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September 29, 2018
rickscoffee1@gmail.com

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Settling into Life in Placencia

Whoa! These past few years have flown by! Let me get all of you coffee lovers all caught up!

Within 8 months or so of living here I began to acquire all of my needed Belizean materials to make my hand crafted coffee soap. I formed my Belizean corporation. I also had spent my free time fixing up the beach house and creating our garden and wooden decks to travel on around the house with ease.

 

 

 

 

 

I began to make lots of coffee soap and coffee sugar scrub to supply the local stores.  I also began to make some amazing hand crafted coffee liqueur and Belizean fresh roasted coffee which I added to the Rick’s coffee line of Belizean Coffee Products.

In case any of you are wondering why I began to make coffee liqueur–well here’s why….One day I felt like having some coffee liqueur in my coffee so I went to buy the ole standby “Kahlua,” I was shocked to see the $118.00 BZ price tag (due to liquor from Mexico being taxed at 70%) So, I said to myself, “Rick, you can make some with my fresh roasted Belizean coffee, raw organic Belizean sugar and no BS caramel colors and additives! I began to research, try out about 9 different methods and recipes until I came up with my current formula which is getting rave reviews and really tastes fantastic! I’m currently working to get it into more bars and resorts out here. I’ve held over 54 blind taste tests putting my Belizean coffee liqueur against Kahlua and I am proudly undefeated at 54-0!

Besides filling my day roasting coffee, making soap, scrub and liqueur, I am so honored and happy to have teamed up with the award winning tour company Taste Belize to teach a comprehensive history filled class  about ..yes you guessed it…Coffee!!!!

My beach front coffee class will turn the average coffee drinker into a coffee historian and a professional in various methods of preparation. My guests in the class will experience coffee being roasted, take part in making their own coffee sugar scrub and experience a real coffee cupping sampling 2 varieties of freshly roasted coffee from different coffee growing regions. For more info please click on the link here> >. ( http://tastebelize.com/our-coffee-class-beach-side/ ) So that covers pretty much everything going on here on the business side of things.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s face it though, it’s not all about work! We got to be sure to stop work and sharpen our tools! When Candy and I are not working we spend lots of time outdoors. We kayak, go for lots of walks, country drives and just exploring this beautiful country. We stay very busy with the Placencia Humane Society too! (http://placenciahumanesociety.org/) Candy traps the feral cats for the monthly clinic to get their shots and spayed/neutered. We currently have 7 dogs here with us in our tiny house! Its always full of love here! We are always happy to see visitors and introduce them to beautiful Belize!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My next blog  I will share pics of our newest business endeavor. I’ll give you all a hint..it sits on the beach, about 90 steps from the water and will be ready for you very soon!

Remember! Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Sending positive vibes and blessings to you all!

 

 

December 17, 2015
rickscoffee1@gmail.com

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Home is Where the Beach is

It’s been 6 months since moving to Placencia, Belize. The first word that comes to mind to describe life here compared to living in Los Angeles is “ALIVE.” I’m not saying I felt like a zombie in California, it was more like my surroundings made mostly of asphalt streets, concrete sidewalks, big cinder block walls separating all property lines that made it feel dead. I’m a huge nature lover and I gravitate towards that type of beauty as opposed to a city skyline type beauty. I’m not saying city views are not beautiful, they are just not for me.

As you can see below this was my previous view and the next picture is my current view.

Balboa

Belize

Our mission to Belize began June 21, 2015 with a road trip from LA to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida via the 10 freeway. I had always wanted to do that cross country drive! The drive went great! Candy, my amazing wife, was my navigator and we (Candy, myself, Chongo (our chihuahua), and Peanut, (our beagle) had a great road trip stopping in El Paso, Texas, Katy, Texas. Geez.. Texas was big and boring. Our last night was in Mobile, Alabama then off to Ft. Lauderdale the following day. We spent a week there visiting with friends and put my truck on a cargo ship. On July 2nd we boarded the flight to our new home with our dogs in tote.

Rick-FloridaDogs on bed

dog airport

Within a month or so our 10 boxes of our belongings from home and my truck arrived in Belize and we began our daily routines. Candy just needs an internet connection to work and I need green coffee beans to roast. The problem is that Belize is a coffee growing country and bringing in green coffee beans is like trying to bring fruit into California! Not gonna happen.I have been able to still enjoy great coffee at “Above Grounds Coffee” as they sell some great Guatemalan coffee.

My daily activities have been making a lot of awesome coffee soap! I am making it from scratch with my crock pot with all organic olive and coconut oils! Besides soap, I have begun volunteering for the Placencia Humane Society helping with the spay and neuter clinics, adoptions and fostering and social media awareness. Here is the link below for you to check out what wonderful things we do to help animals in need.

www.placenciahumanesociety.org

On the weekends (because Candy is working Mon-Fri) we go for walks up the beach or bike ride up the peninsula and try new places to eat. Another special perk we love about this magical place is the people! We have met many locals and ex-pats and it feels like family here! The children here are so well mannered too. In addition to our wonderful neighbors who live here, we have met some extraordinary people from Scotland to Oregon and everything in between! We keep in touch with them and look forward to seeing them all again.

rick in watercouple

Environmentally speaking what jumps out at me most about living here is just how green and lush everything is and that most of what you see is not man made. I feel more connected to nature here instead of the sounds of sirens, honks, helicopters and jets flying as I hear only waves crashing, coconut palm leaves in the breeze, exotic birds and even Geckos making funny laughing sounds at night! This all works for me, Candy and the pups, but I see how some “city lovin folks” may not enjoy living here full time. If you love concerts, museums, big chain stores or restaurants, fast food then you may not love it here as much as I do. Come visit us and experience what feeling alive in Placencia Belize means to us.

paradise

 

 

May 14, 2015
rickscoffee1@gmail.com

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The Food Scene in Placencia Belize

It was a partly cloudy beautiful 84 degree day in Placencia  when we arrived. After settling in and unpacking, we went grocery shopping for our daily breakfast needs. The evening arrived and we were hungry!

Rick&I

We began walking down Main Street and smelled some yummy BBQ. It was very dim outside, but I noticed a man (coincidentally has the same name as me, Rick!) barbequing at the corner near the bus stop benches. I thought to myself that smells so good! Right then he must have felt my vibe and yelled out, “Best BBQ Chicken right here!” I immediately stopped and asked my boss (wife) if she is feeling the BBQ. She was game! So, for $16.00 BZD/$8.00 USD we got two chicken BBQ dinners with BBQ Beans and Macaroni Salad with soft yummy hand made tortillas. It was great!

Day 2, we went to Rick’s Café on the sidewalk side. I had to try the pizza and it was great! Candy, my wife, had a yummy fish sandwich that she really enjoyed! We shared great conversations with some really nice locals while enjoying dinner on the patio. As you know my name is Rick, which is why I had to eat at Rick’s Café on day 2. I had to make sure it lived up to such a great name and it did! After dinner we walked to get some gelato at Tutti Fruitti which was yummy! As we walked down Main Street we saw a restaurant called Dawn’s Grill. Guess What? My sister’s name is Dawn. I told Candy that we will eat at Dawn’s Grill for dinner on Day 3!

Ricks Cafe

Dawn’s Grill was amazing! Candy had a great local caught fish and I had the creole style conch. We both loved our dishes! Dawn had special holiday eggnog cocktails that were so good that we both had like 3 of them! We decided to share our ironic name connection with our fantastic server Jolie, who is also the editor of the Placencia Breeze newspaper. We explained how we ate at Rick’s Café the night before because of its name and that we are at Dawn’s Grill because its my sisters name. She then said “Rick is my boyfriend and Dawn is my mom!” She was the local that we were talking to at Rick’s the night before. These were definite signs that this place was really special and we couldn’t wait to move to Placencia in July 2015!

Dawns GrillDawn's grill

 

On day 4 we went to the Cozy Corner for the Crab Claw Special. It was really good and the thick garlic bread was awesome! It was on the beach and we really enjoyed our food.

Cozy Corner

On Day 5 we took our friend David Kafka to the Secret Garden for dinner as he has been a great advisor to us regarding all things Placencia. The dining area was very beautiful and the food was very tasty. I had Grouper for the first time and Candy had a filet of some other local fish. As we were enjoying the ambience we were lucky enough to hear the festive music  and went outside to see the Christmas Parade! It was a very memorable night!

Secret GardenSecret Garden 2Secret Garden3

For our final dinner in Placencia we went to Brenda’s by the Pier for her Christmas Day Buffet. We had a plate full of great food and some yummy cashew wine! We were stuffed and happy leaving her spot!

pier

All in all, we did not have a bad meal in Placencia. It was all good! We will be frequenting all of those wonderful places when we move there in July for sure! There are so many other spots we have yet to try and we are looking forward to that in a huge way! It wasn’t only the fresh amazing food that made our dining experiences so fantastic, but it was the beautiful warm friendly people of Placencia that made our experience there so much better! You feel more like family than a customer and that is priceless.

January 27, 2015
rickscoffee1@gmail.com

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My Amazing Trip to Placencia Belize

This trip to Placencia, Belize was of huge significance to my wife Candy and I. You see…..we have done a lot of research regarding moving abroad and had narrowed down our search to 2 cities in Belize.

The first city was the city of San Pedro located on Belize’s largest Island “Ambergris Caye.” Little trivia here…This is the island Madonna wrote the song  “La Isla Bonita” about! And you thought San Pedro was a man she was dreaming about! Well after spending  a week in San Pedro I realized it was not where I wanted to move to. For us, it was too busy with all of the golf cart traffic and the smell of exhaust was really bad!

Next…our arrival to Placencia. As the one propeller “puddle jumper” Cesna 208 Caravan approached the tiny runway with a little river to the right and the Caribbean Sea within view I knew I was in Placencia Heaven. Everything is green and lush and vibrant with life! As we exited the plane we could hear a symphony of songbirds that I have never heard before. (Click picture to enlarge)

plane

Placencia is often referred to as the “island you can drive to.” It is a 16 mile peninsula located about 140 miles south of Belize City. Along this peninsula you will also find the communities of Maya Beach and Seine Bight. Placencia Village itself, boasts the narrowest main street in the world and is in the Guinness World Book of Records!

I could not get over how beautiful and charming this little fishing village was.  This was truly the place for me and thank goodness my wife Candy was in love with Placencia too! The diving and snorkeling scene here is world class too! In April thru May you can experience being humbled with the arrival of the magnificent Whale Shark! Then in June is the Lobster Festival! (Click picture to enlarge)

panoramic

Ok, now here is what really matters, right…? Is there great coffee in Placencia Belize?? The answer is an empathetic YES!!!!!

There were two places serving fresh roasted coffee- 1. Above Grounds Coffee and 2. Brewed Awakenings.

Here are my thoughts- The place that has a more fresh roasted deep rich  flavorful Arabica bean is Above Grounds Coffee.

The  reason the coffee is better at Above Grounds Coffee is because of the type of bean being served. The owner Keith explained the legal red tape to import green beans to roast there in Belize is not worth the time and money so instead every 11-14 days he picks up new  batches of freshly roasted coffee from small independent producers from neighboring  Guatemala. On the contrary, the owner of Brewed Awakenings, avoids the red tape by roasting locally grown Belizean coffee which grows at much lower elevations,which is why it cannot develop the same flavors as a high elevation coffee like Guatemala can. (see chart below-(Click picture to enlarge))

Coffee Chart

I was lucky enough to meet Keith of Above Grounds Coffee (https://www.facebook.com/AboveGroundsCoffee) who moved to Placencia from Scotland and opened this great specialty coffee house. He is truly a great person and his Guatemalan coffee makes your taste buds dance with those tropical fruit tones, sweet acidity, clean and balanced with a dry malty, almost chocolate finish. Thank you again for that amazing shot of expresso Keith! (Click pictures to enlarge)

Above Coffee Grounds coffee shop                    coffee2_thumb.jpg                 coffee3_thumb.jpg

Besides my beloved coffee, my amazing wife’s and I next favorite to drink and enjoy is a smoothie or shake or any cold, healthy, yummy goodness. And the runner up to best coffee in Placencia  is “Brewed Awakenings.”It’s the #1 spot for frozen shakes and smoothies.  They have “Out of this World” Seaweed shakes! They are truly a “must enjoy” while in Placencia. Check them out on facebook! (https://www.facebook.com/brewed.awakenings.7?fref=ts)  (Click pictures to enlarge)

BA2           BA

We had a great time in Placencia and plan on moving there in July of this year! So reach out and come visit! My next blog will be all about the eating scene in Placencia! Until then, much love, be well and remember “Life is too short to drink bad coffee!”  (Click picture to enlarge)

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