Later on Day 2…
After the amazing zip line canopy tour, it was still early so we decided to go on a coffee tour, and Johnny whom we met on the zip line tour came with us. So we cleaned up and met our guide Alejando, whose family owns a coffee farm. Lesson number one about coffee: the bean is actually a seed that you find inside a coffee tree cherry:
The beans are shelled and dried.
And dried again in a greenhouse,
Then there’s another layer that gets peeled off.
Eventually, you’re left with a raw, green bean. It only gets its dark color after being properly roasted.
We learned that coffee originated in Etheopia. It’s also the world’s second largest commodity behind oil, so there’s a lot of money to be made in coffee!
Alejandro showed us around the coffee orchard. They have everything from 2 year old to 25 year old trees. He says you can’t use trees forever because when they get really old, the bean gets really small and bitter.
They also have pigs and oxen and cows and a horse and dogs and cats on the farm. Alejandro says you’re not a real farmer unless you have farm animals and a pet dog and cat or two. Alejandro’s dad was out feeding the pigs. Here’s a photo of dad and son:
After a tour of the farm and orchard, Alejandro took us to meet his mom Marta after which they named their coffee shop in town (cafe Marta) and he made us coffee in her kitchen. I’m not big on coffee, but this cup was pretty smooth. Alejandro says when coffee is bitter (which is why I don’t like coffee) it’s made wrong. We drank the coffee he made us black, it was that good!
Marta made us snacks to go with our coffee:
We drove back to town during sunset:
Alejandro took us to Cafe Marta:
There, we met their coffee partner Ken. He’s part of what they call the sustainable coffee initiative. It’s a group of 4 growers whose goal is to get rid of the middleman when it comes to coffee so instead of selling the bean for cheap to the big industries, they’re taking their own beans and making the coffee in-house. This is where the roastng comes in! Ken showed us how to roast coffee beans.
Here are the different colors of beans as they roast. They turn brown because of the sugar content. He says you have to be very careful not to over-roast the bean, because then you’re cooking it.
Hot chocolate for me….
Here’s a photo of all the gowers in the Sustainable Coffee Initiative.
Tiffany met up with us at the coffee shop and we ended the night with a really nice dinner together at a restaurant called Trio.