I have always wanted to accompany Juan Valdez through those Colombian coffee fields. Today I got my chance. We went with a private guide named Ignacio (Iggy) to the Don Modesta coffee plantation about 2 hours from Medellin, where we learned about coffee from the beginning to the end.
We arrived at to be greeted by a pack of at least 15 little dogs that looked like Jack Russell terriers, some peacocks, a couple of parrots, and a delicious cup of coffee.
Then we headed up the mountain to have a closer look at the coffee plants, of which there are about a million on this farm. The coffee is inter planted with plantains, which provide both shade for the coffee plants and food for those working on the farm.
Izzy constantly talked about the good coffee (exported) and the bad coffee (that left for Colombians to drink). That is hard for me to understand because every cup of coffee I have had here has been delicious and has not caused me any of the physical problems I had been getting with coffee back home.
The beans when harvested by hand are red.
They must have the outer skin removed revealing a slightly slimy bean inside.
Through a bunch of processes the slimy white stuff is removed, leaving a neutral colored bean that must then be dried.
Finally the beans are bagged and sent off to be roasted. All along the way the bad beans are being separated from the good beans.
Here is a picture of a coffee plant in its infancy.
After learning all about coffee, we had a typical Colombian lunch prepared by the wife of the owner.
We stopped through the small town of Concordia to purchase coffee at a store owned and supplied by the owner of the farm.
On the way back to Medellin we got a good view of Cerro Tuso (Bald Hill).
David seems to be frequenting the bathroom today. Perhaps our good luck with food and water is running out.