Don Manolo’s Cafe Especial is sacred ground for coffee lovers. Visitors won’t even have to travel far to get there from Pereira. It is the type of place that allows visitors to have it their way, freshly roasted and brewed. Experience breathtaking views, an abundance of birds and butterflies, and the unmistakable smell of freshly roasted coffee. Let’s take an inside peek!
Don Manolo’s, A Pereira Coffee Farm Tour
35 years ago, Hector Manuel Manolo purchased a small coffee farm and named it Don Manolo’s. Five years ago in 2011, it became a tourist attraction designed to indulge and educate coffee lovers. There are a variety of new and old techniques applied to create a high quality coffee that is well known and respected in Pereira. From the farm itself, visitors will enjoy a spectacular view of Pereira framed by coffee bushes and forest. Watch out for all the hummingbirds!
Owners Hector Manuel and his son Manuel Felipe, work to continually improve their product and to help educate visitors and the local community. Each one has their own philosophy about coffee.
- Manuel Felipe on coffee: “Definitivamente es un passion y me apassiona a saber todos los sabores y aromas que nacien al cafe.” Definitively it’s a passion, and I am passionate about knowing all the flavors and aromas that come from the coffee bean.
- Hector Manuel had a more poetic philosophy: “El cafe es recuerdo’s, el cafe es amor, el cafe es amistad, el cafe es interactuar, el cafe es social y muchos otros conceptos que difrutamos quando tomamos una taza de cafe.” Coffee is memories, coffee is love, coffee is friendship, coffee is interaction, coffee is social and many other ideas/concepts that we enjoy whenever we drink a cup of coffee.
- Their business philosophy: We are dedicated to the knowledge of coffee, the traditions and the feelings, senses and emotions evoked by our tours, workshops and services.
Passion is evident in every part of what family Don Manolo’s does. In their plans for future expansion, they have opted to create a small on-site school for community enrichment and to help educate other coffee growers about better techniques and ideas. They also will offer lessons and workshops for barista training or personal enhancement.
Hector Manuel even shared a tid-bit of entrepreneur wisdom to those who wish to find themselves a place in the grand tradition of coffee: The most lucrative Point-Of-Sale is as a coffee roaster. This is where you will find the most profit potential. It requires expensive machinery and a couple extra steps, but you won’t suffer the overhead of a physical coffee shop nor a large coffee farm, if you aren’t fully inclined.
The Experience – Tasting, Field Tour & Processing
Upon arrival visitors are received and welcomed with a cup of “Dripper” V60 Manual Prep coffee. The coffee pot is placed on a scale and water is slowly poured onto a filter assembly to create a “drip” effect with precise measurements. When brewed in this way, the properties, smells and tastes are opened up and allowed to announce themselves to the palate.
During the tasting Hector, or Felipe will introduce visitors to the varieties and origins of the coffee grown in small lots at Don Manolo’s.
After the tasting, visitors are taken out the back door of the cafe/roasting area, to the coffee field, and introduced to the growing process. The intensity of the walk and the tour will vary on the motivation and intensity of the visitor. Tours typically take 2-3 hours each to allow each person to indulge their interests. For this reason large groups are discouraged and prior reservations are a MUST!
In the Coffee Field portion of the tour, visitors will learn about the 3 processes that coffee production undergoes to make it into a cup of fresh-brew.
In each phase visitors will see, touch and feel first-hand how coffee is produced and prepared.
Planning Your Visit – Tips and Information
The farm is only 15-20 minutes from el Centro in Pereira, and will cost visitors about 10,000 for the trip. Try to negotiate the cost ahead of time to ensure a fair price. Visit their page on Pereira City Guide: www.pereiracityguide.com/places/don-manolo-coffee-farm-pereira/ for directions in Spanish that you can give to the taxi driver.
Note: Outdated information:
Tours are 30,000 pesos per person. Call for current pricing.
Reserve 24-48 hours prior to arrival, space is limited. Extra-long or special-focus tours are available. Call For Reservations: 313-655-0196 or 318-788-0930
This place is for people who want to learn more about the origins of coffee. The Don Manolo Coffee Farm Tour, will reveal the culture and history of coffee in an exclusive personalized way that will leave you educated about coffee from farm to table..
Owner/Editor of OpenMindedTraveler.com, Erin is also the Project Administrator/Editor of Pereira City Guide.com - She has been living in Pereira, Colombia for several years.