Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Our First Day in the Field

Posted by Holly on July 6

Today we were up early and headed out to the coffee plantation G 25. We set up three different transects and then in small groups, were responsible for taking soil samples, doing 1M x 1M ground cover foliage analysis, and doing coffee

plant evaluations. When on a Coffee Plant (CP) team we determined and recorded information

including the base diameter, the number of nodes per branch (both with and without coffee berries)

and the total number of coffee berries on pre-

determined branches.

Yvonne hard at work.

Shawn takes his work seriously,

Tim not so much.

It was a great day to be out and working. We had sunshine the whole time we were in the field and other than some nuisance insect bites, the research went off without a hitch. We headed back to the research lab and unloaded the equipment. After that we enjoyed a great lunch of sea bass, fresh veggies, mashed potatoes, and homemade bread sticks. Dessert was rice pudding and cinnamon rolls.

Coby relaxing at the lab after lunch.

Can you smell the coffee roasting?

From the lab we headed to the CoopeDota coffee co-op in Santa Maria where we are staying. The coffee tour at the co-op was really fascinating and very informative. We even saw coffee beans that would be traveling to Starbucks in Europe. At the end of the tour we were able to experience coffee cupping. This is a multi-phase activity that is done after the coffee steeps for about 5 minutes (for this you stir the coffee "breaking the foam layer on the top of the cup" and experience the aroma)... and finally tasting the coffee (which is a combination of sipping the coffee from a spoon, swirling it over the palate, and then spitting it out so as to avoid an excessive caffeine buzz).

Holly and Sabrina moving a sack of coffee beans (~70kg) to be stacked before shipping it off to the UK for Starbucks.

Hillary, Brandon, and Zach at the coffee cupping.

Most of the group liked the Quetzal coffee the best.

Before coming home we got to choose a complimentary drink, and most people chose a variation of coffee (although my choice was for a chocolate milk shake).

Check out some more photos at: http://picasaweb.google.com/buckuwt/TarrazuEarthwatchJuly2009#

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