Sunday, October 18, 2015

Day 14. Saturday. Oct 17

Not A.G.A.I.N.

Rene and Sabrina.

Day 14. Really looking forward to the Coffee Plantation visit. The bus was already waiting, by the time I reached the lobby. After a quick breakfast, we jumped into the bus and headed to Fusagasuga, a small town 2 hours south west of Bogota. The guided coffee tour in Hacienda Coloma was 90 minutes long. The drive to the plantation was beautiful! 

We were greeted by a very friendly but huge dog, Munyesa, who gave me a huge hug.

I'm not going into the full process of coffee making but here are the high level steps:
1. Coffee plants take around 18 months to become productive. Once they are productive they can be harvested for 25 years.
2 .Coffee beans harvested when they are red/orange. 
3. Each employee harvests around 140 kilos of coffee seeds a day. Out of that 87% is thrown away during quality check. Which leaves them with 18.2 kilos a day of productive coffee seeds.
4. These coffee seeds are then put in a tank and cleaned with running water where the pulp of the seed is removed from the beans.
5. The coffee beans are then sun dried. 
6. The outer skin of the beans are then removed to expose the green coffee beans! These green beans are then exported internationally. 
7. The green beans are then dried in a large dryer. 
8. Another step of quality check is done to separate good beans from the bad ones. The bad ones are the coffee beans used to make coffee in Colombia. The good ones are exported.
9. The good beans are then roasted at regulated temperature to make them dark brown. 
10. The roasted beans are then cooled by spraying water.
11. The roasted bean are then ground into coffee powder!
Oh, the SMELL !!! 

Interesting facts:
1. Light and medium blends are the way to go because they are made from good coffee.
2. Dark coffee is good only for espressos. 
3. Coffee beans that are black are not good quality. 
4. Starbucks recently made their appearance in Colombia. The government of Colombia gave them permission only on the basis that they will source the coffee from Colombia. 

Green beans:

Rene messing around: 

Sorting the good coffee beans from the bad ones.

FINAL PRODUCT! Freshly brewed coffee - in real real time! 

After doing some souvenir shopping, we headed back to Bogota. 

We stopped by at the Plaza de Bolivar and took some photos.

There are some crazy street performers in Bogota. We saw a couple of guys juggling machetes, a mummy, and a girl doing somersaults on another girls head!

Spent some quiet time in the evening to reflect on the last couple of weeks and also got some good sleep. 

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