Coffee Farms in Colombia – best coffee tour at Finca Mariposa

by Kelly

Looking for the best coffee farms in Colombia? We really wanted to visit a coffee farm in Colombia to learn about how our favourite drink is made. We searched for the best experience and found it at Finca Mariposa! It was perfectly located just outside of Jardin, the most charming puebelo. We knew this was such a unique opportunity and had to do it!

How to get to Finca Mariposa? Coffee Farms in Colombia

Finca Mariposa has made getting to your tour very easy. They pick you up right in the main square at Jardin (a must visit town in Colombia). We were picked up in a jeep by Daniel a fourth generation coffee farmer and his friend and translator, Euo.

Sitting in the back of the jeep we drove out into the countryside of Jardin, surrounded by lush green mountains and little farm houses we got to know our other tour companions as we bounced around. Arriving at the farm we were all laughing and happy by the time we began our tour and were ready to learn. 

The coffee tour at Finca Mariposa | best coffee farm tour in Colombia!

We began with the necessary preparations, bug spray, hats and sunscreen before being led to where the new plants and seedlings were. Standing on the side of the most beautiful mountain surrounded by greenery was magical. Daniel and Euo taught us about the landscape, why it is perfect for growing coffee and the type of coffee grown here. As it is within the high altitude for coffee growing at 1850ft it is a very high quality coffee.

We were also shown the other plants growing here, plantains and bananas. These grow very well with coffee plants and are also able to be sold in town. Tasting some later we agreed they were the best bananas we had ever eaten.

Carrying on further we leant about the lifecycle of the coffee plants. Including how they are selected, grown and what a good seedling should look like.

Leading us from seedlings to 8 month old plants to see the progress we arrived at the large coffee trees and some that had been cut down.

The large trees will keep growing but they are cut down to keep producing high quality berries. The tall trees are also too tall to make picking them simple. Being cut gives the farmer access to the whole plant.

Our turn to be coffee farmers in Colombia

We were given our wicker baskets. They are the traditional method used to collect the coffee berries before being sent in to the trees to collect as much as we could! When picking berries we were told to select the red ones. We were also informed that Daniel picks those that are slightly green. using a rotating system, he picks every 20 days and by the time he returns they would be over ripe.

We happily picked as many berries as possible filling our baskets. Of course Mike and I had a competition on who picked the most. Judged by Daniel our results were…Mikes were the highest quality and I picked more (with a little help from Euo!)

How the coffee is extracted – Coffee Farms in Colombia

After we had picked as much as we could we headed back up to see how the coffee was extracted. Put through a machine to peel the berries and extract the seeds it also separates the good beans from the lower quality. This washing process must happen directly as they are picked.

They  are then left to ferment, which draws the sugar into the bean and  allows the beans to be washed to remove the external sugar. This step is very important and many high production places skip it, another reason why Finca Mariposa produces a high quality product!

After fermenting the beans are washed, the best and highest quality sink while the lower quality beans float, using a simple sieve Daniel expertly separates the best beans and takes them up to the roof to dry. The lower quality beans will be used for instant coffee while the best will be sold as green coffee beans to roasters.

This can be a long process depending on the weather. A rolling roof has been created to protect the drying beans from the weather. Daniel single handedly takes care of the whole farm. From planting, picking and maintains the plants to processing the coffee it is all done by hand.

Tasting the coffee | Coffee Farms in Colombia

Once dry they are ready for sale as green beans which are sent to the roasters, more recently Daniel has started roasting his own beans at a coffee shop in Jardín! He was so proud to show us his own coffee and give us some to taste. Sitting under a shady pagoda drinking the freshest coffee and eating a delicious deep fried local snack was perfect.

We were told more about life on the farm, the coffee industry and shown Daniel’s own coffee products. We were even able to purchase some to take home. After finishing our coffee we jumped back into the jeep and made our way to Jardin. What an incredible experience! We learnt so much about coffee and saw first hand the work it takes to enjoy the cup we have each morning.

Our whole group felt so lucky to experience this tour in such a lush and beautiful surrounding and given by the most lovely and kind people. We left feeling like family, experiencing a warmth that only those who love their life can give. They also run an Air BnB which is situated on a hill above the coffee farm. I can only imagine how beautiful it would be to stay there.

We can’t recommend the Finca Mariposa tour more highly, it was the highlight of our time in Jardin. You can book through Air BnB experiences. This is the best coffee farm tour in Colombia and truly one not to miss!

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