Our trip to Guatemala was a special one due to the fact that both Terry and I brought our wives. It was the first trip to Guatemala and the NPH orphanage for both Michelle and Kris.
Visiting for only four days meant we had very little down time. We were busy from the moment we woke up to the moment our head hit the pillow.
We were very lucky to have toured the Filadelfia coffee farm, or “Finca”. Finca Filadelfia is a beautiful, mountainous coffee farm located just outside La Antigua, Guatemala. With its Spanish architecture and its rolling mountains the farm is located roughly 5000 feet above sea level. Founded in 1870 Finca Filadelfia has been producing some of Guatemala’s finest coffees.
Our tour guide, with 18 plus years at Finca Filadelfia, was a wealth of information in all aspects of the coffee farm from planting and processing to roasting.
One of the more interesting bits of information we learned was there are many insects that find the high-quality Arabic coffee roots to be a delicacy. This has caused a large loss of crops in the early coffee growing days. To combat this, the coffee farm grafts two different coffee plants; the top of the Arabica plant with the roots of the Robusta plant, which the insects do not eat. This grafting, which can only be done by women due to their skin and hand’s non acidic PH level, involves cutting the stem of the arabica plant into a point, and the roots and bottom part of the stem of the Robusta plant into a “V”. They then tie the two together and replant them. This has proven to be a very effective way of reducing crop loss due to insect.
We learned that the life span of a coffee tree is roughly 30-35 years with healthy trees producing an average of 25 lbs. of coffee cherries, and 1 pound of coffee beans per year.
The tour was capped off by a cup of the best coffee I have ever tasted!