Coffee in Colombia

I’ve become the biggest coffee snob, so it’s interesting to see how coffee is actually produced here in Colombia.

Back home in New Zealand, I only drink piccolos. They have to be a double shot, and I prefer the taste of nut milks. Here in Colombia they like to drink their coffees very differently. It’s filtered coffee served black “Tinto”

I’m not sure how I feel about it.

When my friend Ashlee and I visited Salento, a quaint little town in the coffee region, we sought out a cafe that had been recommended for its Western espressos.

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Ashlee overheard and translated the conversation of an excited Colombian family that arrived in the cafe just after us.

“I just really want one of those coffees with the pictures on top. Do you serve the coffees with the little pictures on top?”

“Yes, of course”

“But they have the little pictures on top? You know the pictures on the coffee?! And what kind of coffee is it? What would you call it? A Cappucino?”

“Well we can do lots of different coffees like that — a Cappucino is okay”

“Wow, and you can do the pictures on top? What kind of pictures can you do?”…….

I hope he wasn’t too disappointed with the final product.

Ashlee and I walked for about an hour following various signs, until we arrived at a coffee farm.

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I suppose I’d never thought too deeply about where coffee beans came from, as I was surprised to discover they come from a small red fruit. Each contains two beans.

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Fruit pickers collect the berries, a machine skins them, the beans soak in water for 12 hours, and then they are dried. They are inspected for imperfections – the vast majority of the good beans are exported (unroasted) and the second grade beans are kept in Colombia.

Apparently they sell 1kg of beans for 400 Pesos (approx 20 cents)

Colombia is the 3rd biggest producer of beans, following Brasil and Vietnam. Indonesia is the 4th largest and those 4 countries produce 75% of the worlds coffee. Fascinating.

Salento is a sleepy charming little town on the Gringo trail. It’s the most backpackers I’ve seen on my trip so far, but I quite like it. It’s nice talking to everyone, hearing where they’re from and where they’re going.

We stayed at La Serrano an Eco Farm Hostel complete with magical mountain views, morning yoga, horses, dogs, fresh juices and a veggie garden with Kale. I could have happily set up camp here for awhile but the road beckons. Next stop across the winding Andes is the culture capital of Colombia – Medellin.

 

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