Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Just like the old days

- Honey stop the car!
- What? Here? It's a highway!
- But the steam train is coming! Here, a dead-end roaaaaad! Pleaaaaase.
This dialog seems to have taken an eternity. We were on the road on the way back from church exactly at the same time as the steam train was coming! It only takes tourists on weekends and I was going to miss the chance to take pictures? Luckily, right after the bridge there is a dead-end road and I was able to photograph "Smokey Mary" or the steam locomotive-hauled train. The train rides about 16 miles (25 km) to a nearby town. School field trips have taken my kids to ride the train and they learned all about old train cars and wagons in a very amusing way.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Grab some coffee

If you are a coffee drinker and ever wondered how that steaming coffee you grab every morning gets to your table, here's how it is processed. After the coffee beans are harvested, they are typically sun-dried on large patios made of asphalt or cement, where they are shifted at regular periods of time for several days to prevent mildew and fermentation while they dry. Then they are transferred to mechanical dryers. This method is widely used in Brazil. Additional processes include: sorting and grading; polishing, storaging and aging. Roasting is the last step, and it can be done either at the roasting companies or at home. I used to roast coffee for our family when I was a teenager, it was one of those chores my brother and I did not enjoy much, but I can tell you, I can distinguish a good coffee from a distance today.

The coffee farm: Chic Coffee (English) and Café Pessegueiro (Portuguese)

More pictures related to coffee on my previous posts:
1) Guesses anyone?
2) How would you like your coffee?

And that's my dad waving on the first picture...