The Roasterie’s Travels: Destination Panama – Part 2

Day 5
So, today we woke up somewhat early and started our drive from Tuxtla, Mexico down to the Chiapas growing region. It was about a 5 hour drive and we experienced 3 military stops on the way to Tapachula, Mexico, which is right next to the boarder from Guatemala. From there we drove up the Coffee Trail for about an hour. This was a beautiful drive in the mountains past amazing waterfalls and streams, and through small villages where kids were just getting out of school and crowding the streets. We arrived at Finca Argovia and got to relax a little as we waited for Bruno Giesmann to come and meet us. During this time we went to our little cabin, and while Danny made some coffee I went on a little exploration to find some nice ripe red coffee cherries to taste.

Once I got back we sat out on the back porch of the cabin and I was overwhelmed by the scenery. It was breathtaking! The sounds of the rushing stream, the thunder as the daily storms rolled down the mountain, and the birds singing mixed with the amazing beauty of the landscape. This farm is 100% organic, but also has a large flower production, which they use as an additional source of income. It’s also a great way to enrich the soil for future coffee trees to be planted.

After we spent some time taking in the beauty and talking, we decided that it was best to go and meet Grace at the restaurant. As we waited for Bruno, we had some beverages and the chef made us some amazing traditional mexican appetizers. Once we were done with those, Bruno showed up and gave us a tour of the processing facility. Man, was it clean…as well as cool! They had machinery that was over 100 years old that was still in daily use, and all of the electricity for the processing is generated by water. The smell of the coffee being processed and dried is a clear indication that you’re on a coffee farm, and I seem to have grown to like it. Once we were done asking about a million questions we headed back to the restaurant for another great meal, as well as some great coffee conversation.

It’s 6 am now, and we’re getting ready early so that we may tour the farm completely and still be at the Mexican boarder to meet our bodyguards on time. I am a little nervous after some of the stories that were told at dinner, but Danny and Grace seem to think that everything is fine. The fact that we will have a bodyguard with us eases my nerves slightly, though. The adventure continues…