Owned by third-generation coffee producer and trained agronomist Ricardo Koyner, there are seven farms under the Kotowa umbrella throughout Boquete. Ricardo has managed to win Best of Panama on various occasions in both the Gesha and Traditional Variety categories.
The Koyner/Duncan family moved to Panama from Canada in the early 1900s and established one of the first coffee mills in the country, which is still operational today.
Kotowa offers its workers medical care and, for the children of workers, a nursery providing both meals and a school program. These social programs have earned repeated recognition from UNICEF.
Ricardo’s inventiveness is exemplified by his custom-designed tank for anaerobic and carbonic maceration fermentations. As the coffee cherries begin to ferment, juices are expelled from the fruit, resulting in some of the cherries being submerged while others are not. His design allows the tank to be easily rotated, mixing the fermenting cherries and juices, creating a more homogenous ferment.
He also designed a meticulous color-coding system used at Kotowa’s wet and dry mill. Each variety, process, and farm is assigned a color. A piece of fabric representing each category is stitched to the corner of the bag when the coffee is packaged, allowing workers to easily organize and identify lots through the storage, milling, and shipping process.