COFFEE IN COLOMBIA: AN INTRODUCTION
by Sebastian Farias
Located on the northern tip of South America, Colombia is positioned over the Equator with most of the country heading towards the Tropic of Cancer. Its rich volcanic soil is where the Andes splits into three extensive mountain chains, generating a variety of microclimates, which combined with the altitude, give it the perfect climate and conditions for growing coffee.
However, despite Colombia’s worldwide reputation as a major coffee grower today, Colombians were initially hesitant to cultivate coffee due to the time that it takes for the first harvest to happen – typically between four to five years.
So how did Colombia become the third largest producer of coffee in the world? Faith.
When the Jesuit priests brought the first seedlings to Colombia hoping to cultivate coffee in the country’s ideal coffee-growing conditions, they realised it was not going to be an easy task. As the story goes, a priest in a small village came up with the idea to ask every farmer willing to be confessed that instead of praying as penitence they would plant coffee trees instead. The Archbishop of Colombia thought this was an excellent idea and ordered everyone to use this as penance, and Colombia was on its way to becoming one the world’s largest coffee producing countries.
The main coffee varietals found in Colombia are Tipica, Bourbon, Caturra and Castillo grown mainly at high altitudes. The cup is characterised for being well balanced, having a clean taste, with medium to high acidity and body, and complemented by pronounced aroma.
Spreading from the well-known coffee axis of Paisa Region, coffee is now grown in several regions comprising more than 60% of the states in Colombia.
Stay tuned as we share our origin trip to the La Sierra region, a mythical land inhabited by some of the most ancient Colombian indigenous tribes…