December 3, 2012
Today we went to La Azotea Cultural Center just outside Antigua for a tour of a working coffee finca (farm), along with museums covering coffee production and indigenous folkloric musical instruments, dress, and dances/festivals from all over Guatemala. This was all done remarkably well with guides and signs in flawless English. We got a pretty good insight into the coffee production process and had a pleasant stroll around the shade grown coffee plantation. It is the beginning of harvest season just now, so this is what the coffee cherries look like.
If you pick one of the cherries and squeeze it, some sweet-tasting pulp comes out along with two coffee beans. Once harvested the beans are then fermented, sun-dried, and roasted, all on site. The resulting coffee is pretty darn good - we all had a small sample after the tour and then bought a pound of dark roast beans to take home with us.
When we got back to Antigua we treated ourselves to an extravagant lunch at Rainbow Cafe. I've never seen Bethany and Sierra eat so much food at one sitting before.