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Finca Lerida

The Norwegian engineer and graduate of the Royal College of Dresden, Germany, Toleff Bache Mönniche, came to Panama to participate in the design and construction of the Panama Canal locks’ emergency hatches and the gigantic docks in Colon at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1911 he traveled to the highlands of Chiriqui. He was looking for a place with clean, fresh air to rest and recover from his fourth attack of malaria contracted in the hot and humid lands of the Panama Canal. After sailing seven days in a little vapor boat along the Pacific shore and riding a horse uphill for many hours, he arrived in a unique spot: Finca Lerida, nestled alongside the lively skirts of Volcan Baru and the high ridges of the Central Range.

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In 1924, engineer Mönniche finally retired from the Panama Canal and along with his wife Julia moved to Finca Lerida. Here he built his house – completely by hand – in a Norwegian countryside style and built the first Coffee Plantation by gravity in Panama.

Aside from this he designed and patented the “sifon”, a device made to separate good beans from the bad. This device is now used worldwide by many coffee plantations and it is still working on Finca Lerida where Mönniche’s old processing plant still processes coffee of excellent quality.

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In 1929, Finca Lerida exported to Germany its first shipment of Panamanian coffee. This began Panama’s high reputation as one of the best quality, exotic coffee.

  • Finca: Finca Lerida

  • Owner: Sonia Amoruso

  • Town / Region: Boquete, Chiriquí

  • Varietals: Pacamara, Catuai, Caturra, Typica, Geisha

  • Altitude:  1.800-2.100mts

  • Processing: washed, honey, natural

  • Packaging: Grain Pro and Yute bags, vacuum packed and boxed

  • Harvest Time: January – April

  • Our current offers: Pacamara, Typica

  • Website: @fincaleridaestatecoffee


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