Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


It comes as no surpise to anyone that I would visit a coffee plantation. Doka Estate was a fascinating half-day, if only to see the whole coffee production cycle.

I had never seen a coffee plant before. Interesting that they first grow them in small, protective cages before transplanting them into the ground. Noone would tell me why beyond the vague and general - it ensures their survival. Coffee fruit (the beans are inside) are deep red when ready to be picked. I picked a few and squished out the seed, which to my surprise was almost white. I guess roasting is actually essential :)

Coffee Cages, Doka Estate, Costa Rica

Coffee Plant, Doka Estate, Costa Rica

But before the coffee can be roasted, it must first be dried. This they do in big open areas. The coffee guy rakes the beans over and over all day long. Thanks coffee guy, us addicts really appreciate your efforts!

Coffee Dry Out, Doka Estate, Costa Rica

The rest of the story is roasting and optional grinding. Interestingly the coffee guy basically vilified decaf coffee as if it were a destructive force send straight from hell. I had never heard anyone so opposed. Of course, I agreed, coffee sans caffiene is just, well, brown water.

Coffee Guy Grinds It, Doka Estate, Costa Rica

Doka Estate shares coffee mafia status in Costa Rica with another company, Cafe Brit. While I thought both had great coffees I liked a smaller local roaster better. We'll get to them later when we visit Manuel Antonio.

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Blogger suzy said...

mmmm, coffee! Wonderful life affirming stuff.. There was a coffee roaster in the town I lived in in Brasil. The days they did the de-caf process it was the most horrible smell. Pretty much turned me off from drinking de-caff forever. Roasting was done using heat, de-caff had some strange chemical thing going on.

1:42 AM

Blogger Jim said...

Suzy, it is some chemical they use that binds and removes the caffeine, I think a silicate. Decaf has always tasted off to me!

7:32 AM


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