...unless it's accompanied by a steaming hot cup of fresh Guatemalan coffee.
And when we say "fresh" we literally mean just picked-sorted-dehusked-dried-roasted kind of fresh...you can't get that at Starbucks :)
Today, our group met with the the speech language students once again to tour a Guatemalan farm, As Green As It Gets. Alberto was a 40-something Guatemalan who, through this non-profit organization, has been able to garner financial support to buy several acres of land to grow, harvest, and cultivate his own coffee to export to the United States (okay, so if you leave in Minnesota or Seattle, you can get "fresh" coffee.) He toured us through his land, explaining the growing process of coffee - did you know it takes approximately 4-5 years of growing before the ceresas or berries are ready to be picked? After that, the harvest occurs, and then a lengthy process of dehusking and drying the almendres or "almonds" (aka, green coffee bean). After several days of drying in the sun (and being mixed - by hand - every sun-filled hour), the beans are run through a different machine where the outer coat is removed to resemble what we know as the coffee bean, pre-roasted stage. Next, As Green As It Gets employs women from the neighborhood to help with the sorting process to only select the best looking almonds. Finally, the almonds are roasted, packaged, and sold.
Alberto and his sweet family made fresh coffee for us as the ultimate cherry to this already delicious morning...ahhh...I think we'll be just fine waking up in Guatemala for the days to come. And for those of you reading...thanks! If you're good, you just might be waking up to a fresh cup of Guatemalan coffee really soon :)
P.S. Pictures to come later tonight...we're off to part two of yesterday's teaser...marshmallows roasting on an open fire...