Colombian Coffee

We were meant to leave to Medellin this morning but we were enjoying ourselves in Salento so much and it was so beautiful that we decided to stay another day, plus we hadn’t visited a coffee farm or “finca” yet.
The recommendation from our host was to go to Finca Don Elias which was about an hours walk away. The scenery on the walk there was wonderful and neither of us were sure what to expect but we enjoyed the walk none the less.
When we arrived we were the only two there and Don Elias’ grandson Carlos was on hand to give us a tour. The bonus being that he spoke good English so we were able to get loads of information from him.
The setting was great and the tour was really interesting. The farm was quite small and was organic so it used more natural methods for growing the coffee. For example banana and plantain trees were used to provide shade as well as water during dry periods. Citrus trees also used for shade as well as removing the acidity from the soil and attracting the bugs to their fruit instead of the coffee. Every plant and tree on the farm had a use.
It was quite cool to see the whole process and when he found out we were from Australia he got all excited!! It turns out that until 5 years ago Italy were the country importing the most quality coffee but Australia is soon catching up!! He reckoned Melbourne alone was importing 30% of Colombia’s coffee production!!
I say quality coffee beans because the bad beans on his farm were used for compost but he said most farms sell them to Nescafé.
The other interesting fact we learnt was that the longer the beans were roasted for the less caffeine. So the darker the roast the less caffeine which was interesting.
The coffee he made us at the end was fantastic, not quite the half strength skinny cappuccino with a design on top that you might get in Australia!!! Instead he just threw the beans (which I had just ground) into what looked like an old pair of tights and poured some hot water over them and the result was what we got. Delicious.
While the walk down had been all down hill the walk back was slightly more arduous but still worth it. Unfortunately/fortunately the heavens opened just after we got back and it was unfortunately too wet to do much more so we had a nice afternoon off relaxing. T

   
Salento, so pretty and so easy for us to decide to stay.

 
The surrounding countryside on our walk.
   
Arriving at the coffee farm.

 
The Finca Don Elias.  The banana and plantain trees providing the shade.

   
 
First step in the process, picking the beans.
   
This machine is used to remove the shell of every bean in the farm.  Wound by hand.

 
After seperate get the good from the bad beans.  The bad ones float and are sent to Nescafé. The good ones are then dried out.

   
The roasting process.  It was all starting to smell pretty good at this point.

 
Grinding the beans with the supervision of Carlos our guide.

 

And that’s it, that’s how to make the best cup of coffee, move over Nespresso machines!

 Some more shots of Salento town.  Just so encapsulating.
  

  

  

  

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