Colombia’s most famous export . . . coffee

From berry to bean.

Incredible Colombian coffee from berry to bean.

Armenia and the Quindio region is littered with coffee puns. Cafes, restaurants, bus services and car mechanics have all have chosen names that reflect the regions coffee reputation.
I do love coffee, a cup of tea is great and has that lovely comforting quality but there’s something about coffee that I love. From the gourmet to the rocket fuel, coffee has the ability to get me through the day and for that, it cannot be thanked enough.
For that reason and because I love any opportunity to dress up and take pictures, we visited Recuca, a coffee plantation tourist tour centre thing.

Coffee beans right on the plant.

Coffee beans right on the plant.

Wonderfully there was an incredible English speaking guide free to show us the place, Jennyfer spoke lovely English and was really fun and put up with us taking a photograph approximately every eight and a half seconds without becoming annoyed, a true saint.
We walked around the plantations, learned about the coffee growing cycle (actually a lot more interesting than it sounds, I realise this visit is sounding pretty school trip right now) sampled freshly roasted coffee, dressed up like idiots, picked coffee in the fields and tried to smush our own coffee berries by hand..
I think the whole coffee picking thing is pretty genius. Just like the trout farm the day before (did I not mention I went to a trout farm? I did.) where we essentially paid to feed their animals, we paid to get strapped up with a big plastic bucket and go and harvest coffee for them. Pretty genius if you ask me.

Coffee picker style at Recuca

Rocking the coffee picker style at Recuca

We were invited to model the modern coffee pickers uniforms. I’m wearing the wet weather gear (which I can only assume we’ll be seeing on the catwalk come autumn) Tamiko and Sarah were working the summer and early morning uniforms. It goes without saying that we all look incredibly sexy.

After trying on these oh-so flattering outfits we picked our little hearts out in the coffee fields and were rewarded with an ice cold cup of canelaza (sadly without alcohol) and shown around the different processes involved after the berries are picked. We looked at the various selection and drying processes and finally got to sample some of the wonderful, freshly roasted and brewed coffee.

Delicious freshly brewed Recuca coffee.

Delicious freshly brewed Recuca coffee.

Enjoying the amazing coffee at Recuca

Enjoying the amazing fresh coffee at Recuca

So after coffee sampling and touring the plantation we dressed up in more traditional coffee pickers clothing. I have to say, if you thought I looked good in the last lot of clothes you wont be able to deal with how sexy I look in the next one. OK, so ruffles and high necks have been pretty solidly out of my wardrobe since my mum stopped dressing me but I can totally work this look. I may have to go shopping for an apron asap.

Looking FABULOUS in traditional dress at Recuca

Looking FABULOUS in traditional dress at Recuca

The area surrounding Recuca is tropical and stunning.

The area surrounding Recuca is tropical and stunning.

Details for Recuca can be found on their website via this incredibly helpful link I have kindly provided you with.
Entrance with a three hour tour is $18,000 pesos though it costs a little more for a private guide.

If you like coffee, miss school trips, like playing at being an oldy worldy person or just like spending afternoons in beautiful locations this is a brilliant experience. The gift shop also sells reasonable and totally delicious bags of coffee if you’re getting sick of Colombia’s less than amazing street tinto.

 . . . and just for fun, here's a picture of me freaking out as a donkey tries to bite me.

. . . and just for fun, here’s a picture of me freaking out as a donkey tries to bite me.



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