High up in the mountains of Panama, close to the Costa Rican boarder, you’ll find Mama Cata Estate – one of a few farms owned and run by Jose David Garrido Perez and his family.
Purchased by the Garrido family in 1997, Mama Cata Estate has been woven into the fabric of coffee production in Boquete, Panama since before Panama existed as an independent nation. Originally part of a larger farm that included the neighboring Elida and Lerida estates, Mama Cata is thought to be one of the oldest coffee farms in Panama.
The farm takes its name from Catalina Fisher, the wife of one of the previous owners, and it’s during the Fisher’s ownership that geisha was first planted on the farm. However, significant production of the variety didn’t start until the mid 2000s, after the Garrido family had purchased the farm.
(Nolan Hirte, PMC Founder, Gissell Garrido, & James Fairbrass, PMC Green Buyer - at the Garrido cupping lab)
One of the things that makes Mama Cata unique actually has nothing to do with the farm itself, and everything to do with how the Garrido family operates it.
Unlike most traditional coffee farms, the different lots at Mama Cata are defined by GPS coordinates. The Garrido family utilizes technology to gather and process data, which is then used to determine when specific parts of the farm are ready to harvest, ensuring only the ripest cherry is picked.
Taking a more modern approach to coffee production has certainly paid off for the Garrido family, and for Mama Cata – who’s coffees regularly place in the prestigious Best of Panama competition, fetching huge prices at the annual auction.
In addition to their success at growing coffee, the Garrido family have also expanded into roasting coffee – David’s three children, Gissell, Jose David Jr, and Liliana, established the roasting business as a way of sharing their families hard work within Panama.
Often, high quality coffee is inaccessible in coffee producing countries – as the vast majority of coffee is exported overseas. Garrido Specialty Coffee Roasters is changing that, by offering the same exceptional coffees sold abroad to customers in Panama.