When you think of Colombia, you think of coffee. Coffee is grown throughout the country and a visit to a coffee finca in the coffee region around Salento should not be missed. San Agustín, in the southern part of the country, is known for its archaeological statues, but if you drive around it you will soon notice that there is something equal important to be found in this region: coffee. Still, San Agustín is not the place for a coffee tour, as it’s not advertised at all. Through the tourist information center, we found a coffee finca to visit and half an hour later we were at the plantation. And not just any one, because after a private tour for hours, the conclusion was quickly set: of the many coffee fincas we visited, this is definitely the most fun. Time to spare in San Agustín? Visit this special coffee plantation!
Coffee Mujer: a coffee plantation like you never saw it
A tour over a coffee plantation is an immensely popular activity among tourists in Colombia. Particularly in the coffee triangle, you can get your fill of coffee beans. Yet coffee-finca ‘Coffee Mujer – Mi Cafetal’ in San Agustín turned out to be quite special compared to these other plantations. The plantation is a family business where the couple does everything themselves, from planting the trees to grinding the coffee, without modern machinery. The plantation is part of an association of women coffee growers in the region. ‘Coffee Mujer’ is an organization that promotes the well-being and participation of women in coffee culture, focusing on ecological coffee and sustainability. The owner of the finca is extremely kind, and she and her husband give us a complete (free) private tour of the plantation with great passion and enthusiasm and we are actively involved in the process.
From bean to coffee: everything by hand
Unlike anything else, at finca ‘Mi Cafetal’ everything is done by hand. The couple divided the tasks: the husband takes care of the plants and picking the coffee beans, the wife makes the coffee. This is all done by hand; there are no modern machines. From washing the beans, splitting the casing, drying, roasting and grinding: she does everything herself. Very special and, of course, enormously hard work. The picked beans are left in a container of water for 30 hours and then washed by hand. During that process, she separates the large from the small beans and the bad from the good beans. As in all of Colombia, those small and bad beans are sold in Colombia and the good and big beans, in this case, are sold to the wealthier population and tourists.
The finca produces quite a lot of coffee, all by one woman and by hand. Each week about 40 to 80 bags of (good quality) coffee are produced and sold in the finca to visitors. Such a bag costs only 15,000 pesos, which is very little money for all that work and good quality coffee.
The tour on Mi Cafetal
When we arrived we were warmly welcomed by the lovely couple. The gentleman took us directly to the plantation and took lots of time to explain everything and answer Jimmy’s many questions. After the plantation, we went back to the finca where the lady makes coffee from the coffee beans. Very nice to see her doing all the heavy work by hand with the old equipment and so passionate about it. We have visited many coffee fincas but never did we learn as much about this process and about coffee as we did here. Afterwards, we buy many bags of delicious coffee. It was extremely cozy and they really made us feel at home. The energy exuded by these people excited us completely and for good reason, we stayed there for hours. It was amazing!
We filmed everything and made a nice video of it:
A visit to coffee finca ‘Coffee Mujer – Mi Cafetal’
If you have time to spare in San Agustín, a visit to this coffee-finca is an absoutute must. The visit is free (ask for a tour), but they do like to see you buy a bag of coffee. This costs 15,000 pesos. You will hardly find it that cheap anywhere and the coffee is particularly good. The finca has no set tours or times and is not touristy. Sometimes a group of tourists comes, but the finca is not (yet) very well known among travelers. Want to make sure they have time when you want to go? If so, call 3113261178 or 3125128999.
It is important not to visit the finca with a guide you have hired to explore the region. They’d rather not, because then that guide is going to tell them to charge more for a bag of coffee, the added value of which then goes to the guide you’ve already paid. They like to give a fair and low price, and so with a guide, the price becomes higher, part of which goes to that guide and not to the finca. So help a little to make the sale as fair as possible and come without a guide.
The coffee finca is near the village of San Agustín, namely in Vereda el Tablón, just before the el Tablón museum. If you drive or walk there you will find the finca on the left. There is a sign in the garden that says “Coffee Mujer”.
Where to stay.
There are many hotels and hostels in San Agustín. We stayed in eco-hotel La Antigua, from here you can walk to the finca. Like the coffee plantation, this particular hotel is also completely ecological. More about this in another article.
Although the coffee triangle around the village of Salento is the most popular for visiting a coffee plantation, Colombia has many more coffee areas. Including San Agustín. Make your visit extra varied and combine the archaeological sculptures with this extraordinary coffee plantation where everything is done by hand by one woman! Click here for a mini travel guide San Agustín!
This article contains affiliate links. Click here for more information. This is not a collaboration with Coffee Mujer, but a sincere recommendation.