Situated in the north west corner of South America, Colombia has had a long relationship with coffee. It’s thought that the beans were first brought to the country in by Jesuit priests, although the date of the importation varies from the 1500s to the 1800, according to different sources.
What’s sure is that the plant acclimatised very well, giving the native coffee beans a rich, smooth flavour. Colombia first exported its own coffee to the rest of the world in 1835, with a tiny offering of just 2000 bags. Now, millions of Colombian beans travel all over the world every year, and form a significant percentage of the global total.
Colombian coffee is exclusively Arabica, as the volcanic soil, dry climate and high altitude of the growing conditions provide a perfect environment.
The country boasts two main coffee growing regions, eastern and central. The central region is sometimes referred to as ‘MAM’, an acronym for ‘Medellin, Armenia and Manizales’. The eastern area is the more mountainous region round Bogota, and the beans from this area tend to be lower in acidity.
In 1927, the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia (National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia) was founded to help support the small estate growers, and provide uniform controls and guidelines. Under their guidance, Colombian coffee growing has gone from strength to strength.
Although, as with any other product, commercialism has seen the advent of cheaper, lower quality grades of coffee being exported, pure Arabica Colombia coffee is still seen as one of the best in the world. It’s a very versatile coffee that can be blended to make a espresso blend, or drunk as it is.
At the Wholesale Coffee Company, we’re proud to supply expertly-blended beans from a variety of countries. To browse our range, please visit our coffee beans page.