Wednesday, February 2, 2011

spilling the beans

Why hello, my sweets! I apologize for the sporadic posting. My excuse: I worked all day yesterday and had an interview this morning. As my twitter followers already know, I'm back in the great city of New York and have been since late Friday night. Central America was phenomenal but life compelled me to make my next move. Hopefully I will be able to share specifics with you soon. Until then, back to Boquete:
Wednesday afternoon we took a trip to a coffee plantation. Not just any plantation though, we visited Cafetale La Milagroasa, or, The Miracle, and learned a whole lot about the growing, harvesting, roasting, and brewing the beloved coffee bean. 
Boquete is one of the best coffee growing regions in all of Panama for it's rich soil and highland climate (please note that most mainstream beans are grown in the lowlands which accounts for their bitter flavor).
Cafetale La Milagroasa sells specialty coffees. The first from the Geisha plant and the second from a blend of beans like Caturra, Criollo, and Pacamara. (I could've very well spelled each of those names wrong, please don't judge). 
How to Make Coffee. Step 1: Pick the coffee bean fruit from the trees. Step 2: Separate the beans from the skin. Step 3: Allow the beans to ferment by soaking them in water for about 20-30 hours. Step 4: Lay beans out to dry for 15-20 days. Step 5: Store indoors in plastic bags for 3 months. Step 5: Use a machine to de-shell the coffee beans. Step 6: Roast those babies up...
Above you'll see the distinction between the light, medium, and dark roast. There's literally only about a minute of roasting time difference between 'em.
Then, following the grinding of the roasted beans, we got to taste test the medium roast ourselves. Even black, it was amazing; Sweet, not bitter, and incredibly luxe.
We also had a chance to try the three levels of roasted coffee beans, but I only had one of each. If I'd eaten any more I would have been jumping off the wall. I know this for a fact as my tour companions did, and were.
Yum, I love coffee, and I brought a bag home for my parents too. It was, shall I say, a miraculous experience.
After wrapping up our tour, I dropped my camera on the ground and injured it greatly. (It's currently at Best Buy being nursed back to health). As a result, I do not have photos of the fabulous dinner we ate that night. Nor do I have any of Panama City where we went the next day. I do, however, have a fun little video of all the country's capital in 30 hours :). It should be up by Friday. Hasta la vista.


  1. Poor camera!

    Not a coffee fan, but it sure is neat to see the process - fascinating how so much goees into making something that we take for granted.

  2. Sagan: I know :(. Right?! I was very impressed.

  3. Panama! wow!!! can't wait to travel around that side of the world!

  4. Pinoy Boy Journals: Enjoy it! It's a beautiful country and region.

  5. i love love love this! and can't wait to see what surprises you have up your sleeve! :) so glad panama was everything you'd hope for!

  6. Whoa whoa whoa welcome back!!! I can't wait to catch up! I remember seeing something about you being back via Twitter, but I was still in bed and thought maybe I dreamt it? I'm so weird. ANYWAY good luck with your news and I can't wait to hear all about it!

  7. Katie: Yay, thank you! Can't wait to share :)


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