Wednesday, March 04, 2009

One Year Ago Project

There were so many interesting agricultural crops grown in South America that were totally new to us.  One of them was coffee!  We didn't have the opportunity to visit a coffee plantation although we did see some from the highway.  Centre pivot irrigation covered the acres of coffee trees and we did learn that it's an expensive crop to produce but can yield big profits too.  We did visit the local coffee cooperative where growers bring in the harvested beans.

There were a few coffee trees growing along the boulevard.

And we saw some green beans on them.  I think these might be almost ready for harvesting.  Can anyone tell me for sure?

The beans are brought into the warehouse in bags.

And stacked in seperate piles, with tags marking each grower's pile.

The beans go through seperators where a laser (the purple lights) sorts them and they are run over shakers to clean and sort them.  

Inside the office area, a sample from each grower is kept for tasting, which helps determine which beans will be  blended to meet order specifications from the coffee buyers.  

Our local guide, Brian, speaking with the coffee taster who has many years of experience and is able to classify the beans - something like a wine taster does with descriptions of wine.  You can see the roasting pans where small samples are roasted before tasting.

Can you spot the differences in these beans, just by looking?

And we each got a bag of beans to take home with us!  In Brazil, they say that the best beans are exported and the rest are kept for the Brazilians to drink!  We loved the taste of this coffee and wish we had brought home more.

For someone who doesn't really like coffee, I really enjoyed our visit here!

Stay tuned for a visit to Fazenda Barcelona tomorrow!


  1. I think this would have been such a neat tour - I'd love to learn more about growing and roasting coffee beans.