in Panama as part of the team who built the famed Panama Canal.
In 1918 he established a coffee farm in the northern region of Boquete, on the edge of the Volcan Baru National Park. Over a hundred years later, the family farms are now overseen by Robert’s grandson and great-grandson, Wilford and Wilford Jr.
Despite their close proximity to one another, the three Lamastus Family farms; Elida, Luito, and El Burro, all have very distinctly different micro-climates.
Luito Estate, the northernmost farm, is very close to the mountain range, part of the farm is located inside Parque Internacional de la Amistad (International Friendship Park), a UNESCO World Heritage site – one of three in Panama.
Being so close to the mountain range, the rain patterns are unique, with plenty of rain during the dry season, and almost year-round cherry harvesting.
As well as growing some of the best coffees in the world, Luito is also a working trout farm.
(the river and near-vertical rock face, at Luito Estate)
El Burro Estate:
Located farthest from the mountain range, El Burro’s micro-climate is almost the polar opposite of Luito, receiving very little rainfall during the dry season. This leads to a more defined cycle of rainfall, flowering, cherry development and maturation, and harvest
(Proud Mary Coffee Founder, Nolan Hirte, and Wilford Lamastus)
Perhaps the crown-jewel of the Lamastus family farms, Elida Estate was the first of the family farms, planted in 1918 by Wilford’s grandfather Robert, and is located between Luito and El Burro Estates. Its micro-climate is something of a hybrid, a middle ground between the extremes of the other two farms.
Torre was the first section of the farm to be planted with the famed geisha variety, back in 2005, after its reintroduction to the world, by the Peterson family, at the Best of Panama Competition. The seedlings planted in the Torre section of Elida, are from the Hacienda La Esmeralda lineage.
Elida is also the location of the family's milling operation, where cherries from all three farms are delivered for processing.
In March of 2022, the Lamastus family installed some custom-built ‘reactive fermenters’, these are used to control every possible variable of their proprietary ASD (Anaerobic Slow Dry) processing method.
These fermenters provide the ability to measure the internal temperature of the bean mass, inject CO2 into the chamber, release excess gases, and take cherry samples, all without contaminating the oxygen deficient environment. They’re also able to be rotated, to prevent liquid build up at the bottom of the tank.
The Lamastus family also recently opened their own café, in Panama City. Sisu Coffee studio showcases the best of the Lamastus family's coffee.