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Single-Variety Lot | Jurutungo, Panama

Finca Nuguo - Gesha Variety

blue raspberry candy | wildflowers | vibrant

Roast Level

light roast

This coffee is the result of an extraordinary journey. Our first taste of Finca Nuguo was a bit rough, but the potential was undeniable. Fast forward to today, and the Gallardo family has transformed Finca Nuguo into an absolute sensation. With feedback from Counter Culture and fellow coffee professionals they've crafted a coffee that has taken top honors in tasting and barista competitions around the world. Year after year, Finca Nuguo is consistently the best coffee we offer. This lot showcases exotic and vibrant flavors of blue raspberry candy alongside aromatics reminiscent of wildflowers.

Pronunciation: FEEN-kah new-GOO-oh

Photos courtesy of Jose Gallardo

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In November 2014, a large resealable bag of green coffee arrived at the Counter Culture lab in Durham, N.C., with few details. We roasted the sample and tasted it the next day. The coffee wasn't amazing, but the flavor profile buried underneath the less-than-desirable characteristics was beautiful and intriguing. Soon afterwards, we reached out to the growers to start talking about their coffee.
 
The sample came from the Gallardo family in Chiriquí, Panama. The family has been involved in coffee farming for more than three decades. It started with José Manuel Gallardo Sr. in the 1970s, and now his son José Manuel Gallardo Arauz owns five small coffee farms—including Finca Nuguo. Arauz's son, also named José, recently began managing the Nuguo farm.

Historically, the family farms only produced Caturra and Catuai coffee varieties at lower elevations, but José Manuel Gallardo Arauz saw the potential of his small 5-hectare farm—situated at 1,800–1,950 meters above sea level in Jurutungo—and started growing Gesha variety coffee plants. For the first few years, this newer farm didn't produce much coffee. What little they did produce was mostly consumed by family and friends. In 2014, though, in anticipation of a decent harvest, the family wanted to promote the coffee and sent out samples. That's how Counter Culture came to receive that first bag of green coffee. 

Since then, Finca Nuguo has become one of the best Cinderella stories in coffee. After conversations with Counter Culture and other coffee professionals and buyers, the Gallardos refined their processing and performed many experiments to further the quality of their coffee. For example, they sent out samples dried to different moisture levels and small selections processed as honeys and natural sundried. They divided the 5-hectare farm to make even-smaller, unique lots–some of which dominated previous US Barista Championships and the fabled Best of Panama coffee competition.

In 2021’s Best of Panama competition, coffees from Finca Nuguo placed first and second in the natural and washed process categories, respectively, fetching a mind-bending price of $2,568 per pound in the natural category! Recent harvests have been notably smaller compared to previous years’ so prices have risen to offset the Gallardo’s low volume. Counter Culture was only able to procure 44 lbs of green coffee this year, but this tiny lot showcases all of the unique and exotic flavors that have wowed us since we first purchased coffee from this one of a kind farm.

  • Sustainably-Sourced

  • Quality-Focused

  • B Corp Certified

  • Transparently Traded

  • Sustainably-Sourced

  • Quality-Focused

  • B Corp Certified

  • Transparently Traded

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