Monday, March 23, 2009

Coffee Field Trip

One of the neatest things about living in Mexico is that nothing really is guaranteed.  Not even what you buy at the store--they say you can bring it back when you buy it, but when that time comes it's either "No, we don't take things back" or you're given a credit.  Not all the time, but generally speaking--just like what happened today.

Not a big deal, but it was a little funny how things worked out today.  Our plan was to go up to the foothills in the mountains with my brother-in-law Hugo and his family to pick, toast, grind, and drink fresh coffee from the plant.  Once we got there, Hugo's friends had either gone to town for a political meeting or were in the hills working.  After a while, the guys that were working came home for lunch and we had some very good soup with some very good meatballs and some very good and spicy salsa!  Also, we had some very good pineapple as well.

Right around the time we had to leave, Hugo mentioned to his friend that we'd like to take some coffee.  They had four gunny sacks full of coffee--around 100lbs each.  So, since harvest time is over, we weren't able to pick.  Instead, we got to see the next phase--his friend pulled out an electric grinder that takes off the shell from the bean.  After a loud 30 minutes we got maybe one pound of coffee beans.  Still we needed to sift through the garbage just like they do with the beans you eat.  We brought some home and they gave us a bunch more that still has the shell.  That was pretty awesome!

Something even better was that he took us up to his fields on a big hill where he has a little fruit called "nanchi."  I don't really care for them, but Geña and the girls LOVE them!  They were the biggest one's I've ever seen!  After picking a few nanchi's, he took us up to his pineapple plantation.  That was pretty cool too.  There aren't many ready yet, maybe a couple more weeks and there will be a few ripe ones.

In the end it was a pretty good day.  Even though it wasn't what I expected, it turned out to be very adventurous and there were some pretty neat things to learn.  So, with that, I'm going to start toasting some coffee!!!
Beans still in the shell.
Putting the beans in the grinder to take off the shell.
Sifting the garbage from the beans.
Coffee plant trunks that have been cleaned and varnished.  They make these and supply them to a Florist in town.
Nanchies that are not ready.
Ripe Nanchies.
Pineapple plantation...lots of pineapple!
A young pineapple sprouting from the plant.
We had some VERY GOOD Pineapple!

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