Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Primitive Coffee Roasting, practiced today

Given the rich high altitude hard beans from Guatemala's high volcanic mountains, even this primitive technique produces an unmatched mellow roast. The indigenous Mayan farmers are the unwitting stewards of the World's best coffee beans, chemical free grown in symbiotic harmony with the high rain-forest.

"Hours before the sun rises and the day begins in San Lucas Tolimán, the coffee roasters have arrived at the coffee house, lit the fire that will roast the parish coffee, and are monitoring the progress of the precious final product that has evolved over hours and even months of work.

Coffee “Juan Ana” is roasted over an open fire, and at around 4:30, the parish coffee roasters begin their day and get the flames alight that will bring the coffee to its final, roasted stage.

The flames engulf the rotating blackened barrels in which the coffee is roasted, and approximately 120 pounds of coffee (in two barrels) can be roasted every hour and a half; dark roast coffee requires more time, but any roasting requires constant attention to the strength of the flames to make sure the coffee does not burn.

The result of this labor-intensive process is a rich final product that can be smelled in the neighborhood around the coffee house, sampled in the parish’s cafeteria, and enjoyed every morning around the United States."

attribution: the San Lucas Parish on North Lake Atitlan, Guatemala