In Luxuries of Pedasi

Venao Coffee Roasters

Venao Coffee Roasters

There’s a cup of coffee and then there’s a perfectly roasted, artfully crafted café.  If you are looking for the best coffee shop in Pedasi, Panama head down to Playa Venao where you will find this treasure tucked just past the bustle of the developing tourist area in  the Eco Venao Resort.
(Click photos to enlarge)

Specialty Coffee Comes to Venao

If you are thinking “Starbucks” quality, think again.  Starbucks has nothing on Venao Coffee Roastery, where every step of the process is so meticulously executed and refined, that it won’t take you long to realize you don’t need all that sugary flavoring to enjoy the true flavor of coffee as it really was intended.

Sipping an earthy long black (or two), I enjoyed a crash course in coffee from world-traveled barista, John Vaz Matías. He is a guest roaster helping Venao Coffee Roastery take their service to the next level. According to John, perfection starts with the bean, of course. And it was the bean itself that brought John from traveling and reviewing popular coffee houses in Europe across the Atlantic to Panama.  In the mountain valleys of Boquete, you can find  “Third Wave” or “Specialty Coffee”– which represents highest quality bean in the top 5% of the world, and surpasses any with the commercialized label “Organic Coffee”.  John’s organization, Panama Varietals, only works with farmers they know practice fair trade standards. Together, they carefully select the beans which absorb and deliver flavors of fruit, nuts, and more from the soil, similar to the grapes of a fine wine in Tuscany.

A Roasting Process Aimed at Perfection

Taking your beverage from bean to frothy perfection is Leo, a local Panamanian from Cañas who has been expertly trained by John and speaks as passionately about the process as his mentor.  Together, they have worked toward the perfectly timed, perfectly executed system of roasting onsite.  They keep meticulous mathematical records and throw away full batches if they are not absolutely correct in color, aroma, and texture.  By pulling the roast at the first crack, they achieve a medium light roast that balances the acidity and sugars.  The results can be used for both coffee and espresso. Most often, the milk used comes direct from a dairy farm in Cañas, only ten minutes down the road.  Presentation of course, is key, and as you can see, Leo delivers!

The outdoor ambiance is peaceful, tranquil and surrounded by lush tropical vegetation.  Natural, rustic tables are perfect for enjoying with friends, or with a quiet book on your own.   Sometimes, I take a trip from Pedasi to Venao just for the enjoyment of the café… and it’s totally worth it!


Hours:  Open every day except Tuesday, 7:00 AM – 1:00 PM,  2:00 PM- 4:00 PM

Hint: Treat yourself to enjoying this flavorful coffee at home! These make great gifts too!  It’s a little pricey compared to the same size bag of Duran at the local grocery, but so worth it!  Bags are $10-15

How to find:  Heading toward Playa Venao beach from Pedasi, pass the developments on the left and turn right into Eco Venao Resort.  Map Below.

Contact: Manager, Julie Cortesi, +507 6277 6777



Do you know of a local artisan, concierge service, or business that really stands out?  We love supporting quality local businesses whether local Panamanian or expat!   Show love to our community by helping us spread the word.  Leave your comments below.

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