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Cafe de Colombia

Updated on March 11, 2013
Cafe de Colombia
Cafe de Colombia | Source

The best coffee in the world is from Colombia, South America. The coffee that is grown in the mountains of Colombia is world renown and it commands a premium price in the world markets. Colombian coffee has a rich, full bodied flavor that is unique. It is exported to all parts of the world where millions of people enjoy it's unique flavor.

The Colombian coffee that is so treasured, is grown from the Arabica Bean. This coffee bean is grown at altitudes from 3,000 to 5,000 feet or even higher and almost exclusively in Colombia. But the better coffee is always grown at an altitude of over 3,000 feet. There are other factors that contribute to the success of this wonderful coffee. The soil in the mountains is rich and is volcanic in nature. There is a lot of rain, which provides for two growing seasons every year. If the coffee is grown in a shady environment, that also improves the flavor of the coffee. The weather is always spring-like at these higher altitudes so the coffee has a cool environment to grow.

Finca de Cafe
Finca de Cafe | Source

The majority of the coffee in Colombia is organically grown on small farms of about 5 acres or less. These farms are called “Fincas.” These fincas then sell their coffee to a larger distributer who then exports it to other countries in the green bean form or roasted form. There is a large quantity of coffee beans that are not roasted and are exported as green beans to coffee distributers and coffee roasters all over the world.

The best coffee in Colombia is grown in only a few regions of the country, where the growing conditions are ideal. One very famous region is called the “Triangulo de Cafe.” This region is comprised of three cities, Armenia, Pereira, and Manizales. There is also a popular amusement park in Armenia that is a very popular tourist destination, called El Parque de Cafe. Also in Armenia there are multitude of tours available that allow tourists to visit the farms and processing plants to learn more about the growing and processing of Colombian Coffee.

Green Coffee Beans
Green Coffee Beans | Source

The majority of the good coffee grown in Colombia, is exported because of its high demand. The coffee that remains in Colombia for local consumption is called coffee not good enough for export. That might mean that the bean size was not perfect or for some other extraneous reason it seemed less desirable to export. So Colombia retains excellent coffee, but the beans might be smaller or have some irregularity. The taste is still the same. The best cup of coffee that I ever tasted was in a restaurant in Bogota, Colombia.

Most know of the Colombian arabica bean from the name “Colombian Supremo.” This does not refer to quality of the coffee as most people think, but it refers to the large size of the coffee bean. Most coffee is exported in the bean form and is ground at destination. A great deal of these coffee beans that are exported as green beans are then roasted and ground for use when the roaster needs more supply of ground coffee. It is always better to roast and grind the coffee exactly when it is needed, to best preserve the flavor. Ground coffee loses its flavor rapidly.

Coffee Roaster
Coffee Roaster | Source

The green bean lasts longer and retains its flavor longer than the roasted bean or the ground coffee. Therefore most purchasers and processors of Colombian coffee prefer the green beans. They can roast it to their specifications, and they can grind it to whatever type of grind they choose, when needed. Some companies will combine the Colombian Arabica Bean with another type of coffee bean from other parts of the world.

Another very important aspect about retaining the flavor of the coffee is the packaging. The whole bean coffee gives off gases. Therefore the package should have a valve that permits these gases to escape. Oxygen and moisture are enemies of fresh coffee, so the coffee should be packaged so that there is no gas transmission. The best package to use that incorporates all factors is a foil bag with a valve.

Foil coffee package with a valve
Foil coffee package with a valve | Source

Many coffee companies around the world will purchase the arabica bean coffee and mix it with an inferior bean that was purchased from another country or with a coffee bean that is grown in Colombia called the “robusta” bean. The robusta bean is another species of coffee that is grown at altitudes of less than 3,000 feet. This mixture of coffee containing the arabica bean, makes a blend that is less expensive and that can be advertised as containing the arabica bean. The best Colombian Coffee that I have purchased in the United States was the brand Eight O'Clock. It contains 100% arabica beans from Colombia.

Harvesting coffee
Harvesting coffee | Source

The quality of the coffee is determined by many factors, the region where it was grown, the altitude where it was grown, the manner in which it was dried, the level and type of roasting, and how recently it was ground. When all of these factors come together perfectly, one has an incomparable cup of coffee.

Cafe de Colombia
Cafe de Colombia | Source

Another factor that distinguishes the Colombian Arabica Bean from other coffee beans is that it has a much lower caffeine content. Therefore it has often been called the all day coffee, meaning that you can drink and enjoy it all day long.

Colombia's Triangulo de Cafe


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    • lemonkerdz profile image

      lemonkerdz 4 years ago from TRUJILLO, PERU

      Coffee is for me one of the best drinks and extremely interesting process. Love the pics. I used to live on the way to the peruvian jungle north peru where coffee and cocoa was produced. When Colombia had a very bad harvest a couple of years ago, Colombia bought most of peru´s coffee in green bean, took it to Colombia and because they toasted it, sold it to the world legaly as Colombian coffee. For some time the best coffee in the world "Colombian" was actually "Peruvian".

      Coffee growers don´t get enough credit for what they do, so thanks for a great hub.