So your in the famous Colombia coffee triangle and want to experience an authentic coffee tour? Obviously you want to experience the rich Colombian coffee taste and learn all about the history of coffee in Colombia, but how do you ensure you get the right guide, the right information and at least a smidgen of fun? Well, that part is surprisingly simple: you go on a Finca Don Eduardo Coffee Tour in Salento of-course!
Salento is a picturesque mountain town on the edge of the Colombia Coffee Triangle famous for it’s coffee estates, jaw-dropping scenery and proximity to the Cocora Valley ( with its other-wordly wax palm trees, a national symbol of Colombia!). Having made our way here from nearby Buga we headed to the Plantation House Salento, a laid-back hostel in a 100 year old original coffee plantation!
The owner, Don Eduardo – a.k.a our Colombian coffee guy who is actually a transplanted Brit, runs a daily coffee tour from here which we quickly signed up for and well, we were not the only ones! After running this tour for over 6 years he’s has developed an incredible reputation and most of the other people there were through word-of-mouth recommendations [as were we from our time with Popayan Tours!]. If you don’t read any more, just know this – There is a reason why this guy is #1 on TripAdvisor!
Welcome to Coffee 101!!
We started our tour at 9 am, and it began with Don Eduardo explaining how he ended up getting ‘stuck’ in Colombia 12 years ago (Along the lines of “Colombia, the only risk is wanting to stay”) with a dream to grow and harvest coffee! While most of us have these or similar dreams from time to time, you have got to admire that he has actually gone out and made his happen – And his passion truly shows through in his Salento coffee tour and coffee plantation! In his epic three hour tour, appropriately broken up with walking, hilarious anecdotes, demonstrations and – of course – coffee tasting, we learnt more about coffee and its production than I ever thought possible [and to the kind-of hilarious sole person that gave him a terrible review on TripAdvisor, it is most certainly not all available on Wikipedia!]. I mean who knew that Brazil was the worlds leading exporter or beautiful women and coffee! Or that Vietnam is the worlds second biggest exporter (it’s also their second biggest export after rice!)… great facts to pull out next time your queuing at your local coffee shop!
As someone on our tour succinctly put it: “He’s the David Attenborough of Coffee”, complete with British accent.
A truly whole experience, great for both novices or refined connoisseurs. Rather than just picking some coffee beans and seeing a coffee bean roasting as is common on other tours, Don Eduardo takes you through the entire process. From seed to tree to bean to cup and everything in between the David Attenborough of Coffee will answer any question with ease and have you sound like a learned expert in no-time! Little did I know the time and effort involved in getting my morning cup of Java, or Colombia as it may be, and will surely not be taking it for granted anymore!