one of the things the chef had to do when we were in puerto rico, was visit a coffee plantation. he searched high and low for a place that would let us come explore — and he found hacienda san pedro in jayuya. jayuya was about a three hour drive from where we were staying, up the most windy, mountainous roads of our lives. the chef and i are from colorado and west virginia, respectively, so that’s saying something. but the views from the top, they were worth a little car sickness ; )
our vacation friends, seth and michelle, came along with us. we were so happy they did, we had so much fun together on this trip. one of the many highlights happened about two hours into the drive when we all had to go to the bathroom, but ya know what? there weren’t any gas stations. anywhere. instead, we found these two old men sitting on their porch who were kind enough to let us use their bathroom. then we bought some weird fried food from them. ha!
when we finally got to hacienda san pedro, we were greeted by the owner of the plantation. he showed us where the coffee is roasted, and bagged (by hand!) before being sent all over the world! so cool. then he pointed us in the direction of the coffee fields and we started hiking.
coffee plantations are interesting, because they’re on mountains. there aren’t any rows like you’d see on other farms. it’s more like, a glob of coffee here and another glob there. all of the different globs were marked with signs and dates, noting when they were planted.
growing season is all through the spring and summer. then in about august, the coffee beans start to turn red and fall off the bush. that’s when farmers come in and pick them (or pick them up) and take them in house to be roasted.
we hiked out here for an hour or so. it felt like ten thousand years, because it was about seven million degrees at this point. please forgive our sweaty grossness.
see that little dog? he’s the owner’s dog. he hiked with us the whole time. he had so much energy!
after the hike, we went to a tiny cafe on the property, where they roast some of their beans daily for customers. we all bought some. we also had espresso and lattes and pour overs. no amount of heat was going to stop us from having this amazing coffee, directly from the source. also we drank lots of ice water ; )
this was the. best. latte. of my life. this was what coffee’s supposed to taste like. i guess i didn’t say it up front, so i will now: we are big coffee connoisseurs. or at least, pretend to be. we even gave out locally roasted coffee as wedding favors! while we’re not completely above starbucks (being a gold member has it’s perks — and the chef is a huge sucker for frappe hour), we know what real, properly roasted coffee is supposed to taste like. and this my friend, is it. the best latte of my life, for just $1.60. grown less than a mile away, roasted in the room we were in, foam art and all. [side note: the specialty puerto rican coffee starbucks sells comes from this farm. can you imagine how much this latte would have cost there? jeez. its $4 just for their standard stuff!]
after the hike, we stopped at a HUGE waterfall and swimming hole on the side of the road. it was a little terrifying, because a huge storm had just started and there were no guard rails on the road. everyone (but me, i’m a chicken), jumped in and swam for a little while. i couldn’t have jumped in anyway, i was holding everyone’s wedding rings. what would we have done with them if i was swimming!? that’s my story and i’m sticking to it.