Our Medium-Dark Roast comes from Colombia and Brazil – “Bright enough for breakfast and rich enough for dinner”.
Colombian Coffees are commonly known to be big, rich, chocolaty coffees with exceptional fragrance and often great acidity. Colombia has many diverse growing regions, so the coffee varies mildly from region to region.
Colombia is bisected by the Andes Mountains, which split into three parallel cordilleras (mountain ranges) as they run south to north. Coffee grows throughout these mountains from north to south, with the addition of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, an isolated mountain range in the north of the country where a number of indigenous tribes produce organic – and Fair Trade certified coffees.
The three mountain ranges produce diverse microclimates. The majority of Colombian coffee territory has two harvests: principal and the mitaca (“fly crop”), which is typically smaller. In the north, principal harvest is in November with the mitaca in May – June. The South has the opposite of that; principal harvest in May – June and mitaca in November, scattered across the country in some of the most biologically diverse landscapes in the world.
All of the coffee in Colombia is Arabica. Traditional varieties are Bourbon, Typica, and Caturra, a dwarf Bourbon. Variedad Colombia was introduced by Cenicafe in 1982 as a disease-resistant strain of coffee; more recently, Cenicafe has developed the Castillo variety to combat the coffee-leaf rust (aka roya) infestation of 2008, which caused yields to drop from 11 million bags to 7 million.
For many years, Colombia was the number-one world producer of washed coffees, and the second-largest producer to Brazil. In 2000, Colombia was surpassed by Vietnam, and then the rust infestation of 2008 set them back significantly. Today they are currently in the top five of coffee production with roughly 10 million bags per year. Colombian farmers and citizens drink a lot of coffee every day; nearly 20% of their annual production.
Colombia has over 600,000 farms, most of them farmed by small landholders with less than 5 acres nestled in the hills at roughly 1,200 to 2,000 meters above sea level.