Sloths, Margays and Coffee Oh My…

A combination of living life and bad internet has set us behind on our blog posts. How could we ever have left Boquete without touching upon two of our favorite things there, the Dos Jefes Coffee Tour and Raquel’s Ark.

Raquel...and the sloths...
Raquel…and the sloths…

Raquel Frame is an interesting animal savior who moved to Vulcan, Panama about 12 years ago and has started a rescue shelter for animals needing a place to stay before either going back to the wild or moving to a more permanent home. Raquel rescued two baby sloths about 8 years ago, sisters Jessie

Jessie....
Jessie….

and Kira.

Kira...
Kira…

She has nurtured and house trained these two beautiful and loving creatures and gives anyone

Andy and Jessie...
Andy and Jessie…
Tom and Daphne take a turn...
Tom and Daphne take a turn…

who visits the opportunity to get up close and personal with them. They are loving animals (remember these two are domesticated, not wild) and holding them is a joy.

Peaches and Kira...
Peaches and Kira…

We went first as visitors then back twice more with friends who were visiting so they could also experience this wonderful opportunity. Raquel also has a margay cat,

Margay...Thanks Daphne...
Margay…Thanks for the great photo Daphne…

three coatimundis,

Some of the coatimundis...
Some of the coatimundis…

two raccoons,

One of the raccoons...
One of the raccoons…

a few dogs and cats, an owl

The shy owl...
The shy owl…

and you never know what else might be there when you visit. It’s a wonderful day trip from Boquete.

On one of our trips we included a tour of Finca Dracula

Finca Dracula...
Finca Dracula…

which is a beautiful orchid farm

IMG_2816

with over a thousand varieties of orchids growing.

IMG_2806

The bilingual tour guides are very knowledgeable

Our tour guides...
Our tour guides…

and we learned a lot about the many varieties of orchids on the tour.
While we were in Boquete, we wanted to tour a coffee finca. After asking around, the tour that everyone said was the best was at Café Luna, also known as Finca Dos Jefes or Two Bosses.

Finca Dos Jefes...
Finca Dos Jefes…

We called Rich and he picked us up from Valle Escondido at 9:30 and after picking up another couple we were off to Finca Dos Jefes. When we arrived, we all sat around a table on the patio

On the patio...
On the patio…

and Rich told us that he and his partner had owned the finca since 2003. He explained the complex system in place for rating coffee, how hard it was to make money in the coffee business. He pays his workers a fair wage and provides them with better housing than he is required to.

In the coffee fields...
In the coffee fields…

Then it was time to walk the coffee fields. All the coffee grown in the area is arabica coffee. As we walked he showed us which beans were ready to be picked

Red to purple is ready to pick...
Red to purple is ready to pick…

and how the beans are dried in the fields under the sun.

Drying racks...
Drying racks…

They have to be wrapped up if it rains and unwrapped when the rain stops. He took us into a dark, dusty concrete room, approximately 12 foot by 12 foot square.

Standard coffee picker quarters...
Standard coffee picker quarters…

This is the room where 4 or more workers would stay on a normal coffee finca during the harvest. They would cook over a open fire with no ventilation for the smoke.
We went back to the patio and Rich let us inhale the scent of a light roast and a dark roast.

Light roast and dark roast...
Light roast and dark roast…

He explained the relationship between time and temperature when roasting coffee and how darker doesn’t always mean more caffeine. Rich then brewed a light and a dark roast coffee for us so we could taste the difference. Then it was time for us to roast our own coffee beans. As a group, we chose Norma to be our coffee roaster.

Norma, ready to roast...
Norma, ready to roast…

The roaster was brought up to temperature

Flame on...
Flame on…

and the beans were loaded in.

Loading beans...
Loading beans…

We watched as the temperature was brought up again and then stabilized as the beans were roasted. When we heard the beans start to pop, the roaster was opened

Roasted beans being dumped out...
Roasted beans being dumped out…

and our roasted beans were dumped out of the roaster. Our beans were bagged

Norma displays our bagged beans...
Norma displays our bagged beans…

and we said our goodbyes and Rich drove us back to our pickup points, each of us with a bag of our freshly roasted coffee beans. After this coffee tour, we have a whole new appreciation for our morning cup of joe.

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4 thoughts on “Sloths, Margays and Coffee Oh My…”

    1. Yes it gave us a new appreciation of what goes into making a good cup of coffee. (Almost) makes me want to drink it black in its pure state as it was intended but I’m a cream and sugar kind of person. It was a wonderful tour.
      Suzi

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