A Closer Look at Colombian Coffee

Colombia is responsible for growing some of the most popular coffee in the world, second only to Brazil. Most of Colombia’s coffee is grown in the three mountain ranges that make up the Andes Mountains. Due to the high altitude and the incredible climate, Colombian estate coffees grow into to some of the most desirable coffees available.

What are Some Types Colombian Coffee?
Colombia is famous for its Arabica coffees. The coffee brewed from Colombia Arabica beans is mild in flavor but is considered nondescript. Some of the types of coffee that are available from the Colombian area are: Bucaramangas, South Juilas, Cauca, Bourbon, Caturra, Maragogype, Typica and Narino. Most Colombian coffees are named after the region that they are grown in. Colombia grows just over 10 percent of the world’s coffee.

How is Colombian Coffee Grown?
Most Colombian coffees are shade grown under native trees. It takes about four years for a coffee tree to reach maturity, and each mature tree produces about one pound of beans per year. Coffee trees are unique in that they produce fruit at the same time as flowers. Once the fruit is ready, it is hand-picked and then processed to reveal the beans inside the fruit. There are normally two beans per fruit. Colombia has high standards when it comes to the cultivation and production of coffee. The National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia is responsible for checking that laws are being followed, as well as setting the standards for quality control.

Problems Facing Colombian Coffee Growers
For several years now, coffee production in Colombia has declined, mostly due to changes in the environment caused by global warming. The fluctuations in the pricing structure also cause concern. The government is helping the industry by providing federal subsidies. Most coffee grown in Colombia is raised on small farms that do not have the money to purchase harvesting equipment and take advantage of other technologies that are available to many large growers across the world. Hand cultivation is certainly a slower process and affects the production. Colombia produces an average of 8.3 bags per hectare, compared to some large farms that are seeing production rates of 22 bags. As you can see, Colombia’s ability to bring enough beans to market is declining.

Colombian coffee is still one of the most desired coffees grown in the world. Even with the shifts in their production, the quality of their beans has remained viable. The political turmoil in the area does have an effect on the industry as well, but it is evident that continued production of coffee is needed to maintain a healthy level of exported product. With the fluctuations in the coffee market, establishing prices has been difficult for the growers, the government and the exporters. Of course, that is passed on to the end consumer, so you may be paying a bit extra for today’s cup of Joe.



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