Bogota to Armenia

Greetings from beautiful Colombia! After a long travel day yesterday, Tuesday, we arrived in Bogota around 9 p.m. local time. We were beat. We gobbled some hamburgers next door to the hotel and hit the sack (except Stephen, of course, who had the energy to go find a bar). This morning we were all up early and back at the airport, headed for Armenia. A short 45 minute flight later, we hauled ourselves onto a couple of buses and headed to an incredibly beautiful farm, Agrado. Before the tour, we were led into a massive thatched roof building where we met our gracious hosts and feasted on a big meal.

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We toured the drying beds where we saw unwashed naturals (such as the one Chris Baca is studying) as well as washed.

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And we were excited to see the well tended raised drying beds.

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We then walked down the road and into a thick forest of bamboo. And in the middle of it was an outdoor “cafe” — seating on bamboo benches covered in burlap around a big bamboo table, where coffee service was set up for us. It was unreal. Here’s Jay from Dillanos taking in the setting.

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Our hosts couldn’t have been more hospitable.

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We continued through the bamboo forest — incredibly lush — on a hike, then up through dense coffee trees.

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We somehow ended up at the farm’s cupping lab and roastery, where Q training had been going on this past week. We were treated to a lecture about all the farm is trying to do through the Colombian Coffee federation.

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As we were listening, a barista, Louisa, was setting up at a nearby La Marzocco. She began pulling shots for everyone using coffee from Agrado. She was really good! She’s going to compete in the Colombian Barista Championship in November — she competed last year and got addicted! And it shows!

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Then her boss, Jaime, invited Chris Baca to hop onto the machine and see how he would treat the coffee. And , duh, Baca did an awesome job.

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It was a wonderful visit, but soon we were saying goodbye and piling back on the buses. We arrived at our gorgeous hotel, Decamaron, where we were each handed rum punch as we hit the lobby. Salud! We’re all pretty beat tonight but really looking forward to the storytelling workshp with Joel Ben Izzy tomorrow. Stay tuned for more pictures and chronicling of how our time at Let’s Talk Coffee 2008 in Armenia, Colombia, is going!

About the Author

Sarah

Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.