Okay guys, so this was by far my favorite activity in Costa Rica. I recommend you do a coffee tour whenever you get the opportunity. It doesn’t need to be in Costa Rica — though it doesn’t hurt. Anyway, Don Juan’s Coffee tour was not only coffee (with samples at the end!) but a chocolate AND a sugar cane tour. I mean, samples of all of that? It really doesn’t get better.
Oh but it does! It was SO educational. Not only was it educational but it wasn’t boring. Sometimes I find that educational tours can be too educational but this was perfect. So where to begin? Let’s start with Chocolate.
So to the right you have what the inside of cacao looks like. Disgusting right? They actually had us suck on the liquid part inside to taste it. It’s actually pretty sweet and definitely tastes better than it looks, trust me on that one. At one point, chocolate was used as a means of currency (my kind of money) but it has since become a staple for a sweet or bitter taste. Once done with the liquid part of the cacoa, the seed goes back in the ground to grow another tree with these yellow oval shaped “seed” for more chocolate! After that it’s smooth sailing on getting the chocolate to well, taste like chocolate!
There isn’t much to say about sugar cane except that it looks like bamboo, you can actually suck on the stick of it, it gets pressed through a machine that taste the sugar cane juice out of the plant, the plant can be used as “grass” and all you need is to add a little lemon or orange slice to it and it’s the perfect breakfast drink.
Alright, so this was extremely interesting and I now have a new appreciate not only for coffee but also the cost of it. I’m always trying for the cheapest way to get coffee but after seeing and hearing what the process is and how much a person makes to do it– no more. Anyway, it starts with people (women are better at it because of their small hands) as pickers to pick berries off of trees into a large basket that wraps around their waist. They then dump the berries into water to see if they float, if they do they are good, if they don’t they are thrown out and it’s dock off their pay. The berry goes through a machine that rids it of everything but the bean, and then they get roasted. Two interesting facts, dark roast coffee has LESS caffeine than regular, and America is nowhere near the top country in the world for coffee consumption.