Monteverde coffee tours

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What I did
The coffee and chocolate plantations

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Puntarenas,
Friday, December 21, 2012

Hey, it's Max.

I'm here to tell you all about Monteverde, in particular, our trip to the coffee plantation.

First, the voyage there. We began by leaving Arenal in a van, and proceeded to hop onto a boat to cross Lake Arenal. It is a man made lake that is used for hydroelectric power generation. The lake rests over two cities, one being the old city of Arenal and another being another city that I cannot recall. I remember one of the two cities had to be dispropriated by the government, and the other was destroyed by the Volcano, I can't remeber which one...
After the half hour boat ride, we hopped off the boat and climbed an extremely slippery and steep muddy hill. I had flashbacks to the jello slide during frosh week.
Following the boat ride was a comfortable 2 hour ride on dirt roads in a van that needed new suspension. I wasn't bitter.

Finally arriving in Monteverde, we had some good times, but lets skip right to the best part, the Coffee and Chocolate tour!

Coffee is grown by small bush/trees, generally in the mountains, as there is some sort of advantage that way, or maybe its just to make the coffee pickers lives more miserable.
The beans are found within red fruits, two beans per fruit. They are at first green and covered in slime, the slime is delicious.
After sucking off all the slime, they are dried out in a greenhouse for a few days until they turn light brown. Once dried out, an outer shell can be removed, and the brown coffee bean we all know and crave is found within.
This is the product the "Don Juan" Coffee producers sell, it is up to the middlemen to roast 'em, as different countries have different tastes when it comes to the roasting process.

Also, the cocoa. We sampled some raw cocoa beans, they too are sweet and slimy, but slighty more slimy than sweet. Our tour guide crushed up some cocoa beans that had been dried and added some delicious ingredients, the most prominent one being black pepper. The finished product ended up tasting solely of pepper, but I imagine the cocoa alone is very good.

-Max
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