When Just Panela’s founder moved to Colombia in 2010, he encountered a unique unrefined form of cane sugar known as “panela, which is sold in blocks, that you break down with a knife or cheese grater in order to use it...and use it Colombian's do! Panela is consumed daily in the morning with hot water (“agua panela”), at lunchtime with cold water and lime juice (“guarapo”), and in all types of cooking applications.
Our founder recognized that Panela could provide an organic alternative to artificial sweeteners and highly processed modern sugars that are widely available to American consumers. With the help of a co-founder, the two subsequently started Just Panela in 2013 in an effort to bring Panela to the American market.
The company objective is to replace brown, white, and turbinado sugar in all areas of specialty coffee and tea, food and beverage products, baking, food service, natural, gourmet, and grocery. Why is sugar refined in the first place? The answer is that industrial sugar has no choice but to be refined due to the mass collection process used by big sugar. It’s a dirty process that requires cleaning and filtering, involving multiple chemical applications as well as cow bone char! Just Panela, on the other hand is machete cut and kettle cooked by hand to allow sugar cane to retain its natural mineral content and teroir.
Sugar doesn't have to be bad for you!
The way cane sugar is supposed to be, Just Panela cane sugar is hand cut, hand kettled, hand crafted. That means no industrial collection or processing. Just Panela cane sugar retains the natural characteristics, knows as "terroir" (pronounced; 'ter-war'). This means a product of nature retains its taste from the soil, climate, and region from whence it came. When white, turbinado, and brown sugars are centrifugally refined the good is thrown out with the bad. That includes the naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
What grows together goes together.
At Just Panela we strongly believe in the philosophy that “what grows together goes together.” Our USDA Certified Organic unrefined cane sugar from Colombia, otherwise known as ‘panela,’ is sourced in the same region where your Colombia Arabica beans are grown. Panela’s robust, earthy taste makes it the best sweetener available for coffee and tea.
Taste and Texture.
When sampling panela, one can immediately recognize the difference in taste and texture from other sugars like turbinado and brown sugar. Used in coffee and tea, panela acts as a sweetener that naturally complements the flavor and minerality of the coffee bean or tea leaf. In baked goods and other food, it enhances the flavor profile, adding hints of caramel, molasses, raisin, and spice. Panela’s ability to compliment quality tea and coffee while adding a subtle yet distinct flavor profile to foods, makes it a welcome alternative for consumers in premium cafes, bakeries and homes.
Nutritive, Raw, and Organic.
Unlike commercially refined sugars, panela doesn’t undergo the heavily mechanized process that strips away the natural matter from the cane. As a result, it retains the vitamins and minerals inherent to the cane plant itself, including potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and vitamins A, B, C, D, E. Additionally, panela’s more complex carbohydrates break down slower in your bloodstream, providing sustained energy release preferable for diabetics and athletes.
A Premium Alternative on the Condiment Counter.
We currently work with a USDA Certified Organic farm in the Valle de Cuaca department, to bring real raw, unrefined, nutritious cane sugar to consumers in a variety of settings. Bulk customers include coffee roasters, cafes, restaurants, bakeries, and food manufacturers. Just Panela has 1 lb kraft bags placed in retailers nationwide.