Guate travels: Juan

One of the days that we went to Alberto's field he took us to his son Juan's farm to meet his family. They were great and their coffee trees were very well maintained.

Due to the height difference of the trees and Juan's family who picks the cherries. The first picture shows how they work around this issue. They use a rope tied to the tree and pull is down with a hook tied to a stump on the ground. That enables them to get the cherries at the very top of the tree.

The next picture is Juan picking some of his great coffee. And the third picture is of his wife.

Their work is a whole family affair, Juan's daughters, wife, and Father (Alberto) all work the fields to produce the wonderful coffee that makes up La Armonia Hermosa.

Photos of Alberto's land

As mentioned before, here are some pictures from Alberto's field. The first image is of the coffee cherries from one of Alberto's trees. They are almost ready for their first picking!

The second picture is of Alberto on the left, Julio (the main contact and organizer of the cooperative) in the middle and his son Melvin on the right.

The third image is of a coffee cherry with the two coffee beans that are found inside of each cherry. The beans are covered in a sweet tasting mucilage (the tan color). This mucilage is what ferments after the cherries have been depulped (depulping is what I did manually to show the beans inside. It is basically just taking off the outside ruby red flesh). From there the bean (with the mucilage on it still), is set out on drying racks and the mucilage turns into paper-thin parchment (this phase is called pergamino). I will show more of the phases later.

And the fourth image is of the coffee bean flowers. Before there are cherries, these white flowers form on the branches. Once these are pollinated then they will turn into the beautiful coffee cherries. The cherries start out as green to yellow to orange to light red to ruby red. If you don't pick it early enough they kind of turn a reddish brown color. All of these pictures were taken at the same time. Therefore, as you can tell there has to be multiple pickings of ripe cherries because some of the cherries are ready to be picked while others are still in their flower form.

More to come later...