Wow…I think I need a new pair of arms! Last Tuesday afternoon the swell started to pick up in Tamarindo and from Wednesday to Sunday evening, the waves were on fire and so beautiful! I unfortunately missed surfing on Wednesday, but at least I was doing something fun…
Last Wednesday I took a road-trip up to Monteverde to a coffee farm. I learned so much about the coffee growing and roasting process that it makes me appreciate and love coffee that much more! Since I just did a blog post for Robert’s blog, I thoughtI would repost it here so y’all could enjoy!
Re-blogged from Robert August Surf Blog…
For the past couple of months I have been trying to go up to visit a coffee farm in Monteverde. Well, as luck has it, I went up last Wednesday just as a beautiful swell was hitting Tamarindo. Picture 5-7ft+ waves with the right amount of offshore wind. Good thing that the waves have stuck around for the past couple of days; everyone has been able to get their fill of waves.
Ok, back to the road-trip to Monteverde…the trip up from Tamarindo is about a 3 to 4 hour trip. Once you reach the turnoff for Monteverde, the road up the mountain is certainly an adventure. Picture a narrow, winding road with drops down the side if your judgement is off or another car is coming the other way! But, if you don’t mind the roller coaster ride up, the views and scenery is breathtaking, with beautiful panoramas of the Nicoya Gulf and Guanacaste.
Once we got up the windy road to the top, we arrived at Don Juan coffee farm. We met Luis of Don Juan and went into the small town of Santa Elena to grab some lunch and see how Don Juan roasts their coffee.
Don Juan roasts their beans in small batches, all done by smell, sound and look of the roasting beans. The beans lose humidity as they roast, and transform from a lighter green color to darker shades of brown (depending how long the beans are roasted). Don Juan has four different types of roasts: light (tueste claro), medium mix roast, dark roast (tueste oscuro), and espresso. The less time the beans are roasted, the lighter the color of the bean, more caffeine in the bean, and more flavor can be tasted from the bean. The longer the beans are roasted for, the stronger and bolder the “coffee” flavor. Once the beans are roasted, typically it is best to wait about four days to actually grind the beans and make coffee.
After lunch and the coffee roasting demonstration, we then went back to the farm to take a tour. A coffee plant takes about four years to start producing “cherries”. The small plants go through various stages with some great names associated with the stages…for example “butterfly” and “two soldiers”. Two plants are often placed next to each other in order to have the plants “compete” with each other to grow faster.
The coffee bean is ready to be picked once the cherry is red. The picking is all done by hand and because Don Juan only picks the red cherries, workers have to go back several times. They certainly emphasize quality (and consequently their pickers are paid more than industry standard).
An interesting fact is that a coffee bean has four layers. After the cherries are picked, the bean needs to be separated from the outer layer. If you taste the bean at this point, it tastes sweet. Once the outer layer is removed, the bean then needs to be dried on the drying patio. Then the beans are separated by hand for uniform size. All in all, for every 30 kilos of beans that are picked, 5 kilos of actual coffee beans are able to be roasted.
AND finally, the coffee is ready for roasting!
After a crash course in coffee growing and roasting, we headed back to Tamarindo…thankfully we took a much nicer road back down!
AND headed back to beautiful waves in Tamarindo!!!