We show you the visit to the coffee farm of Don Elías, famous in Salento. Let’s see the coffee process from the plant to the cup!
On our way through the Colombian Coffee area, on the trip to Colombia, we couldn’t skip visiting a coffee farm to see what the process is like from the plant to our delicious cup of brown delight. We are going to visit Don Elias Coffee Farm called “Las Brisas“, near Salento.
Information to visit the don Elias Coffee Farm in Salento
How much does it cost?
The price is 31,000 COP per person (2023 information from travelers)
Which are the schedules?
Every day. I did not see a fixed schedule, but apparently, it is from 9 AM to 5 PM, to make sure, ask your accommodation if they can call the farm to ask.
How to get to the don Elias Estate?
Starting in Salento you can walk, depending on the pace, it can take between 45 min – 1 hour. From the Central Park you have to walk north, one block. From there you have to cross the yellow bridge and continue straight, the signs that will appear for “don Elias” will make us realize that we are on the right track.
In fact, we are going to see two signs, one for Don Elias and one for Finca El Ocaso. At the inn where we stayed, we were recommended to visit Don Elias, as it was smaller and more authentic. So, we can’t say whether the other farm is good or not, since we didn’t visit it, but if you have time you can visit both because they are very close to each other.
In fact, you can book your visit to Finca El Ocaso in advance, something that we couldn’t do with Don Elias.
When we see the sign at the entrance to Finca el Ocaso, we must continue straight ahead, and we will soon arrive at our destination. The walk is very pleasant, but if you don’t want to walk, there is also the option of taking a willys, those characteristic jeeps of the area, in the main square of Salento.
Looking for a flight to Colombia?
Book your tickets at the best price here!
Arriving at the farm of don Elias in Salento
You have to know something: currently the probability of seeing don Elias on the farm is very low, this because he is already retired. And that was our case, since we did not see it.
Now those who make the visits are his grandchildren and other relatives. Upon arrival, a group of few people quickly formed (in any case, you cannot have a huge group because the facilities are small) and we went to visit the coffee plantations.
From the plant
The tour lasts just under an hour, and to begin with, they took us to see the coffee plants. We could see the fruits, some already red, gorgeous, but in that state they are still far from being able to reach our cup.
For this to happen, they have to be collected, a laborious process that reminds some of us of the soap opera “Café con aroma de mujer“, since the protagonist was a coffee picker.
The fruits that are being harvested accumulate in little vine baskets.
In addition to coffee plants, we can see that they have crops of other fruits, and they explain the reason: these plants favor coffee, since they “enrich” the soil for the coffee plant, this technique is known as permaculture. A way to enrich the land without chemical products. In fact, the coffee that is produced in this place is organic.
We loved walking around, since everything is green, an infinite green. In some coffee plants, we can see that there are small white flowers, these last a few days and then the fruit comes out, which in a few months will become coffee.
Once the fruits are collected, the grain must be removed, for this, a machine is used. Then the seeds that are not in good condition are discarded, they are used as fertilizer, and those that are good are put to dry for several days.
Once dry, the skin that continues to cover them is removed again, this one thinner than the previous one. And now yes, we move on to serious things: it is roasted. Because until now, the grain has neither the color nor the smell of coffee. But all that will change after that toast that will do the magic.
A few days must pass, after roasting, so that it is ready for consumption.
Until the cup
When the coffee bean is ready for consumption, all that remains is to grind it, and that is what our friendly guide did. We also participate by giving a few laps to the grinder. After this, it can be sold, although it can also be sold whole. If you have your coffee grinder at home, better.
And to end the visit, they bring us a few cups of coffee. Excellent. And since Vincent doesn’t like coffee, well, I got a double portion, but we must clarify: the java is strong, but good.
And at the end of the visit we stayed talking for a while with a girl, also a relative of don Elias, she told us that she was looking for a career as a singer. She had released a CD, and she was pleased, I hope she did well.
When we left, we saw that there was a willy parked, those jeeps are so photographic, it reminded us of our visit to Valle del Cocora.
Anecdote for the end: We were delighted with this visit to don Elias coffee farm in Salento, when we walked back towards the square from which we left we met two ladies who very kindly offered to bring us closer.
While speaking, it turned out that they were from the other farm, the Ocaso farm, and the moment we told them where we came from I felt a slight discomfort, they didn’t behave badly or anything, but well, I felt bad telling them that I preferred the competition hehe… oh well. When we return to the Eje Cafetero, we are going to visit his farm!
Some of the links in this article include affiliate links. This means that if you buy a product listed here by following these links, we'll receive a commission. The use of this link does not increase the final price for you and thus helps us to keep our blog alive.