Day two found us taking a short flight to Pereira, located at the western part of the Andes.
From there we wound around and around up the Andes mountains until we reached a small coffee farm run by two women.
One of the women, Anita, showed us around and told us how they run the place. Carolina Castaneda of The National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia translated for us.
This is the place where they wash the beans to remove the pulp. They do a triple-wash method that takes longer but helps the beans have a very good flavor.
This is a sun dryer where they scatter the cleaned beans on the floor to dry. The beans stay in there for a few days and lose a large percentage of their humidity. This drying method works so well that on hot days it is unbearable to go in there.
This is Cesar, the director of the Specialty Coffees in Pereira, showing us how one branch holds many different aged beans. There can be tiny new blossoms to mature and ready-to-pick beans along the same stem.
This coffee plant is about 6 weeks old. They must be about that old before they are planted in the fields.
And this baby might be the cutest in the entire world. She is the daughter of one of the cafeteros.
This is Nora and Mike standing in front of the coffee field. Nora is the winner of the ‘Win a Trip with Juan’ contest that was on Blogher and why we are all lucky enough to be there.
After the tour of the farm and getting a few ant bites around the ankles, we sat down to a delicious breakfast they prepared for us of plantains, rice, eggs and hot chocolate.
The Federation encourages the cafeteros to grow other food in their fields along with the coffee to sustain themselves like corn, tomatoes etc. On this particular farm they grow a variety of arabica coffee bean that is resistant to rust (roya in Spanish) which destroys the leaves and beans.