The Finca Esperanza Verde is actually a working organic coffee farm and this time around I arrived right at the end of the flowering season. Each of those little green nodules that are left once the flower has finished will turn into a coffee bean.
The last time I was here, I did the coffee processing tour that they offer to their guests. For me it was fascinating because there were so many parallels to sapphire mining (hi dad 🙂 ). It is all gravity and water driven (machine assisted wet processing) and many of the different parts of the coffee processing equipment had direct equivalents to the sapphire mining plants my dad makes.
Essentially, the picked coffee is fed into a hopper which then funnels it down to a mechanical scraper that removes the pulp covering the coffee seed. The coffee is then sorted using water – the beans that have defects float to the surface and can be sieved off. Once the coffee has gone through several such sluices, it is placed in trays and left in the sun to dry. It is then picked over by hand.
I continued the coffee journey at the Finca last time by doing the Nica cooking activity – roasting my own coffee and making my own tortillas. Roasting coffee takes a lot longer than I thought!
And finally – to finish the journey this visit, and although I’m not a coffee drinker at all – I decided I had to try the coffee at the farm (they have it constantly available for guests in the communal dining area – and tea as well!) It was actually pretty good – even though I forgot to put sugar in it (I did put milk though)! Didn’t have that really strong coffee smell and, although bitter, not too much so. Could actually get accustomed to it I think. But the question remains whether that tasted anything like all the other coffee you can get — they are renowned for their high quality coffee after all.