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Colombia is home to 914,000 hectares of coffee farms, which span across 5 main zones and 19 sub-regions. After Brazil and Vietnam, Colombia is the third largest coffee producing country, with its demand providing 800,000 jobs across the country. It’s thought that coffee first appeared in Colombia in the 17th century, but it did not ship overseas until the mid-1800s. Colombian coffee farms are family-run and produce two harvests per year. The coffee produced in Colombia is solely Arabica coffee, which is known for its acidity, high body, and distinct aroma.

What's Special About Colombian Coffee?

Colombia is recognised as an ideal coffee-producing location due to its proximity to the equator and mountain ranges that reach altitudes of up to 2,000 metres above sea level. The high altitude and cooler mountain temperatures allow Colombian coffee cherries to ripen more slowly, leading to more acidic and aromatic beans. The majority of Colombian coffee is grown within the Andes Mountain Range, which run from the south to the north of the country. The volcanic nature of the soil produces a favourable growing environment. These regions also receive generous annual rainfall.

Though all Arabica coffee has certain things in common, the Arabica coffee beans grown and picked in the North Zone of the Andes are known for their nutty and chocolate flavours. Santander and Magdalena are just two sub-regions of the North and are subject to lower latitudes and higher temperatures. As the coffee beans are exposed to higher temperatures, producers use more shade on the farms to protect them. Production here is a slower process since this area has only one dry season and one wet season; nonetheless, beverages produced here are enriched with a higher body. The Central Zones of Colombia, on the other hand, have two harvests per year, with sub-regions ranging from the South of Antioquia to Chocó.

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Methods of Colombian coffee production remain traditional and are mainly executed manually.

By contrast, the South Zone of Colombia sits very close to the equator. Thanks to the regions high temperatures and high altitudes, the Arabica coffee that is grown here has become particularly known for its acidity. Similarly to the North Zone, this region has one wet and one dry season; but is harvested between April and June, unlike the North, which harvests in Autumn.

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How Is Arabica Coffee Grown In Colombia?

Methods of Colombian coffee production remain traditional and are mainly executed manually. Generally, during coffee bean extraction, the pulp (cherry) of the bean is removed by hand, and then the best quality beans are kept and sun-dried. Farms are built on steep slopes, and in order to protect the beans from the sun, they are typically planted amongst trees and plants for shade.

The lower quality beans that are hand-picked by Colombian coffee farmers are often kept and consumed by the locals, with the highest quality beans being produced and transported to our supermarkets and the coffee machines of our local cafés.

The Colombian coffee found on our website, 'Up & At ‘Em' by Underdog Coffee, has a distinctly aromatic flavour with hints of caramel, vanilla, and a burst of blackberry. Underdog specialises in ethically-sourced fairtrade coffee, with Up & At ‘Em also having earned a Specialty Coffee certification. To find out more, please visit the Underdog Coffee website.