I’ve gone back to San Agustin to double check what the problem with the measurements was last time. An inconvenience with San Agustin is that the guy from Sol y Café who brings you there needs to be there for five minutes and then already wants to go back to Jaén, so I didn’t have too much time to perform measurements. I think we eventually stayed for about one hour and I got some proof that the measurements problems are partly due to differently calibrated Gehaka measuring devices, and partly due to another environment (temperature of air and beans, air humidity, dust in the air). At first, this looked like a problem, but then we figured that we could just calibrate our device to their Gehaka and then it should be fine; both errors should be gone then. The most important benchmark to see if a (humidity) measuring device functions properly is repeatability/consistency. We have definitely achieved this in our device (at least for oro), the rest is just calibration.

Then measuring on greater heights; what I thought would be very interesting information, turned out to be just some more measurements, as the temperature didn’t lower too much. I got temperatures of about 28° C, while the temperature in my office in Jaén is at temperatures of about 28°C to 33°C. That’s too little deviation to be significant, so I am planning to go to Chirinos, where it should be a bit colder, to perform more measurements and finally get some real information out of my work. It wasn’t a lost day though, as I visited a village with Harry and gave a speech to some 20 people about our device. I also finally got to see a chakra, so now I’ve seen the whole coffee process from the fruit on the plant to the coffee in my mug. I also saw the Peruvian methods for replacing a tire, as ours ran flat. In the end, this was a very interesting day, in an unexpected manner.

Monday pretty much was Skype day, and one of the skypes was with Joren. As I am really running out of time, he told me to focus on two important things: greater heights and pergamino. These were already on my to-do list, but pergamino turned out to be quite a lot more important than I thought. For the last few years, a lot of measurements were done with café oro (pealed coffee, green beans), and – in my opinion – too little with café pergamino. Farmers need a device that works for café pergamino, as they can only peal their beans manually on their chakras (their land, where they cultivate coffee); they don’t have so called piladores to automatically and rapidly peal café pergamino. First thing I did was make my own humidity sensor, with bigger distance between the two metal plates this time. I figured that as I was going to do a lot of measurements, I could easily just perform some more measurements with this new device and calibrate it, get some results out of it. The reason that I opted for bigger distance between the plates is that in the past, I think tests were mainly performed with café oro, and plate distance is probably configured for oro, not for pergamino. I think that having more space – and thus more coffee – might improve precision for café pergamino, which eventually is the goal.

At the moment I am a bit sick and took the day off, washing my clothes, writing this blog post and sleeping a lot. When I’m better I’ll really need to work hard as I am running out of time for my project. Wednesday, I arranged transport to Chirinos and before that, I would like to get my device calibrated and perform some tests on pergamino with already calibrated devices. After Chirinos, I’ll perform more pergamino measurements and make a video about the coffee and calibration process for the next generation of students. We’ll see what time brings us.

Last but not least, during the weekend we spent some time at Tarapoto. As the Humasol construction team couldn’t join us to go to Cajamarca, we shifted that trip a week. When we arrived, we spent some time in the tour offices to get the best price for our trips, got some more information, went to the bank (Jeroen also lost his bank card there) to get some money, until finally, I asked if we went rafting. It was just a word and we were in the car, on the way to the rafting spot. Some small hour later, we were in the boat, rafting on the local rio with two Peruvians that knew the river very well. This was definitely the best part of the Tarapoto trip. A bit further, we stopped to swing ropes and for a big part, we just floated in the river. After that, we went to Lamas, which was a bit boring. The next day was reserved for the Laguna Azul, a big lake where we played volleyball with and against Peruvians, swam a bit and made a small boat trip. The bravest of us also jumped from a platform into the lake. In the evening, we went to discover the night life in Tarapoto, so the next day was just sleeping, buying some souvenirs and heading home.


Freek lifting a bag of coffee


Replacing our tire





The people I presented our project to, during the sol y café reunion


Measuring on great heights


Café rojo





A pipe to transport café pergamino. Very clever imo.








This plant is sick. A pretty big problem for the farmers.


Fortunately I had Humasol safety sessions: watching out for falling mandarin oranges.
Oh yeah, and there’s a guy in a tree.


Me and Harry, posing in front of the truck.





So much foam in this jugo



El 27 de augosto, procession at the plaza de armas de Jaén


Michiel heeft een boontje voor Laura (Dutch proverb) – gigantic beans


Strange bottle sizes are typical for Peru, like this 400ml Coca Cola bottle.


Mirador in Lamas


Posing in front of some river and Michiel’s finger.


Solar panels!


Felt like home for Michiel.


Laguna Azul



Front seats in the boat with Jonathan



Jonathan holding a sloth


Laguna Azul







Mermaid at Laguna Azul


Of all Gauls, the Belgians are the bravest – Julius Caesar




Front seats in the bus = awesome!


Explaining my project to local farmers




Wrecked a power button to get it out


Woohoo! Properly functioning medidor!


With more space for more beans!


Three generations of medidores