Day 3 in Guatemala

My third day staying at Eduardo’s home started off with our regular homemade breakfast and fresh coffee. However, today only involved a little bit of coffee. The plan for the day was a cooking class and a cupping.

Before the cooking class I had a couple of hours, so what do I do? Ask and you shall be given something to do. I got to help clean black beans – first time for everything! The beans were already harvested but we had to go through and remove all the small debris and broken beans. These beans are used food at the house. The way I was shown to do this was place an amount of beans in a large colander and shake them around getting the small debris to fallout the bottom while the larger debris comes to the surface allowing you to pick it out. After coming to a good stopping point, I joined an intense game of Uno! I was playing with Moises (Eduardo’s youngest son who was working with DLG and my main translator help while and home) and his nieces and nephews who were no older then 6 (if I remember correctly). Playing card games with kids is a great way to learn some Spanish! I had a lot of fun and time flew by, before I knew it, I was off to my cooking class.

This cooking class was a unique experience. Probably the best part is that it is taught by the farmers wife to help bring additional income to the family.  I arrive at the home where the class will be and we are greeted by our teacher, Miguel’s wife.  She begins to tell us about the meal we are going to make today. We were going to make Pepian, a local staple. Pepian is chicken over rice with several vegetables and spices made into a salsa. We also made our own tortillas, which it was obvious the ones I made, haha.

After explaining about the meal and how all the ingredients go together, we were asked if we are ready to start. We are ready, no questions! She turns around, lifts a laundry basket and picks up a chicken! A live chicken – we were getting the freshest meal possible, from all the vegetables and even the protein. Once the chicken was prepped, we started with cutting up the vegetables and blending them for the salsa. As both, the chicken and vegetables were cooking we started to make the tortillas. For some reason I could not get my tortillas to turn into a circle, at all! We are ready to eat. I was able to meet the De La Gente team and talk coffee. After becoming stuffed with pepian and fresh fruit juice, it was time for a cupping.

Back at the office we performed the cupping. A cupping the proper lingo for a coffee tasting, the whole process of it in short. First, you take a few different beans you are looking to sample. Next, separately grind the beans and place the freshly grounded coffee into small cups. Round 1 – go around and smell the aromas of the freshly ground beans and take notes of what flavors comes to mind. Round 2 -  pour hot water into the cup with the grounds and repeat the smelling of the now wet grounds. Taking notes of any flavors. Round 3 – you take a spoon and crack the crust that has formed. After you crack the crust is when you are taking a spoonful of coffee to try for the first time. Round 4- the coffee has now cooled down for a minute, so you take another spoonful to taste. After each round you take notes of the flavors and aromas that come to mind. The cupping was performed with different co-ops which De La Gente works with.

The day ended with dinner and finishing right where we left off in our serious Uno games.

 Pepian preparationCoffee Cupping

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