On Sunday we took a trip to a local coffee farm not far from Popayan. One of the big Cs that Colombia is famous for is coffee, and since I have been in Popayan I have realised it is almost a staple part of the Colombian diet.
On our way out of town we stopped off for lunch at a place called ‘Vida Sana’, what seems to be a particularly picturesque retreat. Founded by a religious group it offers a sort of rehabilitation for those who need it, however if like me you are not in need of a bit of rehab (maybe I could do with a small bit), there are also spa treatments and a restaurant on site. The whole complex had an extremely relaxed ambiance, only slightly contradicted by the threatening sign outside that read ‘Christ is coming, Prepare!!!’
When we arrived at the farm we were greeted by Salma. Salma seemed quite aggressive and unwelcoming. She ran towards us and was very vocal about not wanting us on the property; however I know she was just doing her job – she is a guard dog after all. The owner of the farm, Manuela, was much friendlier.
Manuela showed us around the farm and gave us a brief introduction to the coffee farming process.
When the Coffee berries are ripe they are a bright juicy red and amongst the intense green leaves it looks almost like holly. Ironic when I couldn’t be further away from the snow that is currently falling on Scotland.
The ripe berries are picked and the bean is removed from the inside, the beans are then washed and left in the sun to dry. Afterwards, the outer shells of the beans are removed and they are ready for roasting.
The smell of coffee from the roasting shed was extremely enticing, as a coffee lover it’s difficult to resist being drawn in and seeing the whole process makes coffee even more tantalising. If you have a problem with a coffee addiction I would advise against visiting a coffee farm as it may tip you over the edge and you could end up in Vida Sana for more than just lunch.