Grown in rich volcanic soil at high altitude on the shaded slopes of the Andes mountains, balanced and bold Colombian coffee is considered some of the best in the world. Whether you’re a coffee-loving visitor or a newbie to the beverage, here’s what you need to know about coffee tours from Medellín.
- Discover one of Colombia’s most famous exports: coffee.
- Visit a working coffee plantation in the Andean foothills to learn about how coffee goes from bean to cup.
- Learn about the history of Colombian coffee and the story of Juan Valdez.
- Combine a coffee farm tour with other Medellín adventures, such as a horseback ride, sightseeing tour, or a visit to the scenic Guatape Rock.
Top Colombian Coffee Plantations
Much of Colombia’s coffee is grown in the Coffee Triangle (Eje Cafetero), on the western slopes of the Andes mountains. Founded in 1892, La Victoria Coffee Plantation is one of the oldest working coffee plantations in the country and a great place to learn about how beans are processed using water-powered generators. At Hacienda Venecia in Manizales, visitors trace coffee from the bean to the cup during an interactive tour. Finca El Ocaso in colorful Salento promotes sustainable coffee production through practices such as organic composting.
Colombian Coffee History
During the 16th century, Jesuit missionaries arrived from Europe and introduced coffee plants to Colombia. According to local legend, a village priest would assign his parishioners the task of planting a few coffee trees instead of a more traditional penance; the practice was then picked up by the archbishop of Colombia, and an industry was born. In 1835, Colombia began exporting coffee to the rest of the world. The South American nation has remained one of the world’s most successful coffee producers, thanks in part to a wildly successful marketing campaign launched in 1959 that introduced coffee drinkers around the globe to the fictional character Juan Valdez.