Report From Panama: Let’s Talk Coffee Is Rockin

Marcus Young of Sustainable Harvest led a panel discussion of cold brew with Nathanael May of Portland Roasting (middle) and Stephen Vick of Blue Bottle (right).

When you have more than 500 people ”some who speak Spanish and others who only understand English ”in a big hotel, in an unfamiliar country, it’s almost impossible to serve them all well. But Sustainable Harvest’s Let’s Talk Coffee team really does seem to be doing just that right now here in Panama.

The common denominator here at the annual gathering of coffee producers, roasters, baristas, agronomists, and other coffee professionals is, of course, coffee. Education about it, camaraderie around it, relationships built on it ”all that is happening  here at this three-day event in Panama City. And in between topics taught by some of the most formidable leaders in the coffee industry, such as Dr. Aaron Davis of Kew Gardens in the U.K., Price Peterson of Hacienda La Esmeralda here in Panama, Chad Trewick of INTL FTStone in the U.S., Michael Sheridan of  the  Borderlands Coffee Project in Ecuador, and many, many others ”in between those discussions about Gesha and roya and financing, we’re swimming in spectacular swimming pools in one of the most beautiful beachside resorts I’ve ever seen. We’re also eating like kings and queens, making hundreds of new friends and having the kinds of involved conversations you can’t have on a busy trade show floor, laughing and enjoying one another.

2014 World Latte Art Champion Christian Ullrich (left), and 2013 World Coffee In Good Spirits Champion Victor Delpierre have been on hand to make beautiful coffee drinks for the attendees on the Dalla Corte espresso machine.
2014 World Latte Art Champion Christian Ullrich (left), and 2013 World Coffee In Good Spirits Champion Victor Delpierre have been on hand to make beautiful coffee drinks for the attendees on the Dalla Corte espresso machine.

As I write this, day 2 of Let’s Talk Coffee is coming to a close. With one more day left before participants head out on field trips to the country’s famous coffee farms on Sunday and Monday, I wanted to offer a look at what we’ve been up to here in Panama so far.

Coffee legends Price Peterson of Hacienda La Esmeralda in Panama, and Dr. Aaron Davis of Kew Gardens in the U.K., share thoughts following a panel on the future of Gesha.
Coffee legends Price Peterson of Hacienda La Esmeralda in Panama, and Dr. Aaron Davis of Kew Gardens in the U.K., share thoughts following a panel on the future of Gesha.
At last night's HarVee Awards, the big roaster winners were Blue Bottle (best African and best South American) and Equator (best Central American).
At last night’s HarVee Awards, the big roaster winners were Blue Bottle (best African and best South American) and Equator (best Central American).
Marcus Young of Sustainable Harvest led a panel discussion of cold brew with Nathanael May of Portland Roasting (middle) and Stephen Vick of Blue Bottle (right).
Marcus Young of Sustainable Harvest led a panel discussion of cold brew with Nathanael May of Portland Roasting (middle) and Stephen Vick of Blue Bottle (right).
The view from my balcony. It's overcast and quite humid a lot of the time, but that's what the three giant swimming pools are for!
The view from my balcony. It’s overcast and quite humid a lot of the time, but that’s what the three giant swimming pools are for!
Chris Ryan of Sustainable Harvest (left) worked tirelessly to ensure the smooth operation of the day-long activities in the Grand Ballroom. Here, he chats with speaker Hanna Neuschwander.
Chris Ryan of Sustainable Harvest (left) worked tirelessly to ensure the smooth operation of the day-long activities in the Grand Ballroom. Here, he chats with speaker Hanna Neuschwander.
One of the most well-attended and fascinating discussions thus far has been with Emilio Diaz Lopez (producer), Laila Ghambari (barista), and Phil Beattie (roaster), about the teamwork that went into Laila's winning the United States Barista Championship in 2014.
One of the most well-attended and fascinating discussions thus far has been with Emilio Diaz Lopez (producer), Laila Ghambari (barista), and Phil Beattie (roaster), about the teamwork that went into Laila’s winning the United States Barista Championship in 2014.
Ken Davis of Coffee Review explained the significance of each coffee's ranking at the HarVee Awards.
Ken Davis of Coffee Review explained the significance of each coffee’s ranking at the HarVee Awards.

 

About baristamagazine 1737 Articles
Barista Magazine is the leading trade magazine in the world for the professional coffee community.