Video: Exploring Coffee Trails in Colombia with Anita & Caro Gehrig

Jul 19, 2018
by Sarah Moore  

Mountain biking and coffee are known to go hand in hand. As former baristas and professional racers the Gehrig Twins could not agree more.

With the Enduro World Series taking place in Colombia and an opportunity to team up with La Marzocco the twins explore this bike and bean partnership we all love in a place that literally embodies it: A coffee farm in the jungle of Colombia on which bike trails snake through the coffee plantations.

Discover what trail the coffee follows from the bean to the cup.

Anita and Caro Gehrig of Norco Twins Racing explore the coffee trails ahead of the Enduro World Series in Colombia.

Anita and Caro Gehrig of Norco Twins Racing explore the coffee trails ahead of the Enduro World Series in Colombia.
Anita and Caro Gehrig of Norco Twins Racing explore the coffee trails ahead of the Enduro World Series in Colombia.

Anita and Caro Gehrig of Norco Twins Racing explore the coffee trails ahead of the Enduro World Series in Colombia.

Anita and Caro Gehrig of Norco Twins Racing explore the coffee trails ahead of the Enduro World Series in Colombia.
Anita and Caro Gehrig of Norco Twins Racing explore the coffee trails ahead of the Enduro World Series in Colombia.

Anita and Caro Gehrig of Norco Twins Racing explore the coffee trails ahead of the Enduro World Series in Colombia.


Anita and Caro Gehrig of Norco Twins Racing explore the coffee trails ahead of the Enduro World Series in Colombia.

Anita and Caro Gehrig of Norco Twins Racing explore the coffee trails ahead of the Enduro World Series in Colombia.

Anita and Caro Gehrig of Norco Twins Racing explore the coffee trails ahead of the Enduro World Series in Colombia.
Anita and Caro Gehrig of Norco Twins Racing explore the coffee trails ahead of the Enduro World Series in Colombia.

Anita and Caro Gehrig of Norco Twins Racing explore the coffee trails ahead of the Enduro World Series in Colombia.

Riders: @anitagehrig // @caro_gehrig
Video: @aspectmedia
Photos: @nicoswit_photo


MENTIONS: @EnduroWorldSeries @norcobicycles



74 Comments

  • 15 0
 When i went to Manizales/ Colombia it wasn't actually that easy to get good coffee. The coffee farms sell it all abroad and alot of people drank nescafe.

Also, I saw a bus driver spread ground coffee all over puke when someone spewed on the bus. totally got rid of the smell!

Fantastic country with awesome people
  • 2 0
 This is true, as Colombia exports the top 80% - 90% of the coffee beans grown in Colombia to Europe, then North America. Only the scraps of the crop stay in Colombia.
  • 3 0
 Yeah For good coffee you have to go to Medellin or Bogota where cofee shops scout a lot of small farms and sell fantastic stuff.
  • 2 0
 Funny. I had the opposite experience in Costa Rica. I had amazing coffee there and bought a few kilos to bring back. I treated that stuff like gold. I have been chasing the dragon ever since. Every Costa Rican coffee I've bought here in the States since has been nowhere near as good.
  • 1 1
 Mmmmm I went to Columbia only for the coffee.
  • 1 0
 Cannot agree more, I would even extend it to fantastic north-west region with awesome people. Coffie is really good even though sometimes a bit over-rasted for my taste. I dont know why they adore nescafe so much but it is everywhere.
  • 4 0
 Kind of like bikes in Taiwan... except I don't think a bike will cover puke too well
  • 4 0
 You're pretty much on point here. Most of the coffee that's grown here is exported as it has a high value worldwide, and most of the coffee you find on your usual stores is Nescafe. Your best bet next time you're here is to try anything that's branded as Juan Valdez coffee.

By the way, that was a sick video. We would love if more of you guys came and drank coffee, rode your bikes, and see what a beautiful and privileged city we live in. EWS 2020 maybe?
  • 1 0
 We learned the same thing about Guatemala when we visited er....about where the good beans go, not the puke part. But next time my wife gets carsick on windy roads, Ill just start peppering her with coffee grounds. Thanks for the protip!
  • 1 0
 @peterguns: Same about Brazil :/ Easier drink a quality brazilian cofee in Germany than in Brazil.
  • 1 0
 Yep, in Colombia the cheap coffee tends to be imported from Vietnam. Crazy world.
  • 4 0
 Costa Rica is weird in that there’s great coffee everywhere, the rest of the major coffee producing countries I’ve been to have very average coffee unless you seek it out. When I was in Chiapas Mexico, I ended up at Starbucks, at least they had actual Chiapas coffee.

Best Espresso I’ve ever had was at a truck stop in Costa Rica, and it was like $0.25. Leave that country with the caffeine jitters every time @chezotron:
  • 2 1
 Bet the locals showed them some great lines...
  • 1 0
 @maxyedor: Costa Rica is much different from Colombia in a humanitarian perspective. Very different qualities of life.
  • 1 0
 Plus you can get pills with no RX.
  • 11 2
 I’ve made a load of cups of tea in my time, how about a Pinkbike feature on me and a yet to be decided friend touring India discovering the delights of tea and trails?
  • 2 2
 For good tea go to China or Japan!
  • 30 0
 Not sure if that's pinkbike's cup of tea.
  • 3 1
 Wasn't there a feature (or Mercedes ad) here on Pinkbike about a guy named Vinay (not me) riding amidst tea plantations? It didn't go into the actual processing of tea but well, maybe someday.
  • 2 0
 @Slabrung: I'll go where ever the teas is, I'm not fussy.
  • 4 0
 What idiot would go to Columbia for coffee only when there is sooooooo much more to offer.
  • 2 0
 @jimmythehat: hmm in this case I wonder if that's are any tea plantations in British Columbia...
  • 3 0
 Wow, nice combination! And beautiful landscapes.

BTW, does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep coffee fresh? In my experience coffee loses aroma about 2 weeks after roasting. Is it possible to preserve it somehow?
  • 1 0
 If possible, buy smaller quantities Wink . If this is not possible (for instance because you buy it on a trip and want to take it home) I think best would be to store it dry, airtight and dark. Not sure if it would work to store it cold (in the fridge). I suppose if you do, you really need to use very dry air. Never heard of anyone doing this and I'm afraid somewhere on PB some barista is going to choke on his or her coffee reading this and I owe them a new keyboard. Sorry for that!
  • 3 0
 @vinay: tried the fridge option, doesnt help. From personal (extensive) experience, the only way is to only keep smaller quantities in open packages. Or roast your own beans often.
  • 2 0
 Buy the beans whole and freshly ground them when you have a cuppa.
  • 2 0
 Coffee will always lose quality two weeks after roasting. If making espresso, from 4 days post roast to 2 weeks post roast is the appropriate time to use it. I order from small companies that roast to order for beans I'll use for espresso. For pourover, drip, french press I extend that out to almost two months as it isn't as critical. For that I only buy brands that have the roast date labeled on the container. I just view it in the same line as eggs, milk, and so forth. There is an expiration date to it. Also, always buy whole beans and always use a quality burr grinder.
  • 2 0
 @mfranzen: I also buy from local coffee roasters, but will try faster turnaround just as you say. Of course whole beans and a good grinder is a given.

@yxbix: do you have experience in roasting coffee at home? BTW I also heard that coffee should not be hermetically closed. I wonder why. I was thinking about freezing it, but probably it's not a good idea (it kinda works with green tea, although I never tried it).

Thanks to all of you for your thoughts!
  • 2 0
 @Slabrung: hey,

I have tried roasting in an oven and on a pan. It really is pretty simple and you can get creative with your roasts, like adding honey or spices during roasting. Try it, it's fun. Just google "how to roast coffee beans" and you will get a ton of adequate info. My favorite is slow roasting in the oven.

I keep both unroasted and roasted beans in closed metal jars. I dont know if that can be considered "hermetically" closed, but keeping them totally open kills the bean IMO
  • 1 0
 @yxbix: sounds interesting! I'm going to buy green beans then.
  • 2 0
 @Slabrung: using a cheap popcorn maker is a easy way to dabble in home roasting. small batch size, but solid results. i was buying green beans at ~1/2 the price, and truly fresh roast made for amazing espresso. don't do it now (in close proximity to a bevy of great roasters), but it was fun experiment.
  • 2 0
 @xy9ine: always wanted to buy a popcorn maker, now I have a reason! But I guess oven will go first because I already have one.
I only worry about the aspect of quality of the beans (you don't have that much choice for green beans) and they say roasting is art - but maybe fresh coffee is better than expertly roasted 2 weeks' coffee... we'll see.
  • 1 0
 I thought roasting was pretty difficult because you need to stop before it is finished. So you need to know when to stop exactly! I suppose it takes some experimentation but I really need to cut down on the things I want to get good at. Jack of all trades, master of none. So still no good coffee.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: haha! Yeah plus I guess the temperature, probably the humidity, stirring the beans... processing tea is super complicated, so probably coffee too...
  • 1 0
 @Slabrung: Yeah, I like to build skills but I decided I wanted to develop skills for different occasions. I spend enough time in the kitchen, so that's sorted. Of course I got bikes. I got a slackline for those picknick sessions when I'm done sitting. I just got a few knives and an axe from Morakniv and a book called "Spon - A Guide to Spoon Carving and the New Wood Culture". When I'm getting restless during those long campfire sessions, I can now carve spoons from fresh wood. I love working with wood but working with fresh wood is new for me. But roasting coffee? Maybe someday, maybe never. Definitely not now.
  • 1 0
 @mfranzen: Yeap I do the same. If it doesn't have a roast date or farm details it's going to be bad. When you buy a bag of specialty coffee from a reputable roaster (See Hasbean in UK or 3fe in Ireland) you're helping out the small farmers who are doing everything right. Avoid all those over roasted (because the beans are usually poor to begin with) big name supermarket brands.
  • 1 0
 Our best local roaster says that you need to wait a few weeks AFTER roasting to get the best flavour. Don't sweat your two weeks. And lets face it, if your coffee tasted exactly the same every day, as long as it tastes good, that's fine because you appreciate it when it is excellent.
  • 2 0
 @iamamodel: That only applies to certain brewing methods and the reason is the CO2 blowoff. Particularly with french press or automatic drip.
  • 1 0
 @mfranzen: I was not aware of the CO2 degassing thing, thanks! So it looks like the best time to drink coffee is roughly between 3 and 10 days after roasting.
  • 4 0
 Its been a dream of mine to have a coffee farm near Medeine and build trails on the farm. Then, open a bed & breakfast for mountain bikers.
  • 3 0
 That's not a bad dream dude.
  • 4 0
 Although you should probably start by spelling Medellin correctly
  • 3 0
 @stealthpenguin: my dream is to move to man hat ten and flatten a block to build trails and open a remote alpine chalet for bikers.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, and during the time when you need a bigger workforce like during harvest etc, lower the prices for their stay in turn of a few hours labor a day. Cheaper than to hire people to work for you during those peak weeks. I think it could work.
  • 3 0
 @browner: don’t ever let anyone tell you that’s not possible.
  • 4 3
 I heard that the production vs consuming ratio is heavily out weighted and we should see the end of coffee production in the next 50 years unless something dramatically is done to either support farmers or invest more into preservation of the product..... who am i kidding, carbon frames will be turned into our morning supplement with the amount of land fill they produce.good article thank you i loved my time in columbia.
  • 4 2
 And this boys and girls is why you dont trust pop science publications.
  • 5 0
 @fercho25: as a specialty coffee professional @nudly is the first comment backed by real data not pop science publications. Working with farmers on sustainability is nowhere near as efficient as we'd like it to be. Unfortunately there are so many like you that realize a problem after it becomes unsolvable, labeling others who are trying to do something about it.

Enjoy your hyper-pop-consumerism...
  • 1 0
 @kanasasa: Is there a label for coffee that is actually sustainable? I usually buy with the fair trade label and expect it to be good. Apparently it isn't?
  • 1 0
 yeah, i'm sure the pharma industry will come up with a way to turn carbon fiberw aste into a food supplement.????
  • 3 0
 @vinay: rainforest alliance, fair trade, direct trade... The only problem is farmers/producers usually do that kind of certifications to add value to their coffee so the best tasting coffees are without those certificates and sometimes are actually more sustainable.
Find a roaster (many mid-size ones) that works closely with producers and carries the same coffee year after year. Those relationships are (mostly) very valuable to producers in poor countries and help them to be more organized, hire an agronomist and get professional advice to fight climate changes and diseases.
  • 1 0
 Cheers @kanasasa:
  • 1 0
 @kanasasa: Thanks for the advice! Yeah I usually buy something with the fair trade label, or rainforest alliance previously but the price of those was so low that I didn't completely trust it. A close friend works for an organic food wholesale company so I'm getting dates, oats etc through him. But they do coffee too. He travels a lot to buy from local producers, drink coffee with them etc.He just went to Serbia today (not for coffee, obviously) and I'll be away next week but after three weeks, we'll hang in Italy for a week. I'll ask him about the process and the deals they make. I probably won't buy coffee through him though. We can easily work our way through 10kg of oats (which is the minimum sales quantity) but there is no point buying his minimum quantity of coffee Wink . That said, they do process their food over here so maybe we can roast a small amount of beans together someday. I wouldn't try it on my own, would be a waste. My brother does it but he confirms it really is difficult.
  • 4 0
 EWS drugs again! what is the legal limit for coffee,before it is considered cheeting?
  • 4 0
 When you've had enough coffee to outride a cheetah then you'll know where to stop the caffeine.
  • 2 0
 @colincolin: Depends on what the cheetah had for breakfast. If I recall correctly, the effects of coffee has been discovered because the goats who happened to have eaten some of those beans got suspiciously active. Now if the cheetah manages to snatch one of those, you may be justified to have another cuppa to overtake one of those.
  • 2 0
 Bike and Coffee match very well, in Brazil we got the same problem coffee that we find here usually are rest os production the good coffee goes to Europe and North America. The Special Coffee from Brazil is the best one.
  • 1 0
 Colombia has awesome trails and fantastic people, culture food and of course, coffee! Give it a try. If you want some direct trade, premium specialty coffee delivered to your doorstep in Europe, try www.greenwheel.coffee. 100% Colombian arabica. We've been working directly with some of the best small coffee producers for more than a decade, paying them up to 100% more than market price and then roasting in Colombia to keep as much added value at source as possible. We also donate 1% of profit to a Colombian non-profit that gives bikes and shoes to rural kids who'd otherwise have to walk for hours to go to school. Visit our website for more info. Enjoy your cuppa and ride on!
  • 1 0
 la Marzocco are the best coffee machines.
4$ a cup deadpans on the client who's willing to pay.
coffee in any coffee shop has a very high profit calculated in it. but it is so nice to have a good cup in a nice location.
  • 1 0
 I'm surprised to see that in the picture, Gehrig is drinking from a mug with a sticker of Marzocco. I'd have expected that the brand would have proper printed mugs for their own video instead of slap a sticker on a mug just for that one shot.
  • 1 0
 I was in Colombia earlier this summer for the first time in my life, and I loved it. Didn't get to do any MTB, but the coffee was off the hook. Arapeas (sp?) is equally off the hook. Damn. Want coffee and lunch now.
  • 2 0
 I don't remember espresso machines in Columbia. $4 for a cup of coffee, but those farmers get pennies!
  • 1 1
 I came here to say that I don’t like South American coffee, prefer fruity flavor of African coffes, because they work for cold brew and wanted to see how many people will go “oh f*ck off Waki” for saying it.
  • 1 0
 More stories like this! I love seeing passions come together to create content that's relatable and real. Thanks Gehrigs!!
  • 2 0
 Toyota Land Cruiser Dumptruck!
  • 2 0
 *pauses video*

*fills coffee grinder*
  • 1 0
 i like how coffee industry see the cyclists as a potencial market hahaha
  • 1 0
 The Collective and Roam videos were sponsored too.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: cool
  • 1 0
 My two favorite things. This is great!
  • 1 0
 Rad! Love anything the Swistas in it!!!
  • 1 0
 I love the travel destination stories PB. Thanks. Keep them coming.
  • 1 0
 Oughta explore Sumatra, Indonesia for Kopi Luwak.
  • 1 0
 zack die bohne

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