By Scott Woodhams

@Life all Out

 

Yesterday we ventured out to visit a 125 year old coffee farm up in the Andes mountains, above Minca Colombia.
We chose to take a Toyota Land cruiser instead of our trucks, due to the low clearance on the rustic “road” leading to the farm. Although we originally booked this tour thinking we were going to be off roading in a vintage Land Rover, but due to mechanical issues that did not happen.
Sheer drop off cliffs with no railings, along side the narrow rutted path, offered lots of adrenaline pumping through our systems!
Half the adventure was getting there, climbing the steep route to the optimum coffee growing region. We passed other 4×4 vehicles, motorcycles, and horses, all accustomed to their daily commute.
Once we found the entrance to the farm, we traversed the narrow road flanked by massive Stone walls, huge bamboo shoots, and straight drop offs. At one point we drove through a natural bamboo tunnel formed by the 3-4″ diameter bamboo shoots. Then we came to the facility, and after driving across the small river crossing in the driveway, we arrived.
The farm is 125 years old, and they seem to still use equipment from the origin of the farm! Archaic massive, steel gears, belt driven dryers, all added to the uniqueness of the farm.
We were introduced to the process, and I was intrigued to find out that over the 1400 hectacre farm, there are 23 chutes, where workers drop the coffee fruits, after being picked, and they are gravity fed through large pipes all the way to the hopper Inside the building . There they begin the process of quality control. The bad fruits float to the top of the water, and are removed.
They use both water and air to move the beans throughout the facility to each step of the process, until they finally reach the dryers. The last step is being introduced to the roasters, where the time and temperature is closely monitored to create bold, medium, robust, etc.
I was also impressed that they are still using an old Jeep Willy’s truck to transport their final product! I guess if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, applies here.
The beautiful farm has horses, flowers, coffee plants, and even a composting bin, where the coffee bean fruit casings are composted for 45 days.
We topped the tour off with coffee sampling, and even a great lunch.
We have been staying in Minca, a small town up in the Andes. It is still hot during the day, but cools down nicely to around 70 degrees at night. We have enjoyed these past few days here.
What more could you ask for in an adventure? Off roading, coffee, food, and cooler weather. My kinda day! Oh,and Juan Valdez? Check the photos….

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