We first met the Sittón family back in 2010, on our first trip to Panama. Back then, they were producing washed processed coffees, with more the more traditional Caturra and Catuai varieties – don’t get me wrong – those coffees were and continue to be delicious. We regularly purchase some of them to this day.
But during that first visit, up on a shady section of the farm, we spotted something really interesting – a few brand-new baby Geisha plants.
Located high up in the cloudy forests of Volcan Baru, Bambito Estate is situated between two national parks and is crossed by two mountain ridges from east to west, creating two distinct microclimates for coffee cultivation. Coffee is planted on the north facing slopes, which results in less direct sunlight, more shade, and more moisture, all great things when it comes to production of delicious coffee. In addition to that, the surrounding mountains help to protect the farm for high winds, and Bambito Estate quickly becomes a truly magical place.
Bambito Estate has been in the Sittón family since the early 1900s. Alberto acquired the farm from his father in 1945, and today, Bambito is in its fifth generation as a family-owned business, led by Priscilla Gonzalez (Alberto’s daughter) and her son Ivan.
After a few years, once those baby Geisha plants had started to mature and produce enough coffee to export, we were first in line – buying Bambito’s first Geisha harvest in 2013, and we’ve been buying it ever since. It’s one of our favorite coffees each year – the coffee really is as unique as the farm itself.
(apologies for the audio quality ... it was a windy day on the farm)
In addition to producing stunning coffees, Priscilla and the team at Bambito Estate are also active in supporting both their local community and the environment. Providing breakfast, year-round, to students and teachers at the local school, and investing in sustainable farming practices to minimize the farms ecological impact and to strengthen the farms longevity for future generations.