After a 3 hour tour of Hacienda Venecia today, I am impressed by all the labor that goes into one cup of coffee. Here’s my take on the coffee tour at Hacienda Venecia.
Lots to Learn
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 elements so it works out in their favor.
The Coffee Farm
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. The guide also showed us where the fruit gets sorted. Interestingly the premium beans are reserved for export and the worst/3rd level stay domestic as cheap coffee in Colombia. The foreigners pay a lot more than they can afford to pay here. Which explains why my host family in Cartagena drank instant coffee!
Colombia is the 3rd or 4th largest exporter of coffee – I had no idea Vietnam was so big! – and Juan Valdez is a great story. He’s not a real person, but made up to give Colombian coffee more clout! They use Juan Valdez as a collective of Colombian coffee growers to get marketing and selling power, and to fund their farms and workers.
The Coffee Process
We spent a lot of time learning about coffee, and some time drinking some too. Making coffee is a very long process that’s way more complicated than I realized. The growers can sell the beans to someone who can combine them with any other beans they want before roasting. And then the roasting process is controlled by others who influence the taste their own way.
Love coffee, but can’t get to Manizales? Try a tasting and tour in Medellin!
Coming to the Zona Cafeteria, we really wanted to learn about the coffee process, and almost felt like we had to. It was worth the time to take the tour, especially if you like coffee, but even if you don’t. I recommend the coffee tour at Hacienda Venecia, and the tour is open to everyone whether they stay at the farm or not.