QuickPeek: Cooking. Farewells. Coffee Grinder!

My primary focus in this post will be about making coffee. But before we get to that…

The last couple of days have been Rainy and we decided to make a tour of our friends in Tumbaco to wish farewell before heading out. We went for, what might be a potentially, last few lunches at Diana’s cute little restaurant Shalom. We had a great meal and she asked us to join her on a couple of errands about town so we could hang out more.

The rain incidentally was a large weather pattern and Santiago got word that the coast was pretty much washed out, Manta was under water and some of the roads had been shut down. So the recommendation for us was to take a bus to Coca. I suppose given we might be spending a good portion of the next few weeks on Boats, skipping a few days ride was not a tough decision. Diana took us to the bus station and we picked up tickets for a midnight bus to Coca. Hopefully we’d reach early in the morning and find a place to stay and find ample information on the first Boat leg.

Later in the evening, we headed to Diana’s place where she had invited some of her family over. Krista made some Awesome Hummus and Pesto with some stir fried veggies and I made some Pita looking things which tasted well but didn’t rise to the occasion, he heh. The dinner was pretty awesome and we headed back home. The Rain persisted thro the night and I suppose when we head out tomorrow night, we might be caught in the storm for sure.

Coming back to the main story…

So I have been thinking of ways to make that perfect camp coffee. I invest in good coffee powder (avoid instant coffee like the plague), have been carrying 3 or 4 different percolating options and when I was in Bogota, I was so tempted to get a hand coffee grinder. The prices of new ones were exorbitant and they were mostly made of plastic, duh. When I came across a old school hand grinder at a flea market for 10,000 pesos, I picked it up, even though it had many parts missing.

Making it usable was a pet project of mine and when I went thro San Agustin, Jan helped me to remove the wood housing (he used it to plant some flowering shrub in it) and I took some time to sterilize it with alcohol and fix the missing bolts etc and make it usable. I was, however, still missing an essential component, a pin to keep the grind size consistent and a handle to do the grinding. It was going to be impossible to find them, until…

While in Tumbaco, Santiago recommended me to go and see a Master machinist, Alberto, who incidentally lived right behind Santiago’s place. I went to Alberto to ask for help with unclogging my shift levers. That project he did with extreme precision and it was a great success. When at his workshop, I thought it would be great if he could machine bits and pieces to make the goffee grinder operational. I asked him about it and he was happy to help.

I got around to bringing him my drinder and emailed him a couple of pictures of the handle and grind size mechanism. That’s all was needed. He was a super busy guy, but in a couple of days, when I went back to him, he had mede this absolutely gorgeous and solid as rock setup with a lovely little handle, welded together and built like a tank. Awesomeness, Thank you amigo Alberto!!

I had been carrying some organic coffee beans from San Agustin and my first task was to test the grinder. How do I do that? Well grind up a bunch of beans and drink it! The grinder worked like a charm. I love it that Alberto set it up with a long handle, the grinding beans for 4 cups took a little while and the long handle made it super comfy for the task. The grind was super consistent and the proof was in the cuppa. A stunning cup of coffee. One of the best I’ve had in a while! Awesomess.

Thank you Alberto for your excellent workmanship and making sure we drink a good cup of coffee everyday! yay!

Track Notes

Expenses: SG$ 55.01
Comments: Awesome days in Tumbaco eventually come to an end.