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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Kotowa Coffee House

Boquete, Panama

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Surprisingly, there were not as many coffee houses in Boquete as we expected. Being in the center of coffee country, we figured there would be coffee houses galore, with jazz music playing, people watching, pastries, WiFi, maybe combined with a juice bar and/or wine bar along with tapas, cheese plates, salads and more.

Uh-uh.

Most decent cups of coffee were sold in restaurants along with their breakfast, lunch or dinner menu. You can get a fine cup of brew in Boquete, as Panama is known world-wide for their coffee; it's just that we had a different picture in our minds.

One can take a coffee tour, go up to Finca Lerida for a good cup or have a tasty java with breakfast and a pastry at Sugar and Spice. It's all good.

Our morning routine seemed to include a walk to Kotowa Coffee House, a place where Gringos like to hang out. And Kotowa was only a 5 minute walk from our hotel.

Kotowa Coffee bags

We brought preconceived ideas about coffee with us when we traveled to Panama but were met with a different reality.  I mean, that's why we travel, right? To see new combinations, new presentations, new everything.

 

So Kotowa became part of our morning routine.

Kotowa Coffee located at Plaza Los Establos

Just off the main road is a small plaza where a travel agency, Habla Ya Spanish School, a bank and other miscellaneous business are located, and that's where you will find Kotowa Coffee. Inside the shop are pastries, coffee by the pound and the world famous Gesha coffee by the ounce and by the brewed cup.

There was no music playing, but we were able to hook up to WiFi to watch the financial markets over a morning cup of Joe.

Freshly ground and brewed coffee to order

These brightly colored coffee bags and thermoses house the famed Gesha coffee which sells for up to $10 an ounce. You can purchase bags with 2.5 ounce portions in four different varietals. The thermoses offer you a free taste to see if you would like to purchase a brewed cup or a bag of beans to take home.

Eight ounce cups of Gesha ran from $2 - $4 and 12 ounce cups ran from $3 - $5+.

We tried several styles, and each seemed remarkably different from the others. We have gotten used to Guatemalan coffee with its robust flavor and full body, so the thin, almost-like-tea Gesha didn't ring our bell.

But we are not experts and I imagine the Gesha growers know what they are doing!

Being able to sample the steaming coffee before purchase was a great idea and a good promotion.

Coffee menu

Here you have listed all sorts of delicious coffee combinations along with Chai tea, smoothies, cups of steamed milk and hot chocolate. The Gesha cup of coffee is not listed here. All prices are in USDollars.

The sign advertises coffee "from the mountain to your cup."

A mediano cappuccino

We appreciated sitting outside and watching the clouds come in and over the surrounding mountains. People were coming and going from the Spanish school and the bank, and groups of tourists and Expat locals came by here regularly to have their morning cup and catch up with the news of the day.

Kotowa at the CEFATA Center, top of the hill

Kotowa has another coffee shop where you must go at least once to enjoy the view of Boquete from a higher altitude. The CEFATA center is a volunteer organization and is located next door to Kotowa. La Virgencita is the small yellow building and stone shrine just outside the photo on the left.

 

From town, it's about a $0.60 taxi ride per person. Definitely worth it to see the view. Just tell the taxi driver you want to go to CEFATA for coffee at Kotowa and they will take you there, about 5 minutes by taxi out of town. To come back into town, just go onto the road and grab another taxi headed in that direction.

Voila! The view

You have a 180 degree view of Boquete and the surrounding areas from up here. You can see how the town just nestles into the divide between the mountains and the river running through it.

Enjoy your Panama coffee experience!

Café Kotowa, Chiriqui Boquete, Avenida Central, Plaza Los Establos

Also located up the hill at CEFATA Center on the way into town  

For more stories and photos of Panama, click here

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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their popular website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.

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