Colombia Arabica Coffee Beans Are Known for their Rich Flavors and Delightful Aromas

Colombian coffee beans are widely marketed over the world and are considered high-quality types of coffee beans. The Colombian beans are grown in many regions in the South American country. Colombia in fact is the second largest coffee exporter after Brazil, producing as much as about 12 percent of the coffee consumed around the world.

The coffee industry in Colombia supports tens of thousands of families, and small coffee farms are scattered in various parts of the country. The Colombian Arabica beans are known for their distinguished qualities thanks to the high elevations, volcanic soil and other favorable conditions where they are grown, the climate conditions being favorable for planting, harvesting and cultivating the coffee.

The coffee beans of different regions across Colombia differ in their characteristics, and some origins are better than others.

Buying Direct From the Colombian
Coffee Growers

In recent years, it is common for some specialty coffee wholesalers and roasters to buy coffee directly from the Colombian farmers in micro-lots, instead of buying from exporters and traders. The coffee is cupped and rated for quality, and high-performing produces are then rewarded for their performance and encouraged to invest even more in improving the qualities of their crops.

Buying green coffee beans directly from the growers enables the roasters to determine the exact origins of the coffee beans and appreciating the specific flavors and aromas of the coffee beans grown and cultivated in a given farm. Ideally, the coffee beans are roasted to a lighter roast, like City or Full City (close to the "Second Crack"). This allows preserving the original flavors of the beans instead of "burning" them with a dark roast.

Are All Colombian Coffees Really Great?

Although Colombian coffee beans are kept in high regard, it is not really always the case. All Colombian coffee is not created equal, and often Columbian coffee beans are not of special quality and coffee experts would not consider them gourmet coffee. It all depends on the characteristics of the beans that may be very different from region to region.

Colombian beans are often sold as Supremo or Excelso, but those are not actually indicators of the coffee qualities, but merely bean sizes – Supremo are large beans and Excelso are smaller size beans – that say nothing really about the rating of the beans. Once again, the qualities of coffee beans of specific origins are determined by cupping (tasting) based on the body, acidity, flavors and aromas of the beans themselves.

Colombia Coffee, Changing Climates
And Political Conditions

In recent years, coffee production of certain farms in Colombia has dramatically declined due to changing weather conditions, increasing temperatures and heavy rain bringing about pests and damaging the Arabica beans that are generally more sensitive and susceptible to weather damage and diseases (read more about: declined Colombian coffee bean production here). The declining production has a negative effect on the prices of coffee that have soared in recent months in New York and elsewhere.

In some regions of Colombia access to coffee farms was difficult due to the political and security situations there and fighting between the FARC guerilla forces and the Colombian army. However, some importers and roasters who have recently visited such areas, such as farms in the state of Tolima, that is a known region of coffee growing, have reported the area to be stable and relatively safety now and the coffee plants being active there and producing good quality Colombian coffee beans.

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