Dave and I had a delightful visit to a very rustic coffee plantation. The woman that ran it was just a dear and we totally enjoyed getting to know her and her easy way of life.
As you can see by the pictures - the process of making coffee has not changed much in a hundred ears. The coffee bean is shown above and believe me, it is delicious.
Venezuela is a country that is known around the world for its oil and its beauty queens. However, before the discovery of oil in the 1920s, Venezuela had an agricultural economy, dependent mostly on coffee and cacao. In fact, until 1919, coffee production constituted Venezuela's main activity.
Coffee was introduced in Venezuela from Martinique in 1730 by Spanish missionaries, in the Ciudad Guayana region. Approximately 70% of Venezuelan coffee is Arabica, considered the best variety of coffee.
Venezuela's coffee plantations are located along the mountainous regions of the Andes Cordillera and the Coastal Cordillera, an area that stretches from the border with Colombia in Táchira state until Paria peninsula in Sucre state.
Venezuelan coffee does not resemble other South American coffees. Its smooth rich flavor allows it to be considered among “the best coffees in the world,” according to Philippe Jobin, a coffee expert that has dedicated at least 40 years of his life to coffee.
Apart from supplying the domestic market with coffee beans, coffee production in Venezuela plays a social role: it generates employment for a high percentage of the active rural population, helping restrain the exodus of people from rural to urban areas.
As mentioned above, the discovery of oil transformed the nature of the country’s economy, which in turn affected the lives of all Venezuelans. Coffee price fluctuations coupled with increased real wages, higher production costs and higher land values have caused the decline of coffee production in Venezuela.
For the past fifteen years Arabica Coffee Company, the producer of Coupa Café has dedicated itself to rescuing the coffee tradition in Venezuela. The first step was to locate mountainous farms where Arabica coffee beans could be planted and grown in an ideal climate, with fertile soil and the best techniques.
Beginning with only 2 farms (known as fincas or haciendas), Coupa Café now works directly with 18 farms in a super fair trade fashion to obtain coffee beans for roasting. The beans are hand collected and sun-dried on patios in the traditional way. Then they go through a second selection process, before roasting to guarantee the best cup of coffee. The entire process ensures the best quality, aroma and taste of Venezuelan coffee.