The Hidden Gem
The finca, also called Finca Nuguo, is situated between 1.750 and 1.950 mts in the area of Jurutungo, Renacimiento, in the province of Chiriqui, nestled between a natural rainforest reserve on the one side and the border of Costa Rica on the other side. The location and environment of the finca is a very challenging one, with cold temperatures at night, lots of wind and rainfall. And even so, this very visionary, passionate and engaged person, Jose, managed to produce some incredible cups of coffee. Or, if we quote Jose, it is because of those rough conditions that the coffee production results in low productivity but an intense flavour. He says that the cold wind and rain that come from the Atlantic through the mountains dividing Panama play an important role in the taste of the coffee from Nuguo.
The Finca of Jose Manuel Gallardo is somewhat of a hidden gem – one of the prime examples of farms we like to work with. The finca and its owners combine quality, passion, dedication and uniqueness in a way that results in an amazing coffee in the cup.
The finca is based on a family tradition, which started when Jose’s father came to the region in the sixties and started to plant coffee. He planted Nuguo with Geisha coffee 10 years ago and today Jose and his wife Aileene have taken over the management and separated it in 5 micro-areas, all located in a different microclimate. They process all the coffee right there on the finca, with a little, hand powered washing station and African beds where they dry the washed, honey and natural coffees.
The secret of the success of their coffee is a result of several factors all playing together in the right way. At the top of this list is Jose’s own dedication, nearly obsession to grow and process exceptional specialty coffee. He speaks with a lot of passion about his farm and his coffee and has a very in depth knowledge of farming and processing specialty coffee and is keen to learn more all the time. He takes meticulous care of the plants until they produce, they pick only the ripest beans, they cup continuously during the processing and separate lots by day and location to determine the microlots that produce the best quality. Other important factors of course are the selection of the seeds, the particular location of the finca and its microclimates.
Biodiversity in Nuguo is highly valued. There is already a great variety of birds to be found on the finca, but in the coming years Jose and Aileene want to dedicate even more time and effort to conserve this biodiversity, even investing in eco-tourism development.