Norberto Suarez is one of our first friends in coffee. We first received his coffee in 2014 and had the pleasure of visiting his farm in the Spring of 2015, and then again in February 2020. Through the years, we have cultivated an amazing relationship with Norberto and built a friendship based on trust and love of coffee.
Norberto Suarez is the definition of a coffee boss. He eats, breathes and sleeps coffee (literally, his house is at the base of one of his farms). His passion comes through in each crop he harvests and his knowledge of the land is obvious. Even in his late sixties, he easily walks his farms in their steep terrain and diverse topography...like a boss.
His stature is so prominent it was an easy decision to name his coffee from Finca La Gloria El Jefe to honor his "boss status" and dedication to crushing each year's harvest.
Norberto has brought over a system of growing coffee that he learned in Brazil, meticulously planting each tree perfect spaced apart. The result? Perfect rows of beautiful coffee trees. The coffee itself is typica, caturra and catuai and tastes like the region it is grown in, bright and refreshing.
The coffee on La Gloria is grown on extremely steep hillsides with stunning views of the region. Norberto and his family reside at the Estate in Boquete's Horqueta subregion. The farm ranges from 1360 to 2000 meters above sea level. The soil is of volcanic origin as it sits at the base of the Barú Volcano. With temperatures averaging 15 to 22 degrees Celsius and an average rainfall of 3000 millimeters per year. It also has a wide variety of flora and wildlife, including white-neck monkeys, venison, rabbits and several native birds. Four natural springs either originate or run across the estate, which help make the soil rich and well balanced.
This region has been appropriately named "Land of Eternal Spring" as there is often a refreshing mist that settles into the valley creating rainbows throughout the hills. The region is beautiful and home to a variety of horticulture. One of Norberto's nieces, Lourdes Guerra, owns and operates a successful fruit farm La Granjerita and her sister, Nadeia, is the successful owner and operator of Finca Hortigal and Finca Jaramillo.
Norberto also owns a processing mill, where he brings his coffee but also opens it up to other farms in the region. His reasoning for owning his own mill is simple; he is able to implement extremely high standards from planting, to picking, to processing his coffee. This variety is washed process, but the mill also has the capacity for natural processed coffee by laying out the beans on the concrete beds to dry in the sun.
Norberto is dedicated to the entire process of the cultivation of his coffee. He has taught his niece Nadeia his dedication and the two of them together will be producing phenomenal coffee out of Panama for years to come.
We are proud to have the Suarez | Guerra family in our coffee family and you can look forward to enjoying their coffee each and every year.