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Dec 14, 2007 09:20 AM

I need Panamanian Coffee in Toronto!


I need somewhere (anywhere!) to find Panamanian coffee in Toronto - I need the beans, ground or unground, for a friend. I've tried calling about a dozen gourmet shops, to no avail. I'm stumped - is it really that hard to come by??!!


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  1. Have you tried Moonbean? They usually have a fairly wide selection. I didn't see Panamanian coffee on their website, but they may have some in store.

    Moonbean Coffee Company
    30 St Andrews St, Toronto, ON M5T, CA

    1. I *THINK* that it is available at the coffee shop in basement of the the very least they sell beans based on country of origin, and I while I admit I've never explicitly noticed Panama (very likely as I've never looked for it), they have just about every other coffee producing country represented (including Yemen, if I recall).

      1. Did you try Manic Coffee. A while back they were boasting of having some Panamanian coffee in the shop.

        426 College Street - Don't know phone number.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Nyleve

          (416) 966-3888

          426 College St, Toronto, ON M5T1T3, CA

        2. Now I'm wildly curious! Forgive my coffee ignorance (I don't drink it)... what is particularly special about Panamanian coffee that makes it worth seeking out?

          1. I don't know where to find it in Toronto. I thought perhaps Green Beanery, but they don't list it. You could try calling Merchants of Green Coffee, whose website isn't helpful.

            The only source I'm sure of is Sweet Maria's ( ), but they don't sell any roasted beans. FWIW, I ordered beans from them on Dec 6 and my package arrived, by USPS/Canada Post, on Dec 11.

            I read the detailed cupping reviews on the Sweet Maria's website and I didn't note anything especially unusual, or fabulous, about the Panamanian beans they have. I'm curious, like vorpal: why Panama specifically?

            4 Replies
            1. re: embee

              Don't know about the OP's particular needs, but we explored coffee in Panama a few years ago. We toured a large coffee plantation and processing plant, and tasted several different coffees from various farms. Personally, none of it really appealed to me on its own. Even with beans from the most highly rated plantations - Berlina, for one - the brew tasted, to me, thin and acidic. Darker roasts were slightly better, but I wasn't blown away by any of it. Of course, I am not judging fairly - my coffee experiences were random. It depends on preparation, roasting and coffee so any one of those factors could have gone awry at any time. I wasn't specifically on a coffee mission.

              What I do know is that Panama doesn't export as much coffee as the other coffee-growers in Central America. Most of their product is consumed in Panama itself, and much of the day-to-day coffee you'll find in stores is of ordinary quality.

              1. re: Nyleve

                I prefer coffee from high grown slopes, and Panama is too close to sea level. But if you come from there, perhaps nothing else will do.

              2. re: embee

                Embee, that is great service from Sweet Maria, and they are known for it. I wouldn't mind knowing what shipping and border charges were. I have just ordered 25 lb from greenbeanery and the 4 day shipping (to Pickering) is $15. The effective cost per lb is $6. for Yirgacheffe, Monsoon, and Sumatra.

                1. re: jayt90

                  Twelve pounds total. I got a couple of pounds each of a Guatemala, an El Salvador, an Ethiopia, a Yemen Mokha, a Sumatra, and an African/Mid East/Asian proprietary blend. Shipping was $26.50 flat rate for up to 12 pounds. No border charges. It was about $8.00/lb all inclusive, but the El Salvador was something unusual and expensive. I can't recall the exact prices, by I think "regular" beans worked out to $6-$7/lb, including shipping.

                  I feel bad ordering from California instead of from Green Beanery, and Green Beanery is a bit cheaper, but Green Beanery doesn't have the encyclopedic knowledge of coffee or the cupping results. Most of the people there don't know anything about what they have for sale. The downside of Sweet Maria's is that they sometimes have something wonderful, I try to reorder it, and it's all gone. I suppose that's one of the appeals of Starbucks - as with blended wines, you have some idea what you'll be getting if you get something you've had before.