We did not expect to be picked up in safari jeep for our coffee plantation tour, but alas…as we stood out front of the Ruins of San José el Viejo, such a vehicle pulled up and we climbed in for the ride to Finca Filadelphia.
Our guide greeted us and then our private tour began, with a focus on tasting. We walked though the processing areas and learned about how the coffee beans are extracted form the cherries, fermented, dried…there are so many layers to a coffee bean that I’m starting to think Shrek uses the wrong analogy.
From there we took a peek at the multiple coffee roasters at the plantation; massive machinery! We then followed our guide inside and actually got GoT roast our own beans in mini roasters. Having already learned about the different classes that beans are grouped into, we each took a turn roasting a different class of bean; first our guide browned up the Class 1 beans to a perfect medium roast, showing us how it’s really done. Trinh took care of the Class 2 beans, I roasted the Class 3 and together we managed not to burn the Honey Beans. Honey beans are raw beans that are dried without being fermented. It’s a sweeter taste as the natural sugars are not removed from the outside of the beans.
On to the tasting. Who knew there were so many ways to “taste” coffee. We smelled it. We shook the ground beans around and then smelled them. We shook the grounds, cupped our hands over the top of the cup and then smelled the coffee as we removed our hand. We poured the hot water in with the grounds and smelled them. Broke the seal and then smelled them. Tasted the different brews and then spit them out. Tasted the brews and actually consumed them. It was actually quite fascination and both of us learned a lot about the coffee making process. We have a much higher appreciate for our coffee now.
The remainder of our last day in Antigua, Guatemala was spent eating two-thirds of a massive plate of nachos from Monoloco, shopping for last minute souvenirs in the Antigua market and getting lost in the labyrinth of produce vendors, tasting a cannilitas candy from Doña María Gordillos as per the recommendation of Coco and enjoying a quiet evening with our hotel friends at Casa Del Arco before packing our bags in preparation of an early morning.