Colombia is the first country, in the world, where I can call myself a coffee drinker.
Don Elias Coffee Tour, Salento, Colombia
In every other country, if I ever have the choice between coffee or tea, I will almost always choose tea. I love the taste of coffee, but I find myself choosing tea when I am offered one of the two.
But as I am in the coffee region of Colombia, I cannot stop drinking the coffee here. Every morning I wake up and have a cup with breakfast. It is smooth, flavourful, fresh, and absolutely delicious. I even ordered a coffee after lunch today, without thinking much of it. Being here, coffee is making its way into my heart.
We had the recent joy of visiting a small coffee farm in Salento, Colombia yesterday. Our smiling guide took the four of us through the coffee fields, where they grow bananas, sugarcane, beans, limes, mandarin oranges, pineapples, and of course, coffee plants.
The farm has been growing coffee for 18 years, and our guide explained the whole process of coffee making, right from the plants.
On their farm, they grow three varieties of coffee beans, and rotate the crops after each season to ensure the right soil composition for the next round of coffee growing.
Our guide explained that when the buds turn red, they are ready for harvesting. He picked this one off a short plant and showed us the precious beans inside. They were an unfamiliar bright white, fresh off the vine, and not yet roasted brown.
The white beans are then left to dry for 3 days in the sun, and when totally ready, they are put in pans to be roasted over fire on the oven. He explained that they must be steadily stirred for an hour, and that even walking away for a minute would burn the beans.
The tour, all in Spanish, lasted around 45 minutes, and ended with our very own freshly roasted cups of organic farm-grown Colombian coffee, roasted the night before. It was so rich and aromatic, I bought two packs to give to family. Now my whole backpack smells like fresh roasted coffee.
If coffee is the nectar of the gods, I must be in heaven.