Hortigal comes from a collection of family-owned and operated estates situated in the heart of the famous coffee growing region of Boquete. Their coffee story began in 1890 when Domingo Suarez (originally Abdeljad Suadi of Arab decent) immigrated to Panama as one of the first group of contractors hired to begin construction on the Panama Canal, which although it was originally unsuccessful, would eventually connect the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. After the failed attempts of the French, Domingo followed his heart from Panama City to Boquete after hearing stories of its beauty and believing its promise of a better life. His story is one of happiness as he found love, had six children and founded his family’s coffee farming business in 1920. The family business has prospered through another two generations and today consists of 270 hectares located in some of the best micro-climatic areas of Boquete.
The region of Boquete has an eclectic mix of inhabitants thanks to its picturesque landscapes and tourist-friendly vibe. Nestled snugly into the Panamanian highlands, its most famous landmark happens to be the tallest point of land in Panama; the Baru Volcano. We spent this recent harvest (March 2012) visiting the Indian Baru High estates and selecting our favourite coffees and profiles. In the end, we choose the Hortigal estate for its 100% Typica lot which produced a regional clarity of flavour which we found attractive and unique.
The growth and success experienced on these estates throughout the years is due in large part to the enforcement of basic principles when managing the farms: maintaining the original coffee varieties, promoting a high degree of social commitment to partners and employees, applying sustainable agricultural practices which respect the environment and, finally, investing in technology to constantly develop the latest trends in farming.