Doka Coffee In-Depth: o, Una Tarde de Café

Tarde de Café con Doka Estate (An Afternoon of Coffee with Doka)

As mentioned in a recent post, Xandari was joined last week by one of Doka Estate’s coffee experts, Natalia Vargas, who gave a presentation on the estate’s process of growing, harvesting, and preparing coffee. The presentation also involved a coffee-tasting session so that we could see… er… taste the fruits of Doka’s hard work. This latter part of the presentation is what I’ll be mostly focusing on in this post. I don’t want to give too much away, in case I spoil the fun of visiting the Doka Estate for yourself when you’re next staying at Xandari, but seeing as it was a very informative and enjoyable a presentation (at least for a coffee lover), and that Xandari should soon be in a position to capitalize on the knowledge in its own coffee endeavors (most recent post here), I thought I’d spill just a few of the beans here, no pun intended.

Coffee table set-up

Natalia first walked us through the actual growing, selection, and harvesting process. All the beans at Doka originate from plants alread Continue reading

Peaberry Coffee

Mostly standard coffee beans (some Peaberry beans may have snuck in!)

A friend from the Doka Estate (on Doka see our most recent post on coffee) visited Xandari yesterday to tell us more about the process of growing and preparing coffee from seedling to cup. We’ll go into what we learned in more detail in another post, but for now I wanted to share something interesting I learned about different types of coffee–specifically about the type of coffee called “Peaberry” (or caracoli). Continue reading

Coffee Seedlings

Last week, using Borbón coffee seeds graciously given to us by the Doka estate, we started growing new seedlings to eventually plant in the ground at Xandari. José Luis showed James and me how to prepare a substrate of earth mixed with decomposing leaf litter he had put through a sort of wood-chipper to make a soil that closely mimics the forest floor where coffee often grows wild here.

In a wooden box with a corrugated tin floor (so water can drain easily), we made a bed of about an inch of soil. Then we put the two varieties of Borbón on either side of the box. Once the box was full, and we had removed all the rounded seeds that wouldn’t be as healthy as the seeds with a flat face, we added another layer of soil on top and watered the box.

After we had gone, José Luis remembered to add a layer of dead leaves on top of the soil to help keep in the moisture and recreate natural conditions of the forest floor. Later, we went to visit his friend who had sold us the Borbón we planted earlier last month, so that James and I could see what our seedlings would eventually look like as they were transplanted into the black plastic bags we knew so well.

Continue reading