Colombian coffee is one of the coffee beans in high demand around the world. This is why it is the third largest coffee grower worldwide.
This country produces 12 percent of the world’s coffee. That’s quite a significant amount of coffee. Why is it so popular?
Well, coffee beans from Colombia stand out from those of other coffee-producing countries in the world because of their amazing quality, flavor, and aroma.
People enjoy Colombian coffee for its floral and fruity flavors, reminiscent of tropical fruit and berries. These beans also have an underlying spiciness with hints of caramel and chocolate that is quite addictive.
But these are characteristics we find in other coffees too. So what makes Colombian coffee so unique? Let’s find out.
Coffee Growing Factors That Set Colombian Coffee Apart
Three things set the coffee beans produced from different regions worldwide apart.
- One is the geographical makeup of where the coffee is grown, such as its altitude and soil type.
- The second is its climate in terms of the amount of rainfall and temperatures in the major coffee-growing areas of a country.
- And the third is the method used to harvest and process the coffee.
Generally, coffee thrives in regions situated at altitudes of 1,200 to 1,800 meters. These plants require lots of rainfall to produce the best-tasting coffee beans. And Colombia satisfies all these requirements.
Its coffee is produced at altitudes of 1,200 – 2,000 meters above sea level in areas that receive 40 – 70 inches of annual rainfall.
Colombia’s Excellent Coffee-Producing Regions
The coffee-growing regions in Colombia are divided into two parts. One is the northern area that’s situated at lower altitudes, where full-bodied, mildly acidic coffee is produced.
The second is a region in the south of Colombia located at high altitudes that produces sweet coffee high in acidity.
These two coffee-growing regions in Colombia grow mostly Arabica coffee. This is a coffee preferred worldwide for its addictive, bright, sweet flavor notes and aroma.
Some well-known coffee-growing areas in the two coffee-growing regions of Colombia are Risaralda, the Penja mountains, Caldas, Santander, and Quindio.
Colombia’s Coffee Harvesting and Processing Methods
The coffee varieties that thrive in Colombia’s coffee-growing areas are Maragogype, Bourbon, Typica, and Caturra varieties. The grading size of coffee beans that they export is mainly of the Supremo and Excelso grade.
These coffees undergo various processes after harvesting that bring out their superb flavor.
One is the main method of coffee processing in Colombia: wet coffee processing. This form of coffee bean extraction is considered to produce coffee that is of higher commercial value due to its flavor and quality. It contributes to Colombian coffee’s clean, fruity, and bright flavors.
Farmers in Colombia have also gone a step further to enhance the fantastic characteristics of their coffee by choosing shade coffee farming.
This method of cultivating coffee under shady trees protects it from extreme sunlight. It also produces denser coffee with a higher cup quality packed with lipids and sugars that makes an amazing brew.
Most coffee farms in Colombia that are situated on steep slopes cultivate coffee alongside banana plants and trees for this reason. These farms are concentrated in the coffee-growing mountainous terrain in Colombia, which has rich volcanic soil, a great tropical climate, and receives a high amount of rainfall.
Another factor that preserves the goodness of Colombian coffee beans is that they are harvested by hand. This method of meticulously picking cherries reduces wastage.
It also produces the best harvest because farmers pick only ripe coffee cherries in peak condition.
With these factors in mind, we can say that Colombian coffee is exceptional because of its flavor and how it is farmed, harvested, and processed.
And while you would think these factors are all that sets Colombian coffee apart, along comes the roasting process.
Colombia’s Fantastic Dark Roasts
Colombian coffee beans have a reputation for making great roasts. This country produces light, medium, and dark roast coffees that are mildly flavored with balanced acidity and sweetness.
Dark roast coffee beans from Colombia are among the best worldwide for preparing espresso coffee beverages such as Cappuccinos and Macchiatos.
This is because they are characterized by a mild flavor that is not overly bitter or acidic. Therefore they give coffee beverages an underlying sweetness that suits most people’s taste buds.
Does this mean Colombian coffee beans are only used in dark roasts? No. These coffee beans also make high-quality light roast coffee beans with pleasant fruity, caramel, and cocoa flavor notes.
However, dark roast coffees are considered the best-tasting roast among those made from Colombian coffee beans.
There are also some coffee producers who blend Colombian coffee beans with those from other regions such as Guatemala and Brazil.
This is because their pleasant aroma and spicy, flavorful citrusy notes merge amazingly well with coffee from other regions.
So Colombian coffee beans make excellent coffee on their own and add amazing flavor to coffees from other regions.
Now you know what makes Colombian coffee so unique. The next time you are looking for high-quality coffee, try beans from this region.
They are the best coffee for people who prefer Arabica coffee beans with fruity, spicy, nutty notes.
You can use Colombian coffee beans to make excellent espressos or milky coffee beverages such as Macchiatos. Once you have a taste, you will be left without a doubt that these coffee beans have the best flavor in the world.