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Coffee Anyone?

Coffee Anyone?

P1780476 cheese stop

Many farm houses have living quarters on the second floor and an open area at ground level.

Manabi Ecuador

Last week after the coffee-picking trek, my friends and I stopped by a  farmhouse on the way back to Jama.   Enjoy the photos while listening to Frizztext’s updated version of “Calling Mississippi.”

As in the last post, these images of Ecuador’s rural farmlife remind me of my childhood years in the Mississippi Delta.

P1780515 CORN UPRIVER JAMA

Artfully hung, the corn dries beneath the house.

P1780482 NINA Y PUPPY

Brittany, a natural guide, greeted us and showed us around the grounds!

P1780518 cacao seeds

Cacao seeds are dried in the sun in several stages.

P1780535 TURKEY

I was pleased to see that I could still call a turkey! This one approached then ruffled his feathers and probably called me a trickster!

P1780473 GREAT OLD HOUSE UPRIVER FROM JAMA

The tall bamboo is called, ‘canya,” and is a versatile building material.

P1780537 arturo family

Just down the road, we stopped at a petite little store and waited for the moto taxi.

The store reminded me of a store in the Mississippi Delta, where I would ride my horse onto the front porch, lean inside and request a lemon cookie while fishing my modest change from my pocket!

The building reminded me of a store from my childhood, where I rode my horse onto the front porch, leaned inside and requested a lemon cookie while fishing my nickel from my pocket!

P1780551 amazing face arturo family

“Arturo” told us about his family. His sister lives in the house we had just visited, and his brother was the photogenic “Antonio” from the coffee farm!

Antonio

Antonio

P1780549 heliconias for jody

I suspect that Bobby won a few brownie points with the lovely heliconia for his wife Jody!

P1780550  quick shot from mototaxi woman on horse

Cynthia and I were surprised that I captured this image as the mototaxi passed this trio on horseback!

P1780552 red coffee cherries

Beautiful lovely coffee cherries! Now what does one do with a bag of coffee cherries?

Harvesting the coffee cherries required close attention to each fruit; after picking for almost two hours, we did not have a lot of cherries to show for our work! Squeezing the seeds from the fruit is not an easy task! Imagine squeezing a watermelon seed across the room. Now imagine that seed being the size of a marble with a thick grape-like skin. There’s just enough flesh between the ‘marble’ and the skin to make the seed pop out – IF the seed is ripe enough. I quickly learned that I should have left many on the plants to mature a while longer! Like watermelon seeds, many of the coffee seeds sailed out of my fingers in wild tangents!

P1780557 coffee cherries coffee beans

The tough skins have to be removed…

A slippery pulp covered each seed; the shelled seeds then took a long soak in a container of water, which was changed daily. After two days, the seeds took a sunbath! (Those images are mysteriously lost!)
The seeds dried for three days under cloudy skies; next they will be roasted and ground.   There’s one minor problem:  I know nothing ’bout roasting coffee!

P1780558 got coffee skins

The skins were dried in the sun for a future artistic project.

Cacao (chocolate) can be ‘roasted’ on the stovetop; if one can make a roux without burning it, surely one can roast the coffee beans!  Yes or no?

I think I’ll do a little test!  Perhaps I’ll also try roasting the cacao!

Three stages of cacao (chocolate beans) drying on the sidewalk in Jama.

Three stages of cacao (chocolate beans) drying on the sidewalk in Jama.

Wish me luck and stay tuned!

Z

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