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The Coffee Country

June 2, 2016

Finca Hacienda Guayabal. 31.5.16

There will always be a dispute on which country makes the best coffee. But Colombia must be up there amongst the best. They appreciate their coffee and are shocked when any gringoes ask for a little azucar or sacrilege, leche! This estate has been recommended by other Overlanders and Jorge and Irene are the perfect hosts (even forgiving me for tearing up their grassy lawn with my 4X4) We will eat here tonight, on my birthday, then go on tour of the coffee estate tomorrow. After that it will be a case of wending our way south back to Ecuador.

1.6.16
Liba, the waiter come handyman led us to our table in a very darkened section of the restaurant. Sat us down then asked ‘Romantica Si or No?’ Seeing we could hardly see the table in front of us we both said ‘No!’ He turned the light on and wallah! There were balloons festooned on the wall with ‘Felice Compleanus’ on a banner beneath, the table was covered in ‘Happy Birthday’ signs, a cake was brought out and the usual song sang. It was both embarrassing and unexpected. The end of a pleasant day.
Today we took in the tour of the estate. Three hours of the most absorbing information about coffee; the difference between the types, the life span of a coffee bush (21 years) and everything needed to know about growing and harvesting the coffee beans. But the most interesting part at the end was being sat down on stool with a primary school table in front of us and being lectured on the types of grounds, mild or dark roast, instant coffees (inferior beans used) and the importance of the temperature in an expresso machine and how that can completely change the taste of the drink. Phillipe laid out in front of us four small glasses of coffee straight put of the machine but dispersed at different temperatures. It was amazing the difference of the taste and how one would linger on your pallette while another temp would taste quite wishy washy in the mouth. It seems, milk, if used, should not be over a certain degrees as the ingredients in milk start to break down. So all you cappuccino lovers who like it hot should think again. At the end of the tour the eight of us were presented with certificates stating we were now accomplished bean pickers, I think I had picked about 20 Joan with a little help from Phillipe, about 30, and had passed the exam on the finer aspects of drinking coffee. A tour well worth recommending.

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