So last night we were treated to a performance at the Juan Valdez theme park of its interpretive dance history of coffee. Then the FNC and The coffee council of Quindio hosted a dinner in the park. Though many of us were looking forward to a ride on La Broca (the roller coaster), the park was actually closed for our private event and thus the rides were closed too. We did, however, after a worryingly long trek down hundreds of stairs to the theater and then still further down to dinner, have a much easier time than anticipated going back up when the gondolas started arriving to whisk everyone up to the park entrance.
Today, we left the state of Quindio behind as we boarded our busses bound for Caldas and the coffee research facility of Centicafe. Yesterday, the other half of our group went to Centicafe, and today they were onto the portion of the trip we did in Quindio.
Here at Centicafe, hundreds of scientists and researchers work full time to unlock the mysteries of coffee and the environment it grows in. To demonstrate, they have split the work into seven stations that smaller groups have been rotating through. They include stations on genome sequencing, combating climate change, and a varietal garden.
Next we’ll visit a nearby co-op and then some of us head back to Bogota to get ready for the WBC, and the rest will go on a tour of the freeze-dried coffee plant, humiliating headwear, smocks and face masks required.