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Coffee Chronicles, Part 15
In the world market Columbia is second only to Brazil in the volume of coffee that it exports. The washed Arabica is one of its most important crops and a great deal of care is utilized in the harvesting and processing of this bean. There are various areas which produce specific beans which are controlled in quality by the Colombian government, such as Armenia, Manizales and Medellin. The Medellin is the best quality bean due to its body, flavor and perfect level of acidity; The Armenia is a bit later but also has a very strong an savory aroma and the vintage Colombian is a very special been in that it is aged for a full eight years in climate controlled warehouses prior to the roasting process.
There is only one type of bean grown in Congo today and that is the natural wash Robusta in the Kwilu and Canephora varieties. Almost all of the production of the Congo is exported.
In the primary producers of coffee, Costa Rica has a history of growing the crop that dates back from the end of the 18th century when it received its very first plants from the primary plantations in Cuba. Costa Rica is very unusual in the sense that it has a Federal law which prohibits the cultivation of Robusta and therefore produces only Arabica beans. The most well known coffees are Alajuela, Heredia, Tres Rios and San Marcos of Tarrazu. These coffees are grown in very specific and well controlled ranges of humidity and tend to be sweeter and more acidic than some other coffees. Cuba was once the primary home of coffee growing in the Caribbean but today only produces very scant quantities of natural and washed Arabica.
Democratic Republic of Congo
This country cultivates both Robusta and Arabica beans, which tend to be more acidic in the Arabica variety, however, the production levels are held down by retro-grade agricultural methods and defects in the distribution, processing and shipping of the product.
This major exporter is known for the strong full-bodied Santo Domingo and the more acidic and darker Barahona along with the Ocoa, Bani and Cibao. All of these varieties are produced in the moist method of processing.
Washed Arabica and Robusta our present in this country, however there has been a decrease in the production of its coffee which grows at high altitudes of 2,400 m (or 7,874 feet) and above.
The types of coffee present in El Salvador plantations are Maragogype and Arabica. Three quarters of the production in El Salvador is exported and similar to Ecuador the coffee which is produced is generally at very high altitude plantations which provide a sweet coffee with moderate acidity. The plantations which are grown at lower altitudes tend to have a coffee with a weaker body.