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March 12th, 2006
My group and I had an obligatory history field trip to a coffee plantation yesterday. We went to a plantation owned by a Cooperative called Coopedota. We took a tour on which we saw all the major stages related to coffee cultivation and production: growing the beans, harvesting the beans, separating the beans into different qualities, drying the beans, and toasting the beans.
First, they made us watch a lame video, but they soon made up for it by letting us taste the three different types of roasts. They are: claro, medio, y oscuro, otherwise known as light, medium, and dark. In my opinion, the medium roast was the best, but hey, that’s just me. Then they forced us all to wear hard hats, so of course we had to take lots of pictures of everyone looking like fools. Once we calmed down, they took us through the factory (if you could call it that, it was open-air) and showed us the whole process. It basically goes like this:
First, the beans are separated into three different levels of quality. This is done by filling massive vats of coffee beans with water. The best beans sink to the bottom, and the worst ones rise to the top. I gathered that this process is repeated multiple times. Second, the beans are dried. There are two different ways of doing this: sun drying, and machine drying. The sun-dried beans are of a better quality than the machine dried ones. It takes well over 100 days to sun dry beans properly, so this can only be done for half the year as it rains almost every day during the other half of the year. The machine drying process only takes 24 or so hours to do, so you can bet that most of the time you’re drinking machine-dried coffee. After that, they roast the beans in a big cylinder. It takes approximately 17-20 minutes for lightly roasted beans, 25 minutes for a medium roast, and 30 minutes for a darker roast. Then all the beans flow out of the toaster, where they are moved around in circles by a cool looking machine in order to cool. After that, the beans are either ground and packaged, or just packaged, and then shipped.
After the tour, they gave us the most delicious cold coffee drink I’ve ever tasted! I had 4 cups, and then I got the recipe. It is as follows:
2 cups milk
1-2 tsp. sugar
1-2 oz. espresso
1-2 oz. flavored syrup (they used mint, yum!)
and a little bit of ice cream
Mix ingredients together and blend! It’s REALLY good, I promise.Filed under Christin Chitty, Costa Rica, Recipes, Study Abroad, Travel | Comments (6)