We literally have a few countries in the world that can be instantly connected to the coffee bean, without even a whisper of a doubt. The Republic of Colombia is a nation that stands near the very top of this list. In fact, if you call yourself a coffee enthusiast, chances are you’ve chugged a cup, or four of Colombian coffee, whether unconsciously, or by design.
Walk with us as we explore the epicenter nestled to the north of the continent of South America. We will be sweeping through the past, peeping in the present, and pressing for the potential future of coffee in Colombia. It’s time to recognize the elements that have placed the country on the top of the coffee map of the world because it grows some of the best coffee bean brands that we drink today.
About Colombian Coffee
By the end of the 19th century, the country found its feet and coffee became a major cash crop in Colombia. In the early 20th century, the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia, also known as Fedecafé, was brought into being. The aim was to look out for the well-being of the coffee farmers in the country. They work towards bringing about a positive social impact by offering research and training opportunities to the local farmers. Today the institution stands for a majority portion of Colombia’s coffee farmers. They are most well known for their “Juan Valdez” marketing campaign.
Over the next few decades, the industry flourished. A testament to the fact is Colombia’s seat as the third-largest producer of coffee in the world after coffee from Brazil and Vietnam. The brown bean is responsible for keeping close to eight hundred thousand people employed in the country. Their efforts result in delivering 12 percent of the total coffee produced in a year.
Colombian Coffee History
If the words in history books are to be believed, coffee first entered Colombia close to three centuries ago. The brown bean is said to have taken its first journey into the country in the hands of a Jesuit priest. While the climate and landscape of the country proved to be the perfect canvas for coffee to flourish, locals weren’t very keen on taking up production once they became aware that the rewards could take up to five years to become a reality. To encourage some enthusiasm towards planting coffee, Francisco Romero; a priest from a small village, offered up an idea to the Archbishop of Colombia.
A new form of penance was introduced in the country. In place of the usual act performed by Catholics of Colombia, people were asked to plant three or four coffee plants. The results; today coffee farms cover 2.2 million acres of land in the country.
The rest of the world didn’t really get a chance to taste coffee from Colombia till 1835. The first few thousand bags were shipped off to the US. The rest, as they say, is history.
It is a fact universally acknowledged, that the coffee beans grow best at high altitudes and in the company of other trees and banana plants. The shade offered by the foliage prevents the coffee plant from getting burnt. The country of Colombia offers all this and more. Tiny coffee farms can be spotted on steep slopes across twenty-two regions of the country.
Since navigating through them all will take more time than we have, we’ve clubbed them up, slotting them into zones.
We’ll start big. The central zone is the most talked about when it comes to coffee growing in Colombia. It is after all ground zero for the fated Medellin, Armenia, and Manizales coffee beans known well to most coffee connoisseurs of the world as MAM.
The zone produces coffee all year round because it enjoys a repeat of wet and dry seasons twice a year. The area is known for producing coffee that is higher in acidity than its counterparts from the country.
This zone also contains the Colombian Triangle; the region in the country responsible for producing most of the coffee the country exports. If you’re one for taking names, Antioquia, Tolima, Quindío, Risaralda are all the best regions for growing coffee in the country that calls this zone their home.
Sauntering towards the south of the country would take you closer to the equator. Coffee is grown in smaller farms, at higher altitudes in this region resulting in more unique and acidic coffee profiles. The area of the New Colombian Coffee Triangle, comprising the regions of Nariño, Cauca, and Huila, the exiting coffee from these regions tends to have more fruity and caramel tones.
With coffee farms growing at slightly lower altitudes than their counterparts in the country, the beans from this region present nuttier offerings tied together with chocolaty undertones. The blends exiting the region also boast of being holding a lower acidity when compared with the coffee leaving the other zones of the country.
The tiniest of the lot, the Eastern zone of the country has recently gained a lot of attention from the Colombian government. While for now, the area encompasses the regions of Arauca, Caquetá, Meta, and Casanare. The local forces are working hard to encourage the coffee industry to grow in the area.
For a country that manages to offer the world close to 11.5 million sixty kilo bags of coffee a year, it should come as no surprise to learn. The coffee exiting the country offers a varied flavor profile. While the overarching umbrella, you can place coffee from Colombia underneath angles on the side of medium-bodied acidic beans, with a rich taste and complex flavor. One of the main flavor deciding factors is the region of the country the coffee beans call their home.
Coffee growing in the central zone of Colombia for example brings forth a unique mix of fruit and herb flavors. For a blend that holds notes of citrus, you can turn to coffee churning out from the south of the country. For fuller-bodied coffees, on the other hand, you’re going to have to look to the northern zone, where blends meld classic flavors of chocolate and nuts.
When compared to its closest neighbor, Peru, the coffee from Colombia has more acidity and is full of aroma. Peruvian coffee on the other hand is less acidic and also has less mouthfeel. Hawaiian coffee comes more parallel in taste when compared with Colombian coffee.
Depending on the farm in question, you can also come across a few surprise pops of caramel, apple, and berries blended into the flavor of the bean.
When nature provides the perfect blank canvas, you better be sure you’ve got your hands on the right paints. The country of Colombia is gifted with the ideal combination of climate and landscape for Arabica coffee beans to grow and flourish.
Although the growing of Robusta coffee isn’t illegal here like in Costa Rica, Colombia also has absolutely all the coffee grown in the country of the Arabica variety. This means you’re guaranteed lighter beans with more complex profiles.
The sub-species of Arabica beans you are most likely to spot exiting the country include Bourbon, Maragogype, Castillo, Typica, and Tabi varieties. They are also categorized by size. If you come across a bag of coffee from the country wearing the label of Supremo beans, be assured you’ve got your hands on the largest beans harvested in the country in that year.
Best Colombian Coffee Bean Brands
The sure magnitude of the brown bean departing the shores of Colombia to combat coffee cravings of the world would confuse even the most distinguished palate out there. Take a stroll with us through the most favored brands and blends from Colombia that have caught the world by storm.
1. Colombia Geisha Coffee – An Offering from Caffe Vita
The congenital long finish of Colombia Geisha leaves behind its delightful citrus and floral notes and gives you a full-mouth feel.
Roast: Light Tasting Notes: Fruity, Floral, & Sweet
Colombia Geisha, a superb Ethiopian derived variety of coffee beans from Caffe Vita Coffee Roasting Co, has become one of the most distinguished and one-of-a-kind coffees of the world. These coffee beans can be better defined as an exceptional blend of delicacy and intensity.
Many coffee aficionados call Colombia Geisha the female version of Panama Geisha. However, when it comes to comparing Colombia Geisha beans with the Panama ones, they’re less robust and more delicate, hence much more pleasurable.
With a distinct aroma, sparkling acidity, and unique fruity, floral, sweet and fresh flavor, they have managed to win over the hearts of millennials.
Volcanica grows these world-class beans at 1800-1850 meters in the lands of La Herrera, Tolima, a place with a volcanic landscape in Central Colombia. Because of growing in a high-altitude region, the beans adopt a unique flavor that makes them stand out in the crowd.
The cold and stable high-mountain temperature allows the cherries to retain sugar, which results in that distinctly delectable sweet nuance of the Colombia Geisha beans.
Who Is This For?
Anyone who loves to explore more about coffee! Its amazing and refreshing cacao and sweetish flavor make it a delightful beverage for your busy weekday evenings or leisurely weekend afternoons.
Colombia Geisha is not meant for espresso or regular cappuccino. When you try to prepare cappuccino or espresso with these delicate beans, you lose the ever-desired, world-class flavor that makes these beans exceptional. Using a filter or plunger to brew them is highly recommended if you want to make the most out of Colombia Geisha beans.
2. Cooper’s Cask Coffee Colombian Coffee Beans
With distinct notes and a moreish aroma, the dark roasted single-origin Colombian coffee beans from the house of Cooper’s Cask complement the coffee culture of Colombia to the fullest!
Roast: Dark Tasting Notes: Chocolate, Rustic, Sweet and Dark Fruit
Since eras, Colombia has been stereotypically associated with coffee. For Colombians, coffee is more than a refreshing morning brew. You can take it as a key part of the country’s identity and culture.
The world-class Fair Trade single-origin coffee beans are roasted carefully to produce an incredibly vibrant aroma and smooth flavor. In case Cooper’s Cask quality testing authority finds that the beans are failing to meet their set standards, they dispose of the idea of roasting them. Naturally, it ensures the superfine quality of the beans.
Cooper’s Cask’s Colombian Dark Roast single-origin beans are grown in high-altitude, which allows them to produce vibrant flavor profiles. They are at a time rustic, sweet, and chocolatey/nutty. In addition, the mild to medium acidity adds more versatility when it comes to talking about cup notes.
Cooper’s Cask prefers to roast these premium beans in small batches, which set the seal on the fresh delivery of the up-to-the-minute roasts. This also hands over the full control of the profile to the roaster, guaranteeing its delectability.
Colombian Dark Roast single-origin beans are ideal for traditional brewing. A fine cup of cappuccino made with them can help you make your day even more energetic and refreshing. On the other hand, a quick espresso, latte, or mocha break can help you make your gloomy, work-loaded evenings a bit charming!
Who Is This For?
For those who’re a part of the single-origin movement. The classic, conventional brewing methods make Cooper’s Cask Dark Roast Single-Origin Beans the best choice of global cappuccino, latte, cold-brew, mocha, and espresso lovers.
3. Colombia Luminosa Light Roast Ground Coffee – Presented by Peet’s Coffee
Peet’s citrus whiff transposes with the changing temperature and will surely stick to your smell buds.
Roast: Light Tasting Notes: Toasted Nut, Citrus, Caramel
While the overall quality of the coffee beans grown in Colombia is more cordial to the American palate, the Luminosa light roast coffee from Peet’s coffee house has gained tremendous popularity. As the name suggests, this shiny and bright coffee variety comes with the highest possible vibrancy.
The aroma feels like the beans carry perfume and pervades around while you prepare it. However, the astonishing fact is that the aroma is natural and ingenious. The citrus whiff transposes with the changing temperature and will surely stick to your smell buds.
It can be a wonderful treat for your everyday morning brewing because of its excellent characteristics. Unlike other light roasted beans, the Luminosa is rock-bottom in terms of acidity and bitterness, hence delivering a smooth and pleasurable experience with every sip.
The quality and vogue of this coffee bean come from the perennial efforts of Alfred Peet. Considered as the man who taught Americans how to drink coffee, Peet’s coffee has undoubtedly touched every mark of perfection.
When Alfred Peet started his venture with his first open shop in Berkley, California, in 1996, it was a silently ignited revolution. It worked as the primary reason behind the evolved expectation of American coffee beverages.
Peet’s successors wisely follow his footsteps, which results in extraordinarily roasted ground coffee production capable of making world-class brews. They use the finest Colombian beans and hand-roast each batch to muster the richest and most flavorful cup!
Who is this for?
People, who prefer to start their day with a cup of flavorful, classic, or contemporary blended coffee. Amazingly refreshing Colombia Luminosa light roast ground coffee is the perfect beverage choice to complement your breakfast.
4. Colombia Narino – From the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
The Colombia Narino medium roast coffee is one of the best choices for cold brews or Turkish blends.
Roast: Medium Tasting Notes: Juicy and sweet
The Colombia Narino medium roast coffee from the house of Coffee Beans and Tea follows the “tree to bag” methodology. These world-class coffee beans are hand-picked by the growers. Typically, they come from small family-owned farms located in Narino – A picturesque state on Colombia’s pacific coast.
The culture of growing coffee here is not only a way to earn bread and butter, but it involves the intense pride of the growers in picking and preparing excellent coffee products by hand. The cherries are grown on the slopes surrounding the active Galeras volcano, whose elevation rises above 6,000 feet.
Since they’re grown at such a high altitude, the beans produce a rich aroma and creamy body when you brew a bright cup of coffee with them.
The extended crop cycle and the large growing area of the Narino beans create room for washing them thoroughly. In addition, they also needed to be fermented and dried to ensure the finest quality. The coffee bean and Tea leaf make sure that every batch of the beans has passed through the mentioned steps, omitting a single chance of compromising quality.
Besides, its sweet and smooth mouthfeel cup notes allow you to make an excellent mocha or latte. However, it’s not of that typical espresso type.
Who is this for?
Anyone who is desperately searching for those heavenly, sweetish single-origin beans to brew mind-blowing cups of relaxing mocha, latte, frappuccinos, and coffee smoothies.
5. Colombian Light Roast Whole Beans presented by Portland Coffee Roasters.
The uniqueness of these beans lies in their distinctive fruit-forward notes of cherries and berries, which help you brew a cup of wonderful coffee that becomes the center of attraction on the table.
Roast: Light Tasting Notes: Lemony acidity, chocolaty, and cherry
This single origin Colombia Beans originates from Finca Palmichal – the high located on the western side of Central Andes.
If you’re tired of those monotonous coffee options and die-heartedly looking for an out-of-the-box alternative, you can’t afford to miss giving Colombian Light Roast Whole Beans a try. It’s consistently delicious, making it the best choice to add in your evening beverages or outdoor drink alternatives.
Owned by Mark Stell, the Portland coffee roasters stand outside in miles because of their original packaging featuring subtle coffee seedlings. Each of their roasted bean varieties offers pour-over brewing methods, which inspired innumerable micro-roasters to start their own cafes. The outcome is, Portland has now turned into the richest coffee landscape in the country.
However, the supply of quality coffee beans from the house of Portland coffee roasters is not limited to the boundary lines of the country. These days the brand has managed to acquire global recognition.
Who is this for?
The coffee aficionados are a bit fascinated with pour-over brews. The light roast and chocolate notes make Colombia Light Roast whole beans one of the best-pick ingredients for classic brews.
6. Don Pablo Colombian Supremo
- Mild, sweet, and rich with a very smooth cocoa toned finish
- 5Lb Bag - Medium-Dark roast - Whole bean Arabica coffee -...
- Medium bodied with low acidity
- Artisan Roasted in Small Batches for Optimum Freshness
Roast - Medium-Dark Tasting Notes - Sweet, Cocoa, Rich mouthfeel
Starting off our list is the Colombian Supremo offered up by the company that literally stands as the face of coffee in Colombia. The medium-dark roast offers a rich smooth cup of caffeine. Composed of high-quality Arabica beans, a cup of Colombian Supremo carries the characteristic citrus notes of Colombian coffee. It will leave you with a pleasant finish with slight tones of chocolate and walnut.
The blend is GMO-free so be assured there won’t be any Genetically modified elements interfering with the taste of the beverage.
The coffee is roasted in tiny batches so you’re assured a fresh batch whenever you order. You can enjoy a cup of the Colombian Supremo blend hot, choosing to brew with either a drip machine or French Press. If cold coffee is more your style, this blend translates wonderfully to the iced variety as well. The people at Don Pablo are so sure you’re going to love what they have to offer; they’re willing to refund you if you don’t.
Who is this for?
Anyone who’s fond of the Colombian Supremo blend, or cold coffee. The unique cocoa cup note is meant for those authentic, classic coffee lovers.
7. Volcanica Colombian Peaberry
Volcanica is a marvel when we talk about the best coffee. With enough variety from all over the world, Volcanica is providing quality beans for amazing brews.
Roast - Medium Tasting Notes - Chocolate, Malt, Walnut, and Cherry
The next blend on our list is composed of a unique variety of 100% Arabica coffee beans. Peaberry beans sit in the premium category for coffee lovers all over the world.
The medium roast blend forms a rich cup of coffee that holds layers of chocolate, malt, walnut, and cherry within its creamy folds. The beans are grown at a height of close to six thousand feet in volcanic soil. The result is a crop that is showered with nourishment and flavor as the coffee grows.
The coffee in this blend is grown without any chemical herbicides or pesticides altering the taste. In fact, all the steps involved in getting you your coffee; from growing the bean, to processing and packaging it and finally shipping it out. Everything is done organically. The blend is also Fair Trade certified which means everyone involved through all the processes is treated and paid fairly.
Who is this for?
Those who’re seeking the best-in-class, organic beans that produce a cup of creamy coffee with a rich fold. This blend is dedicated to premium coffee enthusiasts across the globe.
8. Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC, Dark Colombian Supremo Coffee
- FRESH ROASTED COLOMBIAN SUPREMO COFFEE Is Well Balanced with...
- CATURRA AND CASTILLO VARIETALS. Grown at 1,300 meters ASL....
- COFFEE FOR EVERYBODY - sustainably sourced and Proudly...
- All Our Coffees are Roasted in Our Environmentally Friendly...
Roast - Dark Taste Notes - Earthy and Cherry type
Thundering into our list next is a dark roast by the Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC. Composed of Caturra and Castillo beans; get ready for a strong serving that holds hints of honey and cherry with a sinfully smoky finish. The bold blend offers the perfect punch to start your day.
The roast is both USDA Organic & Fair Trade certified, which means you are assured that every stage of the coffee bean, from birth till consumption is taken with a keen respect for all people involved. To keep an eye on their imprint on the environment, the blend is also a part of the Rainforest Alliance. The coffee beans used in the blend are roasted in an environment-Friendly Loring Roaster. These are then packed immediately after roasting, so you can be sure they’re fresh.
Who is this for?
The rich and expected feel of authentic Colombian coffee makes it the best pick for those who are looking for full force, honey-toned sweetness in their cup.
9. Koffee Kult Colombia Coffee Beans
- ✔ Great aroma while whole, while ground, and while...
- ✔100% Columbia Huila Speciality Grade fresh roasted...
- ✔ Artisan roasted fresh to perfection preserving the...
- ✔ Fresh, clean tasting, coffee that is bold flavor but...
Roast - Medium Taste Notes - Fruity, Nutty, Caramel, and Tangerine
Catapulting next into our list is a blend presented by Koffee Kult. Composed entirely of single-origin beans hailing from Huila; a region to the south of Colombia.
The crisp cup of coffee holds a medley of chocolate and cherry with a sliver of caramel hidden inside. A treat for more than just your taste buds. The chocolaty aroma that builds every time you brew will work wonders. This is one of the few blends holding beans from Colombia that are relatively low in acidity. So reach for them if you’re someone who worries about the impact of caffeine on your digestive system.
The coffee is organically sourced and roasted in small parts encourages fresh deliveries. The coffee gets to your door in a re-usable bag.
While we’re not really here to tell you how to brew your morning cup of Colombian coffee, do try whipping up an espresso for yourself with these grinds. You’re not going to be disappointed.
Who is this for?
The die-heart fans of sense-awakening, premium quality coffee. The out-of-the-world blend of fruity, nutty, and caramel notes turns your morning or evening coffee time into moments of heavenly pleasure!
10. Folgers 100% Colombian Medium Roast
Roast - Medium Taste Notes - Light, Floral, Smooth
Closing up our list we have the medium roast, presented by Folgers. With over a century committed to offering colorful blends of coffee, their smooth Colombian contribution does not disappoint.
The beans the blend is composed of have all been gathered using sustainable practices. The coffee has even been UTZ Certified. You even get an interlocking aroma sealer canister which will ensure the coffee grinds stay fresh in your kitchen pantry.
To get the best out of this blend, try brewing it using a French press. However, if something iced is more your style, the cold brew does pull out the flavors in the blend beautifully.
Who is this for?
Coffee buffs who crave the light and flowery taste in their cup. Its quality and deliciousness make it the best choice to make your kitty coffee meets enjoyable and blissful.
How to make Colombian Coffee
So now you know, why the world has been knocking on Colombia’s door for a taste of their coffee. We bet you’re in the mood for some too. If you manage to bag yourself a bunch of beans, but don’t really know what you’re going to do with them. Allow us to lighten the burden.
There could be no better place to treat yourself to a cup of Colombian coffee, than in the country itself. If by some stroke of fate, you find yourself at the epicenter of it all and you decide to indulge in some local caffeine, chances are, you’re going to come face to face with a Tinto. Literally translated, the word means inky water. This thick concoction of concentrated coffee is what most Colombians have with their morning breakfast. Should you be in the mood to brew yourself a cup, traditional style, here’s how you can go about it.
- Coffee – The fresher the coffee the better. While this is true with any method of brewing, but when it comes to Tinto, the point requires that extra emphasis.
- A Pan – To hold your coffee as it is warmed over the stove.
- A grinder – If you manage to bring home a bag of whole coffee beans, there is nothing better than grinding the coffee right before you prepare your beverage. It truly helps you experience the flavor of the bean.
- Panela (Optional) – If you cannot get your hands on this form of unrefined cane sugar, any other kind of sugar will do.
- Milk (optional) – Whole milk, skim, soy, almond, coconut, or anything else, the choice is entirely yours
- Hot water
- Spoon for stirring.
- A strainer
- Your favorite coffee cup
The Brewing Process
- Start by filling your pan with a cup of water and setting it over the stove and turning the fire on.
- If the taste of bitter coffee causes you to shudder, cut a piece of Panela and place it in the boiling water. Allow the sweetness to seep into the water.
- While this happens, if you’ve managed to bring home a bag of fresh whole coffee beans, set them in your grinder and wind it till you get a coarse grind.
- Place two tablespoons of ground coffee in your pan and stir for a few minutes.
- After another two minutes strain the coffee through into your favorite cup. Sit back, sip, and enjoy your steaming cup of coffee.
- If you’re someone who cannot enjoy a cup of coffee black and strong, feel free to pour in a little milk of your choice to balance it out.
The favorite friend of travelers all over the world, this unusual-looking apparatus makes the perfect partner for Colombian coffee. The full-bodied beans originating here suit well this style of brewing. While the coffee grind size might take a few tries to lock in, an important step you simply cannot afford to skip is blooming. Those tiny seconds provide a spectacle and a treat for the taste buds expelling the extra carbon dioxide in the beans.
While there aren’t any rules written in stone if you choose this as the method to brew, try to get a hold of a goose-neck kettle so you have better control over the flow rate and direction of the water. Most importantly remember to keep your apparatus dry. There’s nothing more frustrating than moisture moving in as your coffee’s arch-nemesis.
You can never go wrong with an espresso. Whether you choose to brew your shot using manual or mechanical methods to pull yourself a shot of thick concentrated coffee, it doesn’t really matter. Allow yourself a little freedom to play around till you find a grind size that suits you.
While it is true that a large range of the coffee offered up by Colombia is high in acidity, they do have a few blends that stand on the other end of the spectrum. If you do manage to bag one of those, a cold brew can be particularly rewarding. Colombia, like its Brazilian neighbor, has flavors in a glass that can spice up a dull summer day.
At the End of the Day
The little brown bean from Colombia has been a top pick amongst the coffee community for over a century. It’s a fact, and the people of the country are very aware of it. While Colombia has had a few ups and downs on its road to global caffeine domination; make no mistake, they’re on their way to the crown. Colombia has the people, persistence, and product to make it all the way to the top.
The climate in Colombia is excellent for coffee with the right amount of rainfall and perfect soil. Coffee grows very well with places having at least 200 mm rainfall and temperature not falling below freezing point.
All the coffee is handpicked by workers in every single coffee farm in Colombia.
Coffee in the country is entirely wet-processed. Water is the instrument used to separate the coffee beans from the fruit.
Most of the population of Colombia drink Tinto. It’s is their traditional method of brewing coffee which is a sweet watery mixture, something closer to instant coffee.
- Why is Colombian Coffee so good – https://theculturetrip.com/south-america/colombia/articles/why-is-colombian-coffee-so-good/
- Coffee production in Colombia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_production_in_Colombia