Single Origin Spotlight: Everything You Need To Know About Colombian Coffee
- Colombia is a renowned coffee-producing destination known for its high-quality, rich and flavourful beans.
- The country's geography, with its diverse range of microclimates, fertile soils, and high altitudes, provides ideal growing conditions for coffee plants.
- The coffee industry has also played a significant role in the country's economy, with millions of Colombians relying on coffee cultivation and production for their livelihoods.
- Colombian coffee has a reputation for its balanced flavour profile, medium acidity, and bright citrus notes, making it a favourite among coffee lovers worldwide!
So, what's the deal?
If you’ve been a part of the Thieves fam in the last couple of months, chances are you’ve sampled some super delicious Colombian coffee already. Our Team are big fans of this single-origin coffee region, and so are coffee professionals around the world!
Not sure what ‘single origin’ means? Well, it’s coffee grown within a single geographic origin, offering unique characteristics and specific flavour profiles that represent the climate and terroir of that specific destination.
A fan-favourite single-origin location within the coffee industry, Colombia has a reputation for producing some of the best coffee in the world. We’re here to shed some light on what makes Colombian coffee so celebrated within the industry, and what you should look out for the next time you find yourself sipping on a supreme brew from this unique coffee-producing country.
We’re still reeling from the excitement of the 2022 World Barista Champions, with Melbourne-grown superstar, Anthony Douglas winning 1st place using an anaerobic natural Sidra produced by Finca El Diviso in Huila, Colombia. It’s pretty safe to say that although Colombia has a neat reputation for producing some of the best coffee in the world, last year’s World Barista Championships have elevated Colombia’s prestige as a green bean buying destination to unprecedented new heights.
We’ve seen a huge spike in the market for the fruity, juicy goodness that Colombian coffee farmers are notorious for producing. But why does coffee from Colombia taste so darn delicious? Colombia boasts a near-perfect coffee-growing climate, with a mix of high-altitude mountainous terrain, tropical location, and heavy rainfall making it the prime growing destination for the climate-sensitive coffee plant.
There are over 914,000 hectares of coffee farms across 5 zones and more than 20 sub-regions of Colombia. You’ll find many coffee varieties such as the much-loved Caturra, Castillo and Typica, plus many premium strains such as Margogype, Bourbon, Sidra, Tabi, and Geisha.
Coffee farms are especially prevalent in the region of central Colombia. The coffee industry has played a significant role in the country's economy, with millions of Colombians relying on coffee cultivation and production for their livelihoods. Most of the coffee grown in Colombia hails from the central region commonly known as the ‘Coffee Triangle’, condensed within the localities of Risaralda, Quindío, and Caldas.
Some defining characteristics found in Colombian coffee are:
- A rich and vibrant complexity
- Extremely high aromatics of tropical fruit
- Typically a mild to medium body
- High levels of fruity/nutty sweetness
- Juicy, bright mouthfeel
- Moderate to high acidity
The flavour can vary depending on the region and altitude where the coffee is grown, but Colombian coffee is generally regarded as a smooth and well-rounded cup with a clean finish. Expect notes of lush tropical fruit, sweet florals, aromatic spices, caramel, nuts, and silky chocolate.
Colombian coffee tends to demand a higher buying price as most Colombian coffee plants fall into the superior Arabica variety. There are over 600,000 coffee growers across the landscape. Many of them pick the coffee by hand, resulting in greater attention to detail for defective beans – something a machine can’t tell the difference with!
Many Colombian farmers opt for a wet-processing method, such as:
- Natural: sun drying the coffee cherries whole without water or machines to remove the fruit.
- Honey: skin and pulp of the coffee cherries are removed and then left to dry without washing the sticky outer layer of the bean.
As opposed to a washed process (quite literally washing away the skin, pulp, and sticky mucilage of the coffee cherry).
Wet processing is preferred for Arabica beans, which the country primarily grows. The result? Ultra sweet, funky, and utterly addictive coffee!
If you love great-tasting coffee, and we’ve got an inkling that you do, then go ahead and get your hands on this month's scrumptious feature, and experience the greatness of Colombian coffee for yourself!