Why Is Colombian Coffee So Good? Here’s Everything You Need to Know About the Best Coffee in the World

One of my favorite parts of traveling to Colombia is the incredible coffee you drink every morning there. Whether you’re sipping a mug enjoying the views of the city from your bouganvillea-laced balcony in Cartagena, or grabbing a latte frio in the bustling streets of Medellin, it’s part of every Colombian’s daily ritual to enjoy a morning cup of their country’s pride and joy. And it’s something every traveler associates with the country. I’ll find myself always ordering Colombian coffee if it’s an option, not only because it’s my favorite coffee, but because it reminds me of those beautiful Colombian mornings.

In general, Colombian coffees are characterized as having a strong aroma, high acidity and a medium to high body; they are regarded as clean, well-balanced and mild. The taste of Colombia’s premium coffees is always elegant, smooth, and so, so good.

You may have heard that Colombia makes the best coffee in the world, but have you ever wondered why that is? 

There are 4 main reasons why Colombian coffee is the best in the world:

1. GEOGRAPHY

The geography of Colombia’s ‘coffee belt’ in the Andes (which feature a magical combination of high altitude, volcanic soil, lots of rain, but never freezing temperatures) is the absolute ideal growing environment for coffee beans. Basically, coffee is to Colombia what wine is to Napa Valley. Coffee is a very sensitive and picky crop, and is exceptionally hard to grow, but, in Colombia, with mountainous terrain, a tropical location, and high rainfall, it grows better than anywhere else in the world. 

2. HAND-PICKING

Colombians only use the very best hand-picked coffee beans. If you check out my “Colombia” highlight on my Instagram stories, you can see what this is like! (I visited a Colombian coffee plantation on one of my first trips to Medellin!)

Photo via NBC

3. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

A machine can’t tell the difference between green, unripe beans, overripe beans, and ideal beans, but Colombian farmers can. Colombia focuses on a quality-over-quantity approach, and uses a manual, more time-consuming process of hand-picking in order to ensure only the absolute best quality beans are used in their coffee. This is the real differentiator of Colombian coffee.

4. ARABICA

There are two types of coffee beans grown in the world – Arabica and Robusta. Arabica is a far superior, smoother taste, but is much harder to grow. Colombia is one of the only places in the world that produces 100% Arabica beans.

Arabica plants are very very picky about where they grow; they can grow at altitudes of around 2,000-7,200ft (600-2,200m) but thrive at altitudes of 4,400-7,000ft (1,340-2,130m). They require 1,200-2,200mm of rainfall and a temperate of 62-75°F (17-23°C).

 

IS THE COLOMBIAN COFFEE YOU GET IN THE USA AS GOOD AS THE COFFEE YOU GET IN COLOMBIA?

Not all “Colombian” coffee is created equal! Beware when buying “Colombian” coffee abroad because you need to look for coffee that uses 100% Colombian beans – not mixed with any other countries (most are mixed with other countries’ beans, since 100% Colombian coffee is much more expensive and harder to find internationally!)

WHERE CAN YOU GET 100% COLOMBIAN COFFEE IN THE USA?

Here are three that I like that you can order on Amazon:

Koffee Kult

Volcanica Fair Trade 

Don Pablo

CONCLUSION

In my experience, the coffee you find in Colombia at the nicer coffee shops (my favorite is Pergamino!) is unlike any other coffee in the world. It’s strong, robust, elegant and ultra-smooth. Every time I travel to Colombia, I always come home with 10+ coffee bags in my suitcase for holiday gifts, and gifts to myself. 

Check out these other blog posts!

The Ultimate Medellin Travel Guide

The Ultimate Guide to Cartagena, Colombia

Where to stay with a group in Cartagena

Tips to stay healthy and fit while traveling

The best places to visit in Colombia

 

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