The El trapiche tour in Monte Verde
Coffee, sugar and cocoa are products a lot of us use daily. A cup of coffee in the morning, a piece of chocolate after work or a spoon of sugar for the afternoon tea. Coffee and cocoa are from the tropical regions of our planet, also cane sugar is mainly from Africa or South America. In Monte Verde a farm is offering tours around their fields to show interested tourists how the plants of our food grow and in which way they process the raw material. The first stop of the tour were the coffee plants of the farm. They grow various versions of coffee and process them in 3 different ways: Firstly, there is honey processed coffee. These coffee beans are dried inside the berries and this gives them a sweater taste. Then there are washed beans, without anything from the berry. Thirdly they have a mix of both of them. To process the last type of coffee, you pull the bean out of the berry, but you don’t wash them. So, there is still a bit of the berry´s sugar on the bean while they get dried. After walking around the fields, we visited the machines of the coffee production, like the roasting machine. The second stop was cocoa. Cocoa is not grown in Monteverde because of the weather. Usually, you have cocoa trees in tropical areas and you also see them in a lot of Costa Rica´s national parks. For the tour, they built a green house and have two small trees. Cocoa beans firstly have to get fermented, before you can eat them. After seeing the trees, we could try some of the beans and then made our own “chocolate” which was basically cocoa and sugar. Last but not least there was sugar or more precisely sugar cane. For the sugar production, they use the juice of the plant and then heat it until it gets creamy. From then on it just has to get cooler to become a kind of sugar. At the end of the tour we could try a typical Costa Rican dish and a lot of coffee. This was not my first agricultural tour, but it was definitely more fun than the one in Heredia hosted by Britt Coffee.