Paso Ancho has balanced dark sugar and roasted nut tones, with soft acidity like apple-infused water. In the cup look for almond biscotti, dried natural apricot, and chocolate macadamia accents.
Carmen Estate is a farm we have worked with off and on for a long while now. The farm was passed down to the new generation of the Franceschi family, namely Carlos Franceschi Aguilera (Carmen was his grandmother). In the past they simply harvested the trees and sold the coffee cherry at low prices to the large farms in the valley. Carlos realized that they had a better coffee on their family farm then something to blend with lower-grown coffees. He built his own mill for the Estate down in the valley using the latest equipment, and began a program to care for the trees using new techniques. This farm uses the forced demucilage process where the fruit pulp is stripped off the parchment layer using friction, rather than traditional fermentation. I was very impressed with the high altitude and excellent practices of Carlos and Finca Carmen. This coffee has been in the top 10 of the Best of Panama competition too many times to count. The entire farm is very high altitude; it starts at 1750 meters, an altitude many farms don't even reach, and goes up from there! Altitude isn't the only factor that matters with coffee, but it does allow coffee to ripen slower and creates greater bean density. Density and slow maturation are important factors in cup quality.