La Victoria Coffee Factory

Colombia is famous for coffee, and Minca hosts several coffee farms. One of them, la Victoria, uses equipment that is 120 years old. It's a real old fashioned family operation. They have about 300 planted acres in the hills above Santa Marta in the Sierra Nevada. We took a car up in to the jungle to get a tour. It costs around 3 usd to get the tour.

A little bridge leads to the place.

We learned about the long and complicated process of coffee production from this guide. Lucky for us, there was a Colombian American in the group who translated for us.

The place was pretty quiet because coffee picking season is from November to February. Coffee pickers barely get 2 bucks for filling up a box the size of a carry on suitcase. Amazing especially when you consider that we pay 2 bucks for a cup of coffee at home. There is something to be said for the fair trade ideology!

The factory was made of old worn wood and chunky machinery. It reminded us of the movie Hugo.

It's an organic coffee farm so the husks all go into a worm compost bin. This bin was crawling with red worms making compost.

There was a cool 100 year old working phone that the factory still uses.

This part sorts the beans by size into three grades. The biggest and best beans are sold exclusively for export. I am not sure what grades are sold in town but naturally we bought some to bring home. It's likely the worst grade, and I could probably buy better coffee at Costco.

The finished product comes out the chute and into the bag. The finale was eclipsed by meeting yet another dog.

No coffee factory tour would be complete without an enticing free sample at the end. I am pretty sure this cup is sugar with a bit of coffee!

We had fun on the trip back into town taking pictures. The driver didn't seem to care he many times we asked him stop.

You can't really tell from this photo, but from this vantage point y can see all the way down to Santa Marta with the Caribbean ocean in the background. Right next to this photo stop is shack of a place that is hosted by an amicable old guy whose real name isn't known by anyone, he just goes by Cararita.

Luis isn't one to pass up a good sausage, especially a chorizo. He made us a quick plate of simple food.

A few tostones, potatoes, and chorizo that Luis said was the best he'd ever had.

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