Wherever Chris and I temporarily lay our hats, we always do our best to try and immerse ourselves into the local cultures of the countries which are kind enough to host us. For example when we lived in Cambodia, we made sure that whenever we went out, we dressed like the locals, even if we were eight centuries behind the current vogue. And in Ghana we tried somewhat pathetically to grapple with the local dialect of Twi, with somewhat limited success, it must be said.

So now that we are back in South America, we have been busy brushing up on our espanol, learning some fancy Tango moves, and, as we are in Colombia, becoming global experts on coffee. So much so, we even booked ourselves onto a coffee-tasting course last weekend with the good people of Amor Perfecto so we could master the basics.

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Our course began with a history of the origins of coffee. As the course was in Spanish it would be fair to say we didn’t catch every single word, but suffice to say Colombians both produce and drink a lot of the stuff. We also think we understood that coffee was once banned by the Catholic Church as it was supposed to have devilish qualities. Until one day it turned out a new Pope quite liked a pick-me-up in the morning and so decided to overlook this particular sin. Phew.

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Coffee beans at different processing stages

After our introduction to the origins of coffee, the sampling portion of the course began. To get our noses warmed up, we began with an introduction to the basic scents that different types of coffee beans can produce. Out of a total of 32 scents, Chris and I managed to identify just one solitary smell, honey.

Weirdly, between us we were completely unable to identify the fairly common smells of potatoes, apples, citrus, and even rubber (which Chris thought was chocolate). It’s really quite hard to explain how strange it is when you smell something, totally recognise the smell, but just can’t identify it. Until you are told what it is and then it immediately becomes crushingly obvious.

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Once we’d well and truly failed the smelling master-class, we moved onto the actual tasting. The nasal instruction definitely helped and by now we were able to identify citrusy flavours and hints of red fruit in the various coffees. Something which has never really crossed my mind in my many years of coffee drinking.

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With the lovely barista from Amor Perfecto

So does this now make us leading experts in coffee-tasting? Perhaps not. But do we feel just a little bit more Colombian? Perhaps ๐Ÿ™‚

Details:

Address:ย Cra. 4 #66-46, Bogotรก,ย http://www.cafeamorperfecto.com/en/

Costs: 110,000 Colombian Pesos

Duration: 2.5 hours

About Tammyonthemove

Tammy & Chris are a couple hailing from Germany and England, meaning between them they are efficient and polite, but unable to talk about football. Find out why they stopped pushing pens around the British civil service to travel the world on their blog.

31 Thoughts on “When in Rome (or in Bogota)…

  1. Could you share some more information with photos on your trip to Bogota? I’m thinking of going there next year and I want to be kind of prepared. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I will not totally miss the opportunity to taste this when given an opportunity to tour this country indeed!
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  3. I love taking tasting courses and coffee is typically a favorite since we have a lot of coffee plantations where I live in Hawaii. This looks like a refined version of doing this and quite design forward which I also love.

  4. I am a coffee addict, so this tour would be really awesome. Going to put this on my list for my trip to Colombia!

  5. So much fun! I love taking coffee tours like this–it’s so interesting to pick out the different scents and tastes. It’s funny how difficult it can be until someone tells you what they are–then it’s hard to think of anything else! Would be fun to do this tour in Colombia someday–great spot for it!

    • Tammyonthemove on January 15, 2017 at 6:17 pm said:

      That is so true. I got so many wrong and could have sworn I was right. Guess I will never be a barista. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Looks like an interesting tour. I have done those coffee, wine, etc. tours where you learn all that pertinent info about the smells, notes, etc. and I still cannot tell one from another. LOL but I like sampling them all. Great post. Thanks for sharing. Have fun in Colombia.
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    • Tammyonthemove on January 15, 2017 at 6:16 pm said:

      Thanks Melody. I love doing these kind of tours too. There is so much I didn’t know about coffee beforehand that it so interesting.

  7. I love that you guys immerse yourselves in each culture. I imagine that must be an incredible experience although not always that easy. I have done coffee tasting tours in Bali and Ethiopia but never quite like the one you did. I can’t believe there are so many scents and that there were so difficult to decipher too. I bet I’d be awful at it.

    • Tammyonthemove on January 15, 2017 at 6:15 pm said:

      Ha ha, we were pretty awful at it too! The one smell I did get straight away were french fries. What does that say about me? :-/

  8. That’s a noble undertaking. The sense of smell is so advanced and sensitive for many. I’d be a failure at identifying smells beyond the few I know so well. Good coffee though is something I would recognize and love anywhere.

  9. I haven’t been to a coffee tasting, usually I go to brewery or wineries. But I love coffee so.o should try this kind of activity on mu future travels.

  10. Chrysoula on January 16, 2017 at 4:41 pm said:

    That was a great experience. I would love to do some coffee tasting too but like you, I am not very certain I would recognize the aromas

  11. It’s interesting to know that coffee has subtle flavors like chocolate or apples. Rubber doesn’t sound super appealing haha.. Reminds me of wine tasting when they say there’s notes of leather! Need to get back to Colombia, that’s for sure.

  12. We did Coffee tasting in Portland and it was fun. This one will definitely be something for me to try.

    Coffee tours are always interesting for me. How many cups did you try though?

    • Tammyonthemove on January 19, 2017 at 10:39 am said:

      We tried eight different blends, and they actually all tasted and smelled differently. I would have never noticed this before the course.

  13. I love coffee and exploring the various coffee regions around the world, so this experience sounds so fun! I lived in Panama when I was very young and started drinking coffee at the age of five. It is in the Latin American blood!
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  14. Although I’m not really a coffee connoisseur, this sounds like a fascinating course. It’s a shame it was only offered in Spanish, though. But if you’re going to learn about coffee, Colombia is the place! BTW, from what I can tell, Catholic clergy tried to have coffee banned at on point, although it’s not clear that it ever WAS proscribed by the Catholic church. Here’s an interesting article I found that mentions that:
    http://mentalfloss.com/article/12662/5-historical-attempts-ban-coffee
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    • Tammyonthemove on March 14, 2017 at 4:10 pm said:

      He actually offered to do the course in English, but we wanted it in Spanish so we can practise our Spanish. Fascinating article. Didn’t think coffee was so controversial.

  15. I love coffee and I wish to have been present on this coffee class too. I’m planning on visiting Colombia this year, and one of my target destinations will definitely be Amor Perfecto ๐Ÿ™‚
    P.S. “and so decided to overlook this particular sin.” LOL…This makes me wonder what will happen if some Pope in the near future turns out to be gay. Will the church then “overlook” homosexuality as a sin too?

  16. Its actually pretty hard for me as well to pick up flavors just by smelling them but the course looks really fun and exciting, . Always loved coffee and its great to see the inclusion of so many flavors into it. Thanks for the article ๐Ÿ™‚

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