Café de Altura
See the little green berries? They are going to be coffee beans someday.
Our next stop, after comida at La Lupitas, was Café de Altura. We pulled up outside what appeared to be someone’s home. Upon walking through the breeze-way we were welcomed with the wonderful aroma of roasting coffee beans. Hmmmm, I can smell it even now. To our right was the sales room. We stuck our head in and saw various sizes of ground coffee or beans by the bag, and popular candies for sale.
Before we shopped, though, we took a small stroll through the immediate yard and saw coffee trees with beans growing on the limbs. It’s hard to imagine the green berries turning into coffee beans, but they do!
The backyard was a bit of a hodgepodge of coffee trees, and yard.
I found these calla lilies. I’ve never seen so many blooms in one place!
They were stunning – hiding back among yard contents.
And the lilies weren’t the only curiosity in the backyard – how about these guys?
Once we finished the tour of the yard, we were drawn back to the building by the aroma of roasting coffee beans.
There were coffee samples and we all tasted. The sip tasted good, so we figured we couldn’t go wrong with a small bag to take home. It was even better at home in a full size mug! We wished we had gotten a much larger bag! We would buy more if we could find it in Puerto Vallarta.
Mmmmmm – fresh ground coffee beans – can you smell the aroma?
Our friends bought candy and we got a bite. The local candy is very sweet – almost like eating pure sugar. Way too sweet for my taste – give me dark chocolate anytime!
And who can deny our fun? We even got the lady to laugh and smile and pose for a picture with the gang! (Oops. I think Ann Marie got caught chewing candy.) It was great fun, and as we drove on down the road we nibbled on sweet candy and enjoyed the lingering aroma of fresh roasted coffee.
Hacienda Jalisco’s history is rooted in the silver mines. The hotel is almost two hundred years old, and was originally the home of one of the wealthy silver mine owners. Silver was smelted on the property. This chimney for the ovens you will see later in the blog.
Now, it is a lovely hotel and museum. Hacienda Jalisco was John Huston’s find, and it was his love of the area that gave him the idea to make a movie in Mexico. They named a room for him – the one he came back to time and time again. This fireplace and sink are in the John Huston Suite.
Each room is quite large. A couple of the rooms could house a family with 2 or 3 beds in two rooms. Each room or suite has a large bathroom with plenty of propane heated hot water, and a fireplace. There is always plenty of firewood, for making fires which I am certain could cast a romantic glow – or throw scary shadows around the room – if you wonder about who stayed in your room ages ago. It is the only method of taking off the chill in the evening or morning, too. Situated in the low foothills of the Sierra Madres, it can be cool.
Even today, the hacienda remains secluded, offering the perfect setting for a retreat or getaway for artists, writers, or anyone wanting to escape the noise of civilization.
They do not have electricity. Evenings are lit with fire pits, fireplaces, lanterns and candles. Imagine the inspiration that comes from such a unique and beautiful setting.
This is the dining room. The dining room is decorated for the holidays and they host many holiday parties. It must be a beautiful place when all decorated, with lanterns, candles, and the fire place all aglow. They have a chef that comes when they have overnight guests or special events. The cuisine is simple but elegant. They raise much of the fresh produce provided in the meals. In fact, on our tour we were cautioned to not pick the veges! 🙂
This passage leads from the interior courtyard, with fire pit, lounge furniture, and other comforts to the front yard and patio of the hotel.
The exterior and entrance yard are beautiful with blooms.
In the outer yard you can see the smelt ovens (below) built into the hillside.
Hacienda Jalisco is located in a beautiful setting. The hotel, though rustic, maintains a lovely patina of age, history, and seclusion. If you want to get away, consider this a place of retreat. Absolutely lovely.
San Sebastian Distillery
The other – probably most – celebrated beverage in Mexico is tequila. And, is the last stop on our tour of special places in San Sebastian.
What tour of Mexico would be complete without a stop at a tequila distillery?
This agave was growing alongside the San Sebastian Distillery. Turning agave into Tequila is a blog of its own. But the plants are beautiful.
There are countless varieties and quality levels of tequila. Your choice of the best is a function of your taste buds and your budget.
As I said, the options are endless and Roberto invites you to try them All!
After a sip of a couple varieties I was done, and was more interested in this lovely scene.
Back at the bar, it was just too much of a temptation, and out came the pesos and home came San Sebastian Anejo Teguila!
Think back to that smile on Bruce’s face after the great comida. Well, I saw that smile more than once as the liquid in the bottle disappeared! And isn’t that what Living in Mexico is about – comida, good coffee, a little tequila, and good friends to share it all, with plenty of smiles to go around.
The end of the story would not be complete unless I got you, and all of us, back to Paradise Village. And the story wouldn’t be complete, if we didn’t take just one more little detour – the long way around the resort to get back home – and we weren’t really lost and it was all fun. It was a grand adventure, and we all had a great time while Living in Mexico San Sebastian Style.