A Day on a Coffee Farm in Matagalpa

Matagalpa is coffee country, and it was recommended I visit a coffee farm while here. I took the chicken bus north out of town and visited the organic coffee farm known as Selva Negra, or Black Forest.

The farm, and eco-resort and restaurant, is a self-sustaining business with it’s own town. As well as offering coffee tours, there are a lot of hiking trails, so I spent an entire day there. It was beautiful and interesting.

Matagalpa is at a higher elevation than anywhere else I have been in Nicaragua, and the weather is a bit cooler. It’s generally been in the mid 20s with a nice breeze, so really enjoyable. It still felt hot climbing the mountain on the hike at Selva Negra though! Continue reading “A Day on a Coffee Farm in Matagalpa”

Coffee Tasting at Toucan Café Medellin

It’s almost the end of our trip to Colombia, and we had another “Must do” – a coffee tasting! Fortunately, we found a great place in Medellin: Toucan Café and Tours, only a 5 minute walk from our hotel in Poblado, hosts coffee tastings every weekday at 4PM.

We not only got a coffee tasting from our guide Juan (Not Valdez!), we got a master class in coffee origins, preparation, and the smells and flavors of coffee! We also got lucky and had a private class of just the the 2 of us! Both David, the organizer of all the tours offered by the company, and Juan speak perfect English so it was an easy and fun experience for us from the booking to the class.

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The Coffee Tour

After a 3 hour tour of Hacienda Venecia today, I am impressed by all the labor that goes into one cup of coffee.

We learned a lot about coffee today!  I admit, I didn’t know very much to begin with so anything is added knowledge for me!

Colombia coffee production is high because the region isn’t troubled with seasons. They have sun and rain all the time in the coffee zone and the plants need both so it works out in their favor.

We got to see a lot of the production at the farm: from little seedlings to a walk through the growing plants and more. We saw the flowers and fruit and got to watch as the farmers unloaded the day’s pickings.  We also saw where the fruit gets sorted – the premium beans are reserved for export and the worst/3rd level stay domestic as cheap coffee in Colombia.

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Life on a Coffee Farm

A long wait for a flight this morning, and another wait for a ride, but we made it to Colombia’s famous Zona Cafeteria! We will be enjoying delicious fresh coffee for the next few days from our base on a coffee farm (finca) outside of Manizales. The finca is called Hacienda Venecia and it is proving to be a lovely place to relax after the hectic pace of our city stays the past week.

The finca is outside of the city of Manizales. We flew there this morning and took a very winding cab ride through the mountains to get here. I should have taken a pill before the drive because it was worse than a roller coaster, but we arrived safe and not sick.

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A Bogotá Bike Tour And the Food to Fuel It

Today was a beautiful day in Bogotá, and a great day to experience the city on two wheels.

On Sundays, a big chunk of main streets in Bogotá are shut down for pedestrians and cyclists for Ciclovia, and we wanted to be part of it! So, we went down to the Candelaria barrio to do a bike tour with Bogota Bike Tours. For 35,000 COP (less than $16 Canadian), we got a 5 hour ride around the city with a lot of facts and fun!

Knowing we were going on a bike tour, and also not having eaten dinner last night because of our massive lunch, we made our first stop a street with lots of Colombian restaurants. We wanted an authentic breakfast,  so visited La Puerta de La Tradicion, and had coffee, a milk soup called changua (which was delicious) and chorizo. The food was good, the service was good and from there it was a quick walk to the bike shop.

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