Colombian Coffee: A Distinctive Taste

By Carson Adley

Coffee Beans :: Coffee Beans Is A Common Fair Trade Product

Colombian coffee, sometimes referred to as Colombian Mild, has become popular throughout the world. It has garnered a reputation for being of high quality and for having a distinctive taste.

Coffee was first introduced to the country of Columbia in the 1800s. Around 1835, coffee started being grown for trade purposes. Then, throughout the 20th century, coffee became Colombia's primary export.

Now, nearly 75 per cent of coffee grown in Colombia is exported, and throughout the world, Colombian coffee accounts for about 12 per cent of the total international coffee market. Colombia's international coffee market is regulated by the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia.

The Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia, also known as Fedecafé for short, is a non-profit business association that promotes the production and exportation of Colombian coffee. Fedecafé was founded in 1927, and to date it represents over 500,000 producers.

Most of the producers in Colombia are still small family-owned farms. Many of them grow their crops along what is known as the Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis.

The Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis is famous for growing the majority of Colombian coffee, even though the area only accounts for about 1.2 per cent of the country's total territory. The axis is a part of the Colombian Paisa region, and is composed of three departments: Caldas, Quindo and Risaralda, which are among the tiniest in the country.

Unfortunately, in 1999, an earthquake did a lot of damage to the region. Nonetheless, it bounced back quickly.

Colombian coffee farming works like this: Harvesters pick coffee berries and place them in fique sacks. Sometimes they also employ the help of pack animals. Afterward, the harvesters take their cache to a depulping machine. The pulp is composted and the coffee beans are fermented inside of containers for a full 24 hours. This improves their quality.

After this process, the beans are washed to remove unnecessary plant material and damaged beans. This step, which isn't taken by all coffee producers throughout the world, is one of the reasons that Colombian growers have their reputation for delivering high quality coffee. After being washed, the beans are dried under sunlight. Finally, the beans are roasted.

There are numerous levels of roasting, all of which produce their own unique taste. Roasting the beans changes the starches into aromatic oils, which are known to give the coffee its distinctive flavour. Freshly roasted Colombian coffee has bright acidity, a heavy body and an intense aroma. It's unlike any other coffee in the world.

Because of its strong affiliation with coffee, Colombia also does a lot of research into the subject. Colombia's National Center for Coffee Research, sometimes called CENICAFE, conducts research to help fight pests and preserve crops. CENICAFE creates defences against the coffee borer beetle, for instance, which is a bug that has the reputation for being the bane of coffee growers around the world.

What it comes down to is this: Without Colombia on the map, coffee around the world wouldn't be the same. It's something to think about the next time you're drinking a delicious Colombian roast.

Carson Adley
Article by Carson Adley
Carson Adley is a coffee and tea specialist at Coffee Marvel. We specialize in organic tea and fair trade coffee that we sell online with free shipping on orders over $50. Committed to the environment, we are pleased to offer many environmentally friendly and sustainable products. For more information, please visit our website at

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