Today we want to continue with our journey through the origin countries of coffee. This country annually produces the fourth largest amount of coffee in the world: Colombia. The coffee was introduced to Colombia in 1723 by the Jesuits and over time it has spread to several areas of the country. Slowly but surely, it gained more and more importance, making up almost 50% of the Colombian export in 1912. The grown coffee is always of the Arabica variety, the most common are Typica, Bourbon, Caturra, Colombia, Maragogype, Tekisik and Castillo, usually processed with the “washed” method. About 20% of production is used for internal consumption. The Colombian coffees are famous for their full flavor with a sweetish, nutty-chocolaty, floral or fruity note. Each growing region is characterized by its very own taste and is thus well recognizable.
The most important growing areas are:
- Cauca: one of the most famous areas, located on the Popayan Plateau, close to the equator and surrounded by mountains that protect the coffee from the humid Pacific climate and winds. This produces about 8% of Colombian coffee, which is characterized by its floral and berry flavor.
- Santander: region in the north of the country where about 9% of the total production is grown. Most of the plantations are in the shade and at low altitude, which gives the coffee its soft and only slightly bitter taste. Many of the coffees are awarded by the Rainforest Alliance (International Environmental Protection Organization) for the biological, biodiversity-enhancing cultivation.
- Narino: the southernmost production region in Colombia, known for its creamy coffee with a pleasant floral taste.
- Tolima: famous for its sweet, slightly flowery coffee, produces about 12% of Colombian coffee.
- Hulia: very fruity coffees are cultivated in this region, where the acid stands out clearly, giving a full bodied coffee and very complex flavors.
- Antioquia: this is the region where the cultivation of coffee began in Colombia. The headquarters of FNC (Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros) and Cenicafè is, of course, the center of research of the Colombian Coffee Producers’ Federation, where specialists and researchers produce seeds for regional plantations and study and ensure botanical biodiversity.