We’ve been buying coffee from Roberto Brenes since 2011, and he really is one of the most fascinating coffee producers we work with.
Finca Auromar stands proudly as one of the finest coffee farms in the world – Roberto and his wife inherited the farm in 2006 – and it’s Roberto’s retirement project!
Before ever getting into coffee production, Roberto had lived enough life, for two lifetimes. In his younger days he studied finance at Columbia University in New York and entered the world of investment banking.
As an outspoken critic of the Panamanian Dictator Noriega, Roberto lived in exile from Panama twice, traveling through the Americas advocating to restore democracy in his home country. After Noriega’s capture in the late 1980s, Roberto returned to Panama and restarted his career in finance, becoming the Director of Panama’s Central Bank and later the CEO of the Panamanian Stock-Exchange.
In addition to all of this, Roberto is a passionate Ironman competitor, so much so that his flagship washed process Geisha is known as Ironman.
Finca Auromar really is a family project – the name Auromar is an amalgamation of Roberto’s daughter Aurora and his granddaughter Mar – and not to leave anyone out, he named his Best of Panama winning lots after his other granddaughters, Carmelina and Catalina.
Located at the North West corner of the Chiriquí province, Finca Auromar is only two kilometers from the border of Costa Rica, part of what Roberto calls the Geisha Golden Triangle (the renowned Finca Hartmann and Finca Santa Teresa make up the other two points of the triangle). Only 14 hectares of the 30-hectare estate are farmed, the rest of the land remains untouched tropical forest. The biodiversity at the farm is part of what makes the coffees from Auromar so special.
Nolan Hirte, Proud Mary Coffee founder, likes to say – Geisha is a wild plant, from the wilds of Ethiopia. It doesn’t like being grown in uniform rows; it needs to be wild. It belongs in the wild forests, surrounded by all sorts of other wild things … and when it’s grown there, you can really taste the difference – Finca Auromar is a wild place, and the profile of Roberto’s Geisha is unique.
Roberto has placed in the Best of Panama competition multiple time; 2013 1st place Geisha Natural, 2016 1st place Geisha Natural, 2019 6th place Geisha Natural, 2020 5th place Geisha Natural, 2022 1st place Geisha Washed.