Discover Coffee Tours of KC generates business in international coffee tourism

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A montage of coffee tasting for the varieties of Panama. // Courtesy of Wendy Eaton

How do you drink your morning cup of coffee? With a splash of cream and honey to sweeten? A shot of espresso? Maybe an iced latte is more your speed? Whatever your taste, coffee is a familiar ritual in the lives of many people.

The drink has caused a cultural reckoning that has spilled over into merchandise and graphics emblazoned with trite phrases like “but first, coffee” and “more espresso, less depresso” that proliferate both online and in department stores.

Ray and Wendy Eaton // Courtesy of Wendy Eaton

Kansas City is home to an extensive collection of local coffee shops and roasters; however, the origin of the delicious bean juice is rarely discussed. Ray and Wendy Eaton hope to change this.

Hailing from Kansas City, the couple decided to sell their printing business and move to Panama in 2015 in favor of a slower pace of life. Welcomed by the beautiful mountain scenery and the laid-back attitude of the locals, they instantly found a place of belonging.

That’s where they discovered their love for locally sourced, artisan coffee. In their entrepreneurial spirit, they decided to share the beauty of Panama through the creation of their business, Discover Coffee Tours.

Coffee tourism is a growing trend, especially popular among millennials, who seek to explore the history, tradition and production of coffee.ofee in its natural environment. Instances of coffee tourism have become more prevalent as the industry continues to expand to countries in the world’s famous “coffee belt.” Coffee connoisseurs have begun exploring the different regions with a ferocity that can only be tamed through caffeine.

Beans grow inside a coffee cherry before extraction // Courtesy of Wendy Eaton

Panama’s rural coffee farms produce a small but influential portion of world coffee production.layer. Just like wine sommeliers who appreciate the different growing regions, coffee lovers can experience special offerings of Panamanian origin. The Gesha variety is a delicacy among consumers, fetching exorbitant prices due to its unique and challenging growing conditions.

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The Eaton has recently launched Discover Coffee Tours, an experience-based business that offers a week-long excursion to small farms and cooperatives in the mountains of western Panama. During the tour, travelers visit five farms throughout Panama where they will learn the intricacies of coffee cultivation and production. In addition, there will be special tasting experiences of the best coffee in the region.

The tour will include a stop at Farm Two Chiefs, a small farm located in the mountain town of Boquete. The abandoned farm was revitalized in 2003 and now produces seven varieties of Arabica coffee. The farm bases its hours on the Lunar Calendar and operates under the trade name Cafés de la Luna.

The Eatons believe that coffee is more than a beverage, it’s a source of sustenance and connection.

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Courtesy of Wendy Eaton

Connecting with the community is an important part of Eaton’s life in Panama. They plan their tours to support various local farms like Finca Dos Jefes, while also donating a portion of the profits to Global food providersthat provides food to marginalized communities.

Eaton’s hope to share the love of coffee and its community, one cup at a time. The inaugural tour is planned for early 2023.

You can find more information and tour prices on the company’s website. Instagram, Facebookor visiting your website.

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