Hacienda Venecia, Colombia

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We spent two days at a coffee farm called Hacienda Venecia in the Colombian country side near Manizales. There, we learned all about the process of making coffee, from seed to roasted bean. In Colombia, coffee is grown on steep mountainsides, therefore all coffee is picked by hand. A variety of beans are grown near banana trees, a natural pest deterrent. Once ripe and red, the beans are picked by local pickers who harvest it by the kilogram. Afterwards, the beans are sorted by which float in water, keeping the denser beans. Then, beans are dried in large ovens before being hulled. After being hulled, beans are sold. At their final destination, beans are roasted. A light roast is a bean that only cracks once during roasting. A dark roast is a bean that cracks twice. Once roasted and ground, the coffee is ready to be brewed. We tasted the beans themselves at each step of the process, along with a large coffee tasting at the end. We also had a fantastic Latin American dance lesson one night, where we learned the steps of bachata, merengue, salsa, and pulya.

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