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:
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.
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.
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)
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.
After learning about the coffee process, we enjoyed some time wondering around the beautiful gardens in the farm.
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
- Coffee farm day trip from Bogota” (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- The beating heart of Bogota (www.uncovercolombia.com)