Colombia has a long history of coffee. Unique traditions and lifestyles have blossomed around the industry. Coffee was introduced into Colombia in the early 1700s, and by the late 1800s, it was a dominant crop. Columbia is the third largest exporter of coffee behind Brazil and Vietnam. You will recognize the flavors in Columbian coffees, with rich quality and a clean cup.
History of Coffee In Columbia
In Colombia, there are almost 2.25 million acres of farmland across 22 regions used for growing coffee. In the 1960s, it accounted for almost 90% of exports from Columbia. Although that figure is much lower now, coffee is still the most important agricultural export. The highlands of the Sierra Nevada and el triángulo del café (The Coffee Triangle) are where the majority of all Colombian coffee is grown. The four departments in the latter region are Caldas, Quindío, Risaralda, and Tolima, and they’re known for producing some of the best coffee in the world.
Columbia’s coffee is world famous for its flavor and the unmistakable mild but rich aroma that rises from every brew. What the great coffee tasters in the world measure and value about Columbian coffee is “the cleanliness of the cup“, especially its acidity, a rare characteristic in many coffees around the world, and part of what makes coffee of Columbia the most coveted in the international market. That may explain why Columbia has been exporting coffee for almost 200 years and, for most of that time, it’s been the top export. There are many secrets to Columbia’s coffee success but the geography is undeniably one of them. Coffee grows best in volcanic soil, at altitudes of 1,200 to 1,800 meters, in places that are free of frost but receive around 80 inches of rain a year. Columbia ticks all those boxes.
There are around 555,000 coffee growers in Columbia. Coffee farms are generally not owned or operated by large corporations. The majority of Columbian coffee plantations (95%) are owned by families.