Monday, September 8, 2014

Don Juan Coffee Plantation - Part Two

Everyone loves coffee even the sloths like to hang out at the coffee plantation.  We just love seeing sloths where ever we go.  We are going to miss them.

A sloth just hanging around

Let start with the basic.  Coffee is actually a fruit.  The coffee bean is actually the seed of a coffee plant. The coffee bean is the pit inside the fruit that we call a cherry.  There are two important varieties of coffee plants,- Arabica and Robusta.     

This a coffee plant
A coffee tree can grow to heights between 16 to 33 feet.  As the tree gets older it produces less and less coffee cherries.When the berries are ripe they are always hand picked.  This is a very labour intensive process and often Nicaraguan immigrants are brought in to do the work.

These are coffee cherries and they are not ripe yet
The nursery
It is important for a plantation to plant new plants and maintain a nursery as a coffee tree was a 5 to 7 year life span for optimal production.

These are coffee beans that have not been roasted

I know you like these Mom
A bag used to store the coffee beans to be shipped to roaster

The workers who fill one of these would be paid $5.00

 We learnt that it is the roasting process that determines the intensity of the flavour and the richness of the color.  The longer you roast the beans the darker they are.  Everyone likes different flavours in their coffee.  It is important to taste the variety of roast and discover which one is most pleasing to your palate.  There is no right or wrong when it comes to your personal taste in coffee.
What kind of roast is your favorite?  I like the espresso for my lattes and the darker roasts for my drip coffee.

The Don Juan plantation also grows cacao and sugar cane.  I will talk about those two tomorrow.  Now go enjoy a cup of coffee.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Don Juan Coffee Plantation Tour - Costa Rica

OK if you know me you will know that I love coffee!  I love everything about it,  The smell, the taste,  the color.  I always drink it black and hot unless of course it's a latte but that's a different story.  Costa Rica is know to grow some of the best coffee in the world and I was not going to miss the opportunity to taste the best of the best in the world of coffee.  We got a chance to visit the Don Juan Coffee plantation and learn more about how coffee is grown, harvested, graded, roasted and yes even marketed to the rest of the world. Every tour begins will a ride in the ox cart.  Yes even to this day smaller plantations still use it.  Here the kids got to enjoy a ride.

The kids in the ox-cart
video video

After the ox-cart ride let's begin our tour.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Costa Rica - rambutan an interesting fruit

We had so much fun with our tour guide Reiner.  He asked us if we had ever eaten a rambuten.  since no one on the bus had he stopped the bus at the next roadside fruit stand and bought some for all of us to taste. It is also more commonly called a" mamon chino" 

To eat it you peel away the spiky skin and eat the chewy white interior.  It's quite sweet with just a touch of tartness.  Every roadside fruit stand sells them by the bag full.  They were quite good and yes I would eat them again.