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Finca Sophia

Meet the award-winning farm in high-elevation Panama behind some of the most delicious coffee in the world.

"Finca Sophia continues to reveal the promise and possibilities that we saw 15 years ago on what was then an unplanted patch of land."

- Brooke McDonnell, Equator Coffees co-founder

Meet Finca Sophia

Micro Lot Excellence

Finca Sophia is a coffee farm co-owned by Equator Coffees' co-founders Helen Russell and Brooke McDonnell. The farm is located in the highlands of Panama at an altitude that tops 2,100 meters, making it one of the highest farms in Central America.

Founded in 2008, Finca Sophia began its journey by exclusively planting with the rare and celebrated Gesha variety. Pairing this legendary coffee variety with the extreme altitude at the farm results in a one of a kind coffee.

Today, coffees from Finca Sophia have been internationally recognized as some of the best in the world.

Testing the Coffee Ceiling

Grown at 2,100 meters

Finca Sophia is considered an experimental farm and was established to test the ceiling of coffee cultivation in Panama. While higher elevations promote slow fruit maturation and high quality, it also presents a myriad of challenges for coffee producers.

On Finca Sophia, cool soil temperatures slow the natural decomposition process, resulting in less nutrient rich organic matter in the soil. Limited sun exposure due to the farm’s topography and the region’s microclimate compound these difficulties, but farm manager Kelley Hartmann and his team are considering creative ways to increase the temperature of the soil.

15 Years And Counting

The New Harvest

"Finca Sophia continues to reveal the promise and possibilities that we saw 15 years ago on what was then an unplanted patch of land. Harvests are often small - wet and cold. La Niña years coupled with dry seasons can be daunting - but, the quality is spectacular, resulting in high placements in the Best of Panama competition when we submit a sample for one or more categories. Our sole 2022 submission was a Natural Gesha that came in second. 

The Panama highland weather in 2023 has so far provided the right amount of sun and rain for us and other coffee farmers to be optimistic about the harvest. In addition to Gesha we have planted more Guayabita seedlings to build upon the success of this “new” varietal. 

Finca Sophia has treasures waiting to be found…a new varietal, or the stupendous avocados from the trees at the upper part of the farm, or the exotic quetzal hiding in our forest preserve. And always, there is the breath taking view at the top."

- Brooke McDonnell, Equator Coffees co-founder