Monday, February 28, 2011

Coffee Production

We visited a coffee finca to see how coffee is produced and packaged. Interestingly, the guide said that Vietnam is now the second highest producer of coffee, pushing Colombia into third place. Guatemala was around 16th place, as I remember.

The red coffee beans are good to pick and in Guatemala, this is a manual production process. After picking the beans are sorted and washed and then laid out to dry as you see below.

This is a final step where they roast the beans and then package many. Most are exported but Azotea does package beans and grind some for sale in their shop. Yup...bought some to bring home. The coffee smells we loved.

Here, the men are drying beans and they rake them and turn them all day. We had some uncharacteristic rains for this time of year while there and the whole production process has to be completed before the end of March when the heavy rains start. Beans can be redried if wet, but if there isn't enough time at the end of March to redry, the "crop" of beans not yet dried, and packaged will be lost. Interesting to watch them walk all over the we would be drinking.

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