What to consider when planning a visit to a coffee farm?
Are you planning a trip to a coffee farm? Or going on a holiday to somewhere where coffee grows? Visiting coffee farm is a dream come true for many but to get the most out of it, it is important to prepare the visit.
At the end of September 2018, together with my husband we were exploring Colombia for 2 weeks - here are some practical tips how I would recommend to prepare for a coffee farm visit:
Before your trip learn at least basics of Spanish. No one, especially at the coffee plantations, speaks English or any other language, just Spanish. So, if you want to have more local experience, hear origin stories, it will help a lot. Of course, Google Translate app could be good alternative 😊
Best option to visit nature, beauty of the mountains and coffee plantations is hiking in the mountains. Doing regular cardio exercises before your trip would be very beneficial.
What to wear
Before our trip to Colombia, we bought comfortable hiking shoes, backpack and fast drying clothes. When visiting plantations, I highly recommend you wear long sleeve shirts and trousers, also to cover your neck and head, because at the plantations you will find very aggressive strong biting mosquitos. Repellent would be very useful there.
Find locals to show you plantations
If you want to have fulfilled experience at the coffee plantation, you should find locals. We had a coffee expedition organized by Cafelumbus, which owns 3 plantations and sells speciality coffee. Also, they are doing coffee experiments and constantly looking for coffee with more flavours and tastes.
I have been working in coffee industry for almost 8 years already and this was my first real experience visiting coffee plantations in one of the most finest coffee country - Colombia. Previous experience was mostly visiting different showrooms in Indonesia and Vietnam, where I was brought to the coffee plantation with around 10 trees, couple tables for cupping and big shop for buying coffee. 😊 So, nothing related to real experience.
After this experience I realized even more how important coffee growing and producing parts are. So many steps as picking only ripe healthy berries, using appropriate cultivation and fermentation techniques could affect our final perfect cup of coffee.
One of the biggest concerns for Cafelumbus is to find pickers, who could stay at the same plantation during all the harvesting period, because teaching new ones take a lot of time and picking period is short (around 2 months).
As a coffee enthusiast I could say, that this was an experience that changed my life a little bit. Having coffee origin tour is a must for every barista and coffee lover. I just started to love coffee even more!
the writer is OOH Sales Manager in Paulig Professional Lithuania