If you are a coffee lover, then you must have heard or tried the delicious Colombian coffee by now. But you probably didn’t know about the facts I’m about to tell you. Keep scrolling down to read 10 things you didn’t know about Colombian coffee!
- Colombia is currently number 3 top exporter of coffee in the world
- Colombia has the ideal geographical location for coffee production
- Colombian coffee beans are all handpicked
- There are over 500,000 families producing coffee in Colombia
- Colombian coffee has a bean to suit every taste
- Coffee growers have to wait for up to 3 years before their first harvest
- Colombia produces Arabica coffee beans
- Colombia best coffee beans are shipped overseas
- Colombians like to drink 'Tinto'
- Just like French taste wine, Colombians have a unique way of tasting their coffee
Colombia is currently number 3 top exporter of coffee in the world
Brazil is the largest coffee producer and exporter in the world. Vietnam stands at second and Colombia comes at third. As of last year (2018), Colombia exported 14 million bags of coffee.
Colombia has the ideal geographical location for coffee production
Coffee beans will have a richer flavor when they grow in volcanic soil, at around 1,200 to 1,800 meters above sea level. These places must be free of frost but receiving around 200 cm of rain a year. Colombia happens to meet all of the above conditions!
Colombian coffee beans are all handpicked
In order to get the best flavor out of each coffee bean, you have to pick the beans at the right time and at the right color. A machine cannot tell the difference between green beans, overripe beans and the ideal coffee beans. But a human being can and that’s why Colombian coffee growers do this job with love, manually selecting only the mature red coffee beans, so that consumers like you and me can enjoy a rich-in-flavor cup of coffee every morning.
There are over 500,000 families producing coffee in Colombia
Colombia has what it’s known as ‘mega farms'. The mega farms produce coffee all year round and are around 100 to 300,000 hectares in size. However, Colombia’s coffee sector is dominated by small family farms, usually no larger than 4 or 5 hectares.
Colombian coffee has a bean to suit every taste
Colombia has wide coffee growing areas running from north to south. The differences in altitudes and temperatures allows coffee growers to produce a bean with a unique taste. For instance, in the Northern region of the country you will drink a cup of coffee with low acidity. These are usually the darker coffees. In the Southern part of Colombia, you will get a higher acidity and much sought-after cup of coffee.
If you'd like to try some good Colombian coffee, I'd highly recommend Juan Valdez. This brand was created in order to promote faire trade coffee. Juan Valdez supports producers and contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to coffee beans farmers.
Coffee growers have to wait for up to 3 years before their first harvest
Once a coffee tree is planted, it can take up to 3 years for the red beans to appear. Harvest in Colombia are usually twice a year: the first one between April and June and the second one between September and December.
The coffee tree will produce coffee beans for around 20 years.
Colombia produces Arabica coffee beans
There are 2 types of coffee beans in the world: Arabica and Robusta. Colombia produces the former, which tends to be sweeter and with a higher acidity. This type of coffee bean is widely considered to be the superior bean. Apart from its lighter taste, it contains about half the amount of caffeine find in Robusta beans.
Colombia best coffee beans are shipped overseas
Colombians drink a lot of coffee from morning to night. However, as shocking as it might seem, the higher quality beans do not stay in national territory, but they are shipped abroad. These leaves locals with lower quality beans for consumption. You can still buy high quality coffee, but for the large number of coffee cups a Colombian family usually drinks per day, it might get a bit expensive.
Colombians like to drink 'Tinto'
If you travel to Colombia you will hear a lot the word ‘tinto’. ‘Tinto’ is a dark coffee served in a small cup. It is very popular among Colombian office workers as it helps keep them energetic and diligent during the day.
Just like French taste wine, Colombians have a unique way of tasting their coffee
As a country producing a world class product that millions enjoy, Colombia takes it seriously when it comes to tasting their coffee.
If you have the chance to visit a coffee plantation in Colombia, you will see that the coffee tasting ritual involves sniffing different coffee varieties to find specific aromas; sipping; swirling in the mouth and finally spitting the sample into a waste cup.
Oh! Something tells me it’s time for coffee!