Grandma and Charlotte
We had another trip back to the Britt Coffee Tour with Grandma today. It’s somewhat slapstick but the people running the tour are very pleasant and comfortable cracking jokes in both English and Spanish. It’s neat seeing and learning so much about coffee after years of drinking it rather ignorantly. The coffee pickers use pannier/baskets attached to their waists so they can pick the coffee with both hands. A large basket ends up holding 25 pounds of beans which eventually equates to 200 cups of coffee. A fast and skilled picker can harvest 10 – 15 baskets a day (they only pick in the morning so the beans can start being processed in the afternoon). The beans are washed and then patio dried and roasted for various times. Beans destined for decaf coffee are sent to Germany from here as the equipment to take out the caffeine costs millions and Costa Rica does not have the resources for it. After the caffeine is removed, the beans are sent back for roasting and packaging. The caffeine ends up as a white powder and put into soft drinks and medicines etc. We also discovered that using fully boiling water in a coffee press makes the wax on the bean dissolve and leads to headaches and stomach aches – the water should be just under boiling for best results.
This time the tour was quite full with people from all over Europe, US and South America. It was interesting to see the wide mix. The tour also includes lunch in a really good onsite restaurant. It’s some of the better food we have had here with fresh salads and soups plus salmon and vegetables. The soup was roasted pumpkin and green tomato which turned out to be delicious.
We all had cappuccinos and iced coffees for the children afterwards. Charlotte (2) loved hers and by 4 pm still wouldn’t take a nap and was overly animated and bouncy – obviously they didn’t use the beans that had vacationed in Germany!
Post Trip Tea Party on the balcony of our house:
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