Let me start with saying that I don’t like coffee. To be frank, I hate it with the fiery passion of a thousand burning suns. There are many things that I like better in Italy than in the U.S., but it’s safe to say that coffee isn’t one of them. And, in my opinion, espresso is one of the absolute worst things in the world.
I did try the full Italian experience, having a shot of espresso after dinner as a digestive (no joke, it’s a thing here) so I’m not just saying that I don’t like it. But since part of my culture class covered coffee, I thought I should enter the unit with an open mind. Or at least as open of a mind as I was capable of. I drank the espresso, I participated in the coffee tasting, and I went to Coffee River.image
Coffee River was probably my favorite part of the coffee unit. There was minimal coffee consumption (I had reached my limit at this point and had water instead) and a thorough explanation of the making of coffee, from tree to cup. It was crazy interesting! And the best part was that I like the smell of Coffee as much as I don’t like the taste so I was in scent heaven. The entire facility smelled amazing.
During our tour we got to see one of their labs, their coffee bean roaster, the storage silos for the roasted and fresh beans, and the packaging process. My personal favorite was the coffee roaster. We got to see it in action! Once the beans were heated to the point were they crack (because of the moisture that is left after they are dried) they are spilled out onto a tray to cool and they are continuously circulated to dispel heat faster. Once they are cool enough there are transported to their storage silo through plastic pipes using compressed air! The best part was that Coffee a River uses solar power for 70% of its power consumption. I can defiantly respect that, even if they do make coffee!
Despite having a whole section of the culture class dedicated to something I despise, I still managed to thoroughly enjoy myself and all of my cultural experiences. Must be something in the Italian air that’s making me more agreeable!!!

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