Assembly House Espresso - A Guide

The seasonal Assembly House Espresso is the clearest demonstration of the value we aim to create for specialty coffee industry stakeholders, and the sincere narratives we highlight for the specialty movement. We source our House Espresso to celebrate the diversity of coffee. We source it to define what quality coffee is, and what that means to everyone involved.

By rotating the coffee throughout the year, we make accessible multiple premium coffees at competitive prices. And by working closely with the same producers over multi-year contracts, not only do we deliver consistent impact, we’re constantly refining and improving to dial in on the formula for the perfect espresso.

There are only so many farms in the world that can produce 40, 50, 60 tonnes of premium-quality coffee for a consistent, year-round house espresso. We’ve engineered the House Espresso to create value for smaller farms, enabling us to have an impact across a much wider diversity of producers and regions.

In the cup, the House Espresso is always the ultimate expression of the terroir in which it was produced. It is sticky, sweet, viscous. Its acidity is pronounced but not overpowering. It is this profile that determines every iteration of the House Espresso and is the framework within which we use the coffee to explore nuances in taste.

Assembly House Espresso - Finca Santa Teresa

  • Producer — Finca Santa Teresa
  • Region — Santa Clara, Renacimiento, Panama
  • Terroir — 1400-1600 masl, 23-31 degrees Celcius, tropical maritime climate
  • Process — Natural
  • Varietals — Caturra, Catuai

Suggested espresso recipe - 18g - 28s - 35g

Rum + Chocolate cake + Dense

Illustrated with: Nicola Fleming, Finca Santa Teresa

This season's House Espresso is an exclusive blend of naturally-processed Caturra and Catuai microlots from renowned Panamanian farm Finca Santa Teresa.

In the cup this coffee is packed full of sweet spice and dried fruit flavours, carried by a chocolate cake base and dense body.

As always, the House Espresso is versatile. Dial in with our suggested recipe but perhaps you'll want more body and less fruits, so you'll up the dose and reduce the yield. Or you'll want it to cut through milk with more punch so you'll reduce the dose and up the yield for a brighter espresso base.

If espresso isn't your thing, not to worry. You'll also enjoy this coffee when brewed with Aeropress, french press, moka pot or filter.

Our thanks to Nicola, José Raúl and the team for their deep knowledge and extensive expertise in creating the first of many Finca Santa Teresa x Assembly house coffees.

Finca Santa Teresa, Panama

Award-winning coffee in the cloud forest

In 1997, after acquiring a number of lots dotted across the hillside of Volcán Barú - Panama's highest peak - Juan Pablo Berard consolidated them and founded Finca Santa Teresa. He named the farm after his mother, Teresa, and in 2013 sold it to a small group of coffee professionals who have driven the farm forward to its present-day configuration.

Finca Santa Teresa stretches out over 237 acres and is nestled high up in the cloud forest at 1400-1600 metres above sea level, adjacent to La Amistad National Park - a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The farm is famed for its award-winning Geisha coffees and it's also home to Caturra, Catuai, Typica and Caturra plants. The La Llorona river provides a natural water source, the volcanic soil is full of nutrients and the Pacific and Atlantic weather systems ensure an optimal balance of rainfall and sunshine.

For the latest Assembly House Espresso, Finca Santa Teresa has combined seven Caturra and Catuai microlots to create a unique coffee exclusive to Assembly. The microlots were harvested when ripe, sorted for quality, then dried on raised beds for between 18-25 days before being prepared for shipping.

José Raúl's harvest team

Farm manager José Raúl joined to help construction of the wet mill and 19 years later is the face of Finca Santa Teresa and cornerstone of the local community. He is supported by foreman Rigoberto, a former picker who joined in 2009 and now has responsibility for the harvest season recruitment and picking schedule.

Aracelly, into her 10th year on the farm, takes charge of logistics and finance. Very much a settled team, packed full of expertise and experience.

Every November, 80 pickers from the mountains of Bocas del Toro (200 kilometres north) and Chiriqui (80 kilometres south) arrive for harvest season. During peak times, a skilled picker can pick up to 20kg of cherries per hour and finish the season with well over 1,000kg of cherries picked in total.

Pickers will harvest the same plants four or five times each across the season depending on the ripeness of the crop - cherries that are unripe the first time through will be ready when the picker returns to the plant at a later date.

While harvesting, many of the pickers' children attend the on-site school that is managed by Finca Santa Teresa in collaboration with Casa Esperanza - a charity founded in 1992 that provides health care, food and education to 2,500 children and young adults across Panama.

Once the harvest is finished, the pickers head home to farm their own produce - typically various vegetables, rice, bananas, corn - until they return for the following harvest 8-9 months later.

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