Andrew and I are off to Colombia on Friday. This will be a whirlwind trip, but we hope to accomplish a lot in our four days on the ground. We arrive in Medellin where we'll surely stop in for a coffee at local cafes, Velvet and Pergamino. Then we'll take a drive on meandering mountain roads to Hacienda El Boton, just outside the grand old town of Bolívar, which is steeped in coffee history.
My friends Cristina Garces and Ariel Montoya will host us at El Boton in the house Ariel's grandfather built. We will tour the farm and see the top of the mountain where our Maduro is grown. We’ll walk through the mill and see the adaptations made for the unusual processing of our coffee: the first natural exported from Colombia.
Our second stop will be in La Concordia. We plan to let events unfold as time passes and let serendipity be our ally. My buddy Jaime Avel almost certainly will appear, along with an assorted cast of familiar characters from years of visits and botched bilingual conversations. My hope is to reconnect with some small farmers in Concordia and re-establish lines of trade that will allow me to cultivate some valuable relationships and import more delicious coffees.
Upon our return to Medellin, we intend to explore the dry mill belonging to Cristina's father, Don Ernesto, and hopefully cup some interesting coffees for export to the United States.