Day 1. WOW you knew that was coming but loving this place. Sunday was spent on a very long bus journey to Esquipulas, to visit a farm called Las Nubes, a small to medium sized finca outside of the town. This is a farm we have cupped many times but has been bought up by long time buyers. Its kind of a queue and we have moved forward to be able to get some of this on the new crop.
The journey was kind of fun, chatting with the others on the trip and looking at the scenery. We arrived 4 hours later (yes 4 hours). The town is very famous for its church and we arrived on the busiest day of the year. People from all around Guatemala travel on a pilgrimage to the church to see the Black Christ. It’s a statue of Jesus made out of a dark black wood. The queue to touch it was over six hours. People were sleeping under tarpaulin sheets all day and night.
We were then invited by Fabio the owner of Las Nubes to dinner at his daughter’s house. This was a reasonable sized house with a huge garden where we all sat out and ate a wonderful home prepared meal. The house is in the middle of the town so was very close to the hotel where everyone else was stopping. Notice everyone else me the two owners of Mercanta and Richie the roaster from Monmouth were lucky enough to be invited to stop on the farm in a guest house that’s been built.
Now for someone who loves everything coffee the opportunity to stop on a Farm who’s coffee you enjoy and get a chance to sit and drink rum with the farmer his wife daughter and grandchildren is something that’s special. A few times I had to pinch myself to make sure it wasn’t a dream. It sounds a little corney but I felt quite emotional. I didn’t sleep too much more exitiment than anything else, but got up around 6:30 ish. An apology to Richie who had to share a room with me (separate beds I must stress) but noone deserves to have to do that.
The morning carried on where the evening left off with enjoying breakfast with some wonderful company. One thing I’ve got to share with you is Sonia’s recipe for Las Nubes Huevos. These are poached egss with a twist. For this you need
You take a small amount of onion and chop it finely. A small pinch of chilli basil and coriander and add to the onion. Take a plastic bag and place the mixture in one of the corners. Then crack the egg and place it in the same corner. Then you knot the bag and place it in boiling water for 10 mins, remove and serve. Wonderful wonderful wonderful.
So the farm great tour loads of photos as soon as I can upload them you’ll see them but a few below. I also got to do an interview with Fabio on my video recorder about what he thinks about our importers us and fairtrade, interesting stuff and I hope to get that on the website some time once I’m back.
We sat ate a wonderful meal, chatted with some great music. I must apologise for the over use of wonderful and awesome but they both fit so well. This trip is starting to feel a little different to every other trip I’ve been on. The emphasis is much more on meeting and socialising with the farmer and less about cupping. Sure we have some cuppings later in the week, but I’m feeling quite emotional about it all.
So now I sit on the bus for another 4 hours to move to Coban, where we are heading ready for tomorrow. One night (tonight) at the hotel then onwards again. The Internet connection has been non existent my emails must be in the hundreds and I’ve no way of contacting home. But when you read this I must have them all back as I’ve uploaded this :). The time flies and I know soon I’ll be setting home but for now I‘ll enjoy.