Coffee farm day trip from Bogota’: Notes from our first tour

The coffee triangle region in Colombia is where most of our famous coffee is cultivated and processed. This region is located in the foothills of the The Andes  in the departments of Caldas, Quindío and Risaralda. It is one of the most beautiful regions in Colombia due to its amazing and vast green landscapes provided by the coffee plantations, its pleasant warm weather and the picturesque towns still conserving theirs traditions and culture. There are many working coffee farms that you can visit to learn about the coffee process.

If you are visiting one of the main cities in the coffee region like Manizales, Pereira, Armenia or Medellin, make sure you take the time to experience the life at a coffee farm.

However, if you are in Bogota and you don’t  have enough time to travel to the coffee region but you still want to visit a coffee farm, the good news is that you still can do it, by visiting Hacienda Coloma, a small working coffee farm located just 2 hours driving from Bogota.

As frequent readers know, we have just launched our first three tours in Bogota and surroundings, and one of these tours includes a visit to Hacienda Coloma to learn about the coffee process. Last week we did our first tour to the coffee farm and we are pleased to report that everyone enjoyed the trip.

These are some of the photos from that day and also some tips about the coffee process:

1. The planting process:

 We couldn’t see the whole process but we learned how it is done:

Coffee planting process

Coffee planting process: The coffee seeds are planted until sprouting, then they are removed from this bed and planted in individual pots until they are hearty enough to be permanently planted in the field

2. Harvesting the Cherries

The picking process at Hacienda Coloma is done manually. During our visit we picked some coffee cherries, just to learn how it’s done.  The guys at  the farm gave us a small bucket that is strapped around the  waist to deposit the cherry beans. Only the deep red coloured cherries are ripe and ready to be harvested.

Hacienda Coloma - Getting ready to start picking coffee beans

Hacienda Coloma – Getting ready to start picking the coffee cherries

Hacienda Coloma -  Getting ready to pick coffee beans

Hacienda Coloma – Just a few pictures before start picking!!

Pickers traditional dresses

These are some samples of the traditional dresses from the coffee triangle that coffee farmers and pickers used to wear.

3. The drying process:

Before using technology the coffee cherries were dried in the sun. They were spread out on drying tables or floors where they are turned regularly until are completely dried. This process used to take about 2 weeks, depending on the weather but now, thanks to drying machines, it is completed a lot faster.

Coffe and Flowers in the Garden City - Drying coffee beans

Traditional coffee cherries drying process in the sun

Coffee cherries drying machine

Coffee cherries drying machine

4. Milling  and selecting the Beans

The dried beans are milled or thresh to have the yellow coat removed to obtain the green coffee seeds. after this process the beans are carefully selected and classified, taking into account its size, weight, color and physical appearance (defects)

Threshing machine

Threshing machine

5. Tasting

After learning about the whole process of planting, harvesting, drying and milling the coffee, our final step was to learn how to taste the quality of the coffee. During the production of the coffee, the beans are repeatedly tested for quality and taste. The beans are visually inspected to check their quality and then  roasted in a small roaster, immediately ground and infused in boiling water, the temperature is carefully controlled.  The tasting process involves deeply sniffing the coffee, then loudly slurping the coffee so it spreads to the back of the tongue. We did our best to learn how to taste coffee but  to do it properly would require a lot of practice to be able to differentiate the good from the not-so-good quality.

Tasting table with different  qualities of coffee beans to learn how to detect a good quality coffee

Tasting table with different qualities of coffee beans ready for tasting

Coffee tasting

Coffee tasting

After learning about the coffee process, we enjoyed some time wondering around the beautiful gardens in the farm.

Hacienda Coloma gardens

Hacienda Coloma gardens

Hacienda Coloma Chapel

Hacienda Coloma Chapel

We’ll keep visiting Hacienda Coloma every week as part of our regular tour offering. Make sure you book online or get in touch if you would like to join us.

Until next time,

The Uncover Colombia team

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