After discovering that the auction lot was no longer available, we decided to head up to the Gila National Forest and check out the Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery. Jason, from the County Assessor’s Office, had told us that the monastery roasts and sells coffee. Sounded like a good road trip!
The monastery is located about 7 miles from town, but the last 2 miles are on a dirt road that winds through the Gila National Forest. It is a very beautiful trip but the going is slow. Water runoff causes frequent erosion scars – big ruts and wash-boarding. Oh well, we were going to get fresh coffee at the end of the road!
We passed a monk on the way up – he was retrieving mail from a box at the bottom of the hill. He followed us until we pulled over near a monastery building. He parked and came over to ask us where we were headed. We explained that we were looking for the coffee that they sold and we weren’t sure which building it was in.
The monk, Brother Ronan, smiled and seemed slightly confused. Apparently, the public doesn’t usually purchase coffee directly from the monastery. The monastery sells their beans online as well as to several stores in town. However, he said he would be happy to call the roasting house and have them prepare a bag for us. Another wonderful act of kindness.
If you’re interested in their coffee, you can read all about it here. They get their coffee beans from a family plantation in Brazil and are the only export customer of that plantation. So, unless you go to Brazil, the only place to purchase these beans is from the monastery in the Gila National Forest.
Brother Roman was kind, peaceful and had a great sense of humor. It was great to chat with him and make a purchase that supports his abbey. What a fun day trip and discovery. We’ll let you know our thoughts on the coffee once we’ve tried it.