Coffee culture had a fairly narrow meaning to me. When I was a young adult, I’d spend my evenings in cafes scattered about my hometown of Philadelphia, drinking large amounts of the brew while discussing art, books and world affairs with other caffeinated youths. Someone would bring an acoustic guitar and the evening would turn into a night of music. Thus, we united culture with coffee, and we didn’t know we’d created coffee culture in our city.
I met Karen Silva at a Juan Valdez coffee shop. She’s in her twenties. Serious. Shy. In a society that places quite a bit of emphasis on women’s physical appearance, there was no bling about her, no lipstick or flashy earrings. Her hair was caught back in a fine black net, a fashion that every other Juan Valdez employee was sporting. There wasn’t much about her that impressed me.
Until she made that coffee for us.
Thinking of doing a coffee tasting in Bogota? Here’s a guide to get the most out of it.
In the first part of this series we discussed what gadgets are necessary to cup or taste coffee, what the coffee evaluation involves, and what points to keep in mind when evaluating it. Now we’ll go into the details about the characteristics you should look for to evaluate the cup of coffee you have before you. You’ll want to have your pen and scoring sheet with you while you try the coffee.
This weekend, December 6 and 7, the Tourism Office of Chía will turn the Parque Santander into one of the biggest food festivals of the State. Twenty thousand people will be heading outside of Bogota to try a wide variety of Colombian foods.
Food events will include:
- Wine tastings
- Coffee cuppings
- Olive oil tastings
- Bartenders will be doing their thing
- Presentations with local, national and international chefs
- Organic food market
Andrés Carne de Res, Teattroria, Galápagos, Lima Cocina Peruana, El Despacho and other Colombian restaurants will be there.
So, you may be asking yourself, “Why a food festival in Chía?” Well, here’s a little-known fact: in Chía there are about 250 restaurants and 50 coffee houses, so they know about food.
There will also be arts and crafts and live music, so it will be a celebration of Colombian culture. To find out more, check out the Saboriarte Chia Facebook page.
When: December 6 and 7, 2014
Where: Parque Santander, Chía
Las Puertas del Cielo
Another event featuring food (and more) is the twentieth edition of Las Puertas del Cielo. It’s coming up this month, on December 14.
This festival, which promotes music, art, design and food, draws about 7,000 people out to the Hacienda San Rafael to enjoy a day under the sun while checking out the other fashionable people.
120 companies will be there with their art, clothing and music, like: TLB records, Republicana, Pepita Mendieta, Hook & Moor swimwear, Tridi Lab, Shuz-Shuz, Paco, Calderon & Sumner, Pineapple to go, Birds Shoe Company, Dukao, Enana Perez, and more.
For food lovers there will be plenty of restaurants at the fair: Pinole, Gordo, Julia, I Love Choripan, El Andariego, Rústica DC, El Tambor.
When: Sunday, December 14, from 10 – 6 pm
Where: Calle 133 Nº 50-00 in front of the Centro Comercial San Rafael
How much: Free
To make it even easier to get there, they’ve even provided free transportation to the fair from the Carulla supermarket on Calle 63, and also from the one on 85.
You can bring your pets ; it’s a fun day for them, too.
Here’s a video of the last Puertas del Cielo to show you what it’s all about.