Farm: Finca Deborah
Farmer: Jamison Savage
Location: Volcan, Panama
When we visited Jamison in Panama for the first time in 2019, we planned to meet him in front of a large yellow market and went in to grab some water and snacks while we waited. A few minutes later, we were sitting outside on benches with old men who were occupying their day, smoking small cigars and enjoying one another’s company, when we saw Jamison Savage pull up in a Land Rover. He’s a high energy individual – focused and intense – which is apparent from the first moment you lay eyes on him.
Jamison hails from New York originally, and he worked in finance before deciding to trade in his family’s fast paced lifestyle for one immersed in the jungles of Panama. They moved to Volcan, a rough jungle town on the west side of Volcan Baru. He had invited us to come and taste the fruit of this new place he called home, and we hopped in his truck excitedly. It was a 20 minute drive from the market to his farm, and drove up the side of the volcano that gives this region its name with wide eyes.
We came to a densely forested area with a few rusty, red buildings at the center and knew we had finally arrived at Finca Deborah, Jamison’s farm that only produces competition level coffees. (As a side note, Jamison has a “Savage” line of coffees that he processes and sells from neighboring farms. These are good, but not at the same level as his Finca Deborah coffees. We are calling our Deborah coffees “Savage” because it sounds cool, and Jamison is okay with this.) The equipment he used was very lean, and it was clearly a “quality over quantity” operation. His processing and fermentation experiments were kept in tanks at his personal home, and through combining different inert gasses (aside from just CO2), pressures, PH levels, and extended fermentation times, he had created flavor profiles uniquely his own. When we began tasting these experimental coffees, I experienced “new” like I hadn’t even imagined. It was a moment I always crave in coffee, where not only was the quality level extremely high, but the flavor profiles were unlike anything I had tasted to that point.
Jamison brought the energy of New York to Panamanian coffee and blended it perfectly with the slow pace of Mother Nature
to become one of, if not the, foremost producer of experimental Carbonic Maceration Geishas in the world. Finca Deborah doesn’t produce a lot of coffee, and most of what is produced goes to Asia and Australia. It’s a privilege for us to be one of two roasters in the states, the other being George Howell, who are working directly with Jamison to bring you THE SAVAGES.
If you were lucky enough to get some of this extremely limited launch, you'll experience coffee that bends the very definition of the word. With these grand cru geishas from Finca Deborah, you'll gain a new perspective on where innovative processing from the wine industry is meeting up with the most highly prized varieties in the world to become a rapidly emerging new high end of specialty coffee.
The coffees we’ve purchased are:
Nirvana Geisha • Natural Nitrogen Macerated Geisha: A carbonic Maceration-like process where the CO2 is swapped out for Nitrogen (Nitrogen Macerated) before the coffee is dried as a natural. This flavor profile has a unique combination of winey, black currant flavors and tropical florals and fruit - like a sangria with fresh pineapple and starfruit.
Dose: 20g | Grind slightly finer than usual | Continuous pour
Symbiosis • Anaerobic Natural Geisha: This is a new process to us this year and is Jamison’s low pressure Anaerobic Natural Geisha. It’s bringing a beautiful smoothness to Jamisons’ usually intense profiles, and we are getting syrah grape, plum, general purple fruit, and tropical notes.
Dose: 22g | Grind similar to Nirvana | Pulsated pour
Afterglow • Natural Geisha: This is Jamison’s “classic” profile Natural Panamanian Geisha. He dries it in very thick layers with lots of turning on the beds for an enhanced fruit punch-like flavor profile. plum, strawberry, fruit punch and floral.
Illumination • Carbonic Washed Geisha: This coffee highlights the profile of a well crafted Carbonic Maceration coffee. It’s pulped, then placed in CO2 under pressure to create a pre-fermentation environment before being dried as a washed coffee without fruit. We always get yellow tropical fruit flavors, like mango and pineapple, as well as a lot of florals.