Describing Colombian coffee is no mean feat: the plants in each individual region produce beans with very diverse organoleptic properties, which also depend on the altitude, micro-climate and soil in which they are grown. But step by step, we’ll do our best to provide you with all the info you need to get to know the coffee produced in this country.
Colombian coffee, a long tradition of taste
Let’s start from the very beginning. The famous bean that we know and love today was first brought here by the Jesuits in 1723: the Colombian climate proved so conducive to coffee-growing that today the nation is the third largest coffee producer in the world (producing almost only Arabica), mostly thanks to the fine quality of its beans.
And it’s thanks to the geographical characteristics of the country that the coffee grown in Colombia is exceptional. The proximity of the country to the Equator, its mild climate, regular rainfalls and abundance of rolling hills and mountain ranges mean that the Arabica plant can even be grown here at 2300 metres above sea level. The lower temperatures found at high altitudes make the coffee grow more slowly, so giving it a slightly more acidic flavour, with enveloping honeyed notes.
So it all depends on the area. Whereas in the north the coffee has a fuller-body and a stronger taste (because it is grown at a low altitude), in the south it is more acidic, less bitter and less robust.
But the importance of the area and the climate don’t end here. Indeed, thanks to these unique conditions, we can sometimes find both flowers and green and red berries on the same plant at the same time. This means that the coffee can also be harvested several times a year!
The importance of hand-harvesting
Since it is grown on hilly or mountain terrain, and since the same plant can simultaneously bear several drupes, each at a different stage of ripening, Colombian coffee must be harvested manually. This means a longer harvesting activity, but it also results in only the finest quality of coffee being selected: ripe berries are never mixed with other less ripe, or unsuitable ones (as is possible when coffee is machine-harvested).
The result therefore borders on perfection, obtaining a selection of the highest quality that fails to compromise the flavours and aromas intrinsic to that type of coffee, also thanks to the washing method, the process most commonly used in Colombia.
The coffee-growing area of Colombia: regions with exceptional coffee
In Colombia the cultivation of coffee is such a national treasure and so important for the nation that a real “coffee-growing” area has been defined, an area that produces truly incredible coffee. Let’s get to know the regions in this area a little better:
- Narino. This is the southernmost coffee-producing region, located in close proximity to the Equator. The coffees produced here are famous for their creaminess and intense fruity aromas.
- Hulia. The coffees from this area are fruity and very acidic, with a full body and a wide aromatic range;
- Cauca. A mountain area that protects the plants from humidity and wind. The coffee is therefore rather sweet, with floral notes reminiscent of berries;
- Tolima. The coffees from here are sweet, with slightly floral hints;
- Santander. Here, the plants grow at low altitudes and mainly in the shade. The coffee produced is therefore soft and with a low acidity.
Now that you’ve got to grips about the quality of Colombian coffee, are you dying to try it? Discover our blends made with the best single-origin beans in the world, each individually roasted to offer you authentic flavours and aromas.