Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Costa Rica - Day 6

Monday gave our team a chance to learn a bit about local culture. We visited a small coffee roaster's workshop, walked through an active volcano's crater, and met with a missionary who first came to Costa Rica in the early 1970s. Still being sick, I was determined to make it through the day. I have now started a regimen of Advil and Pepto-Bismal tablets. It has helped, plus I'm getting better.
Helping Roast Beans

It was cool to see how coffee beans are prepared, the full "supply chain." Well, ok, not the FULL supply chain but from the plant to the bags we buy in the store. This gentleman, Fabio, owns the equipment to "shuck" (sorry, coffee experts, I don't know the term) the beans and roast them. He's located right in the middle of a coffee field too. So, coffee farmers come to him to use his roaster that was imported from Turkey at great expense. His two daughters are his only employees.
Fabio Explaining Coffee Bean Plants to Dan
I also discovered the answer to the age-old question: Does the coffee maker have any affect on how the coffee tastes? Well according to a wise coffee maker who lives and works in the region that arguably makes the best coffee in the world - no.
Sorry Everyone - A $20 coffee maker is all you need
Next it was off to great heights - of Volcan Irazu. Many of you have made trips up mountains, now imagine that trip in a 15-year-old Mazda MPV with 6 grown men and a large natural gas tank behind that back seat. Oh yea, and it's a "less developed country." We had a good time regardless.
Lunar Landscape? Nope, Just a Volcano Crater
It was cool to actually walk through one of the volcano's three craters. This is an active volcano but it hasn't erupted since the 1990s.

Our final stop for the day was at Harry's house. Harry has been a missionary in Costa Rica - with a bit of time in Africa - since the early 1970s. He is now retired, living with his second wife, here in San Jose. He literally had us laughing and crying numerous times during our visit. He has quite the house and is open for visitors just as long as you give him some notice. His roots begin with the Church of God which is the denomination of the gentlemen here with me from Indianapolis. They have some ties to Harry's family and his history. Talk about doing a lot to spread the Gospel, baptize, and disciple. Harry is quite the servant.
Harry's Front Porch


The Greene's said...

Love the updates, Sean! Praying for your improving health :)

Is there any way to purchase the coffee from here?

sean said...

Thanks for the comments, Sarah. It's encouraging to know that someone is actually reading! :)

I'm feeling much better thank you.

It is possible to buy coffee that was produced in Costa Rica, and even from the region we visited - Tarrazou. However, Fabio's product is not available. He has a website but no way to collect payment at this time. Probably something I could have helped him with if I was here longer. If you do but coffee from that region, he likely had a hand in producing at least part of the bag.


Lisa Webster said...

I'm reading, Sean! Just not much for commenting. Safe travels and hope you're feeling better!

Sylvia Alencar said...

Sua família é maravilhosa, parabéns.