When I make coffee for just me, I tend to use an Aeropress. If you aren’t aware of said device, it’s the best way to make good coffee for under about $200 — and it’s only $25. Go buy one. Anyway, once you have your Aeropress, you may get tired of dealing with paper filters. I did, so my ever-loving barista wife got me a stainless steel Aeropress filter from Able Brewing.
Our next Costa Rican destination was Santa Elena, near Monte Verde. This presented some logistical challenges. The distance from Alajuela to Monte Verde is around 75km as the macaw flies, but unfortunately there are some rather large mountains in the way. Once you factor in meandering roads, the route ends up being around 130km. In addition, the people of Monte Verde are concerned about what’s happening to areas of Costa Rica that are popular with tourists.
On Monday, we arranged to go on an all-day tour. The hotel had information about various tour packages organized by local companies. Now that we had seen some parrots, it was time for coffee, so we picked out a day trip that would take us to Poas Volcano and the Doka Coffee Estate, then to see some local crafts. As the bus climbed up the mountainside, we entered the cloud forest.
Now that we had decided to travel to Costa Rica, it was time to work out where we were going to stay. Since this was our Coffee & Parrots Tour, I started off by looking up the coffee plantations that offered public tours, and locating them in Google Earth. Next, I searched the Internet for information about Costa Rican parrot sanctuaries and breeding programs, and locations where parrots were often seen in the wild.
It was rothko who came up with the idea of going on vacation in Costa Rica. As a professional barista, she was interested in visiting a coffee plantation and learning more about the process of growing, harvesting and roasting the beans. I knew nothing about the country, and had to go do some research. It turns out that as Latin American countries go, Costa Rica is very unusual. After a brief civil war in 1948, the rebel army which seized power proceeded to draft a constitution, institute democratic elections, and disband the country’s entire military, including its own forces.
Walked downstairs to work this morning — I love home office — and discovered to my dismay that the espresso machine hadn’t switched on. Because it takes a while to warm up, I keep it on a timer switch. The timer had worked, but investigation revealed that the main power switch had failed due to about 7 years of thermal stress. Fortunately, I was prepared. When the switch started to feel “soft” a couple of weeks ago, I logged on to eBay and found a random company in China selling identical replacement neon-lit 240V/15A rated panel switches.
Now that I’m married to a professional barista, it became time to upgrade our coffee machine. Our Starbucks pump espressio machine had offered loyal service for several years, but rothko wanted something with a full size brewhead, like you’d find on a professional machine in an Italian espresso bar. Fortunately her job, plus a tax refund and bonus from work, meant we could afford to spend a bit. After a ton of research, we settled on the Expobar Brewtus II.
I like the smell of finely-roasted coffee even more than I like the taste of coffee. If only someone could discover a food that tastes the way coffee smells.