Peter and Dalene of Hecktic Travels share facts of the preconceived notion that Colombia travel means good coffee.
Colombia Travel & Colombia Coffee
Good coffee is synonymous with Colombia and for that reason, we couldn’t wait for our turn at Colombia travel. We visualized Juan Valdez walking casually beside his donkey, an amiable smile on his face as he tips his hat to the camera. Yes Juan! Lead us to all your caffeine-laced goodness!
After six months of traipsing around South America, and umpteen hundred cups of bad instant coffee later, we were on her doorstep and ready to indulge in the best java that this hemisphere has to offer.
Or, so we thought. After our first night’s stay across the southern border in the small city of Pasto, we awoke to yet another container of Nescafe instant coffee waiting with my breakfast. How could this be? Juan, where are you? Why are we not being handed a cup of the good stuff at every turn?
Turns out, we had to go looking for it. And not just to the local street stands that sell it, as that coffee was also highly disappointing. The local preference for preparation is to make it very weak and have it chock full of sugar (they call it “tinto”). For our prime coffee fix we had to go to the mountainous region in central Colombia known as Zona Cafetera, the prime growing grounds of the some of the world’s best coffee beans.
Salento & Manizales
We made two stops in the region and did two different finca (coffee plantation) tours. While the small town setting of Salento provided for some excellent hiking and impressive scenery, our tour outside the bustling university city of Manizales offered the best caffeine-induced experience!
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- Colombia Travel – Discover Salento
Zona Cafetera is a prime growing location for the Arabica bean which provides the richest and most full bodied coffee.
The growing fields always amazed us as they climbed up steep hills – We couldn’t imagine being the people that had to tend to them or hand pick them during harvest season.
Some coffee beans fresh from the fields! As part of the tour, we did our own “quality assurance” by picking out the best beans that would become our very own espresso!
We watched as the beans were roasted and put straight into the espresso machine. This was, without a doubt, the very tastiest shot of caffeine we had ever had!
Oh, and by the way, we did find Juan. He now has his own chain of coffee shops – think Starbucks for Colombia but to a much smaller scale.