The answer is an Aromatica!
In a country of which its name is synonymous with coffee, it is hard to find an alternative hot drink. Coffee is so ubiquitous that it’s drunk everywhere, at any time of the day, in the form of a tinto, a black coffee.
However, few people know that majority of the great Colombian Arabica coffee is shipped out and most of the coffee drunk inside the country is second grade shit, likely to be non-Colombian, sometimes Ecuadorian, and probably with the only exception from the ‘Colombian Starbucks’ like Juan Valdez or Oma.
So the question is – what else can you drink besides the black colour liquid that can be overly acidic and flat? Here’s where an Aromatica comes in. Aromaticas are like your caffeine-free infusions, but they’re fresh! They are usually made of fresh mint leaves. A home-grown version may add grapes into the pot. A lush version may have ginger and apple. At the end of the brew, the fruit-herb concoction is sweetened with panela, a kind of dark brown sugar that’s ‘not sugar’ according to the locals.
Nowadays, for convenience purpose, you can get ‘real’ aromatica tea bags made from freeze dried fruits. But of course nothing beats the real thing, so featured on the picture is the aromatica at the a café at the Hacienda Santa Barbara shopping mall that’s in Usaquen. Apparently it’s one of the best aroamaticas in the city. Unfortunately I don’t have the name of the place. I can only say that it’s in ‘zona F’ of the mall. The café is famous for their generous portion of colourful fruits, which included passion fruit, grapes, mango, strawberries and apples at the time I went. (I’m sure the combination changes with the season as with everything else here..)
The sweet and sour drink that can be interpreted as a hot juice is delicious, excellent as a digestion aid and doesn’t come with the fidgety effect of a coffee! Go make yourself a glass now!