Panama has the best coffee in the world. No seriously, they do, they even won a title for it. But I was astounded that so many didn’t know about it, myself included. I knew that there was a coffee scene in the country but it had never been on my radar.
I hadn’t drunk coffee intentionally for years, but I couldn’t resist when I was in Panamá. It was a different type of coffee, mostly medium roasted and more citrusy and fruity. It was so worth every dollar I spent. I even brought a few bags back with me to Ireland! Since returning I have found it so hard to find someone who serves Panamanian coffee here and the closest I get is Costa Rican coffee beans. Which are delicious but not the same.
But I digress! If you’re ever visiting Panama City, here are the places you should scout out to have that freshly brewed, premium quality experience. And please let me know if you do.
Café Unido Casco Viejo
Calle 10A Oeste, Panamá City
Unido has a few coffee shops dotted around Panamá but it’s the one in Casco Viejo, the old town, that we found particularly wonderful. This gorgeous tile-laden coffee shop looks like it was from French colonial times. The building felt right out of a movie set but in a good way. The white, black and teal colours inside instantly cooled me down despite the heat outside.
They’ve beautiful large glass windows so you can watch the world go by and their coffee is great with solid traceability on where the beans come from across the country. Speak with them about your tastes and preferences and the staff will guide you through their selection.
Local 2B, Edificio de Mar, Calle Gaspar O. Hernández, 507 Panama City
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[LA COSECHA☕️] Al pagar con Visa tendrás acceso a un especial menú de degustación: Un Geisha de cuerpo jugoso de Santa Maria Estate, cuya nota principal es a blueberries y tiene un retrogusto a caramelo. Al ser maridado con el postre, 3 pequeñas tartas con sutiles sabores tropicales donde mezclamos la masa de nuestras empanadas, mousse de banano, reducción de frutos rojos y un crocante de coco, se crea una sinergia entre todos los ingredientes para crear un sabor nuevo: dulce de leche ⚡️ Precio: $13 Incluye: Filtrado, 3 tartas y una taza.
It is a digital nomad’s haven and definitely caters to the young and cool customer. With grey concrete making a prominent appearance in the décor, I was surprised that despite its hipster-esque look, the people were very down to earth.
We got to do a coffee tasting with one of its founders who brought us through many different coffees (including a very sought-after Geisha coffee) but what I loved is that he wasn’t pretentious at all. He simply said that despite the fact that he may take his coffee black, he isn’t going to judge you if you take milk, sugar or whatever! You like what you like. Mentiritas was a very welcoming place.
Bajareque Coffee House
Calle 1a Oeste 1, Panamá, Panama
Another coffee shop in Casco Viejo (also known as Casco Antiguo), Barjareque is an artisanal roasting business that’s run by the Lamastus family. Remember I mentioned Geisha coffee? The Geisha coffee, produced by Lamastus Family Estates has previously sold for $803 per pound.
You would not get this experience outside of Panamá. Their plantations are in Boquete in the southwest of the country. We visited Boquete which is surrounded by plantations. The rich soil as a result of the volcano Volcan Barú ensures that the coffee plants are top-notch. Their café has a selection of award-winning coffee beans that have been grown on their estates. Freshly roasted premium Panamania coffee? It’s an experience like no other so yes, please!
(Locations across the city but we visited the one on the
Ok so this is a coffee chain in Panama but that doesn’t mean that their coffee is generic. Their coffee farms are also located in Boquete in the mountains so their plants constantly benefit from the deliciously fresh climate! You’ll find Kotowa coffee in most deli-type shops and we got to taste it when we were in the Biomuseo (Biodiversity Museum) where we were able to sit on the balcony and look out to the sea as the ships went by.
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Spent the day in the Biodiversity Museum learning about about Panamá changed the world when it connected North America with South America through volcanic eruptions. Not only was the land changed forever to give access to more migration but the sea was forever changed too with the currents on the Pacific changing to be more saline and the Caribbean retaining more heat. Really was fascinating to see how the world changed.
Café Coca Cola
Av Central, Panamá
The oldest coffee shop in all of Panamá, Café Coca Cola is a must-visit if not for the coffee then the atmosphere and history. Cafe Coca Cola traces its history back in 1875 but its original name is unknown. Coca Cola expanded its operations to Latin America in 1906 and it was around then that American workers of the Panamá Canal were around. Coke was like a little slice of home. In 1918 it was handed to the Linares family, which at that time, owned the Coca Cola bottling plant in Panamá! It is the only café with Coca Cola’s namesake approved by The Coca Cola Corporation. It’s like an old-fashioned diner inside and you will see both locals and tourists sitting at tables.
Because locals still frequent this spot, the prices haven’t been hiked up and when we went there the coffee cost just $1, freshly brewed and delicious.
Casa Sucre Coffee House
Calle 8 y Ave. B, Casco Viejo, Panamá
We accidentally stumbled into this coffee house trying to escape the heat. Casa Sucre is both a hotel and a popular coffee spot in, you guessed it, Casco Viejo. It’s built into an old Spanish colonial home dating back to the late 1800s. We were able to chill there for a few hours and nurse our drinks no bother.
We felt very relaxed there and spotted a few people working away on their laptops. They also have a piano that people can play! It’s cosy inside and with large glass windows in a very busy part of the Casco Viejo it’s a perfect place to just daydream.
Have you been to Panamá City? Would you like to go? Let us know if you decide to visit any of these spots and we would greatly appreciate it if you shared this post. Feel free to pin it!