Coffee Farm Tour
I went with a friend here to tour the local Filadelfia Coffee Farm just north of Antigua. I learned about 100 times more about coffee than I ever knew before. It started with a drive out to the nursery where we saw baby coffee plants just after planting. We were also shown how they splice two plants together to get strong roots from one combined with the top of another with the beans they wanted. We were shown the beans in mature form ripe for picking and how they are hand picked and transported for sorting. Next we rode to back to the buildings where the beans were sorted by a variety of machines. Beans were dried in large concrete and tiles decks outside in the sun and then brought back into the machine area for more sorting. Apparently the idea humidity of a coffee been is between 8-12%. We were shown beans which were too dry and others which were too wet as well as samples of ideal beans. About 70% of the beans (I don’t remember exact numbers) are sold to Starbucks. Only about 10% of the lowest grade stays in Guatemala. At the end we were given a cup of coffee made any style we wanted. At the encouragement of my friend, I tried my first double expresso. Given I’d never had a double expresso–actually I don’t remember having a normal expresso–I was in for a bit of shock by the amazingly strong flavor. No wonder they serve them in small cups!