At the Hamburguesería in Plaza Real Alajuela again. Took 25 minutes to walk here. I'm the only person in the restaurant. There must be a school nearby – a lot of kids hanging around. Some of the same teenagers I saw last night. I haven't done anything today except pack up and eat breakfast. I grabbed half a bagel and jelly for breakfast tomorrow.
So yesterday morning we drove to Finca Sircof. I met Marco Oviedo, whose Sircof Venecia Honey I roasted last November. Marco seems very nice, laid back, and knowledgeable. We walked around his farm. A lot of early flowering. The farm is very clean, organized, and scenic. He trims the bottom branches from all his trees so there is a 1 foot gap between the lowest branches and the ground. This creates a much cleaner-looking farm. He says it's easier to pick. And when they spray the undersides of the leaves, it's easier also. Marco says when you look under the trees you should be able to see if anyone is peeing on the other side of the field.
His trees all looked very healthy. He knows what variety they all are. He even stopped at one tree and said this is the most interesting tree in the farm. There are generally two trunks coming up from the plant. They cut all the rest that grow so the two can get all the energy from the root system. This tree had two trunks also, but one is a Villa Sarchi variety and the other half is something else. He says it is a mutation. The Villa Sarchi half produces very well and the other half does not. The leaves are even a different color. He says if the Villa Sarchi half has a very good cup profile, he will collect the seeds and plant them. the farmers are all looking for the next big thing. The next Gesha. The next Cup of Excellence winner.
There is a tree near his wet mill that I pulled leaves from. The tender leaves smell like potpourri and they taste like clove. It is called a Jamaica tree and they sometimes use the leaves in cooking. I'm so jealous of all the plants growing in the tropics that have interesting tastes and smells.
At 230p I'm catching a shuttle at the airport to go to El Castillo. Tomorrow morning at 6a I will begin a 50 mile race in the rainforest near Arenal Volcano. I'm getting nervous.
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