05 December 2012

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

Posted in Blog

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 CaldasQuindío and RisaraldaIt 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

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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