Coffee atlas: Colombia

Capital: Bogotá

Population: 47.2 million

Area: 1.14 million square km

Colombia is one of the largest coffee producers in the world and benefits greatly from having one of the most unique and complex set of micro-climates of all coffee producing nations.

A key reason that Colombia is such an exciting origin for us is that it contains so many regions with their own unique micro-climates. The variations in climate are created in large part by Colombia’s mountainous terrain and varying wind patterns. This results in a huge variety and complexity of styles and cup profiles. There is no one single “Colombian” profile.

The FNC (the national coffee board) was originally founded in 1927 and is involved in all range of measures, from marketing and production to social and physical infrastructure creation. Technically the FNC is controlled and owned by 500,000 Colombian coffee producers, funded through a tax on coffee exports.

The FNC has a research division called Cenicafe which focuses on developing new varieties of coffee plant to address various demands, such as yield, quality and most importantly, resistance to a variety of coffee diseases.

Shop current coffees from Colombia

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Coffee regions in Colombia

Antioquia

The region where coffee was first introduced to Colombia and where the FNC originated. It has the largest growing area by hectare of all Colombian growing regions

Common varietals: Typica, Castillo, Caturra

Typical altitude: 1300–2200 m above sea level

Harvest: September–December (main) and April–May (fly)


Cauca

Attractive growing conditions afforded by its altitude, proximity to the equator and the protection afforded by surrounding mountains, enabling a stable microclimate year round. Cauca is a region also known for its World Heritage listed national parks, wildlife, and life-giving water sources

Common varietals: Typica, Caturra, Castillo

Typical altitude: 1700–2100 m above sea level

Harvest: March–June (main) and November–December (fly)


Huila

This region boasts the perfect combination of high quality soil and geography and is quickly becoming one of the largest coffee producing regions in Colombia. One of the best regarded regions for high quality, fruit driven coffee.

Common varietals: Typica, Castillo, Caturra

Typical altitude: 1250–2000 m above sea level

Harvest: September–December (main) and April–May (fly)


Nariño

One of the highest growing regions in Colombia, producing some truly complex coffees

Common varietals: Typica, Castillo, Caturra

Typical altitude: 1500–2300 m above sea level


Quindio

Located in the central “coffee belt” of Colombia along with other growing regions Caldas and Antioquia. This coffee belt represents the largest producing regions of Colombia.

Common varietals: Typica, Castillo, Caturra

Typical altitude: 1400–2000 m above sea level

Harvest: September–December (main) and April–May (fly)


Tolima

Previous epicentre of conflict between the government and FARC rebels, only just starting to open itself up to more reliable and transparent exports. Some of our favourite Colombian’s have emerged from this region, unfortunately often not through consistent seasons and in very small quantities

Common varietals: Typica, Castillo, Caturra

Typical altitude: 1200–1900 m above sea level

Harvest: March–June (main) and October–December (fly)


Valle del Cauca

Fertile region due to the river that runs through it, between Andean mountain ranges

Common varietals: Typica, Caturra, Castillo

Typical altitude: 1450–2000 m above sea level


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