Colombian coffee is one of the best-known worldwide for its taste and quality.
The tropical climate, the Sierra Nevada mountains, the Andes Mountains, altitude, and water sources are undoubtedly some of the characteristics that the country has to produce incredible beans with different aromas and flavors that have become icons of Colombia.
Although 100% of coffee production in Colombia is arabica, each area of the country is distinguished by something specific depending on the harvest process, season, and brewing.
Next, you will get to know the largest producing areas of the country with their coffee production characteristics and cup profile. This way you will have more context when we introduce you to the best Colombian coffees that come from different regions.
Table of Contents
Coffee Producing Regions in Colombia
Colombia is a large country consisting of 32 departments or states. Surprisingly, most of them grow coffee!
We will present you the characteristics of each region by 4 main zones, which vary in geographical conditions and therefore produce a different cup profile.
The main coffee producing regions in this area are:
|La Guajira||Sweet and sour and chocolate||Low|
|Magdalena||Sweet and sour and chocolate||Low|
|Cesar||Sweet and sour and chocolate||Low|
|Norte de Santander||Chocolate||–|
Its production stage begins in March, with the rains, and ends with the harvest between October and November when the rainy season ends.
This region is characterized by producing a coffee more intense in body and with less acidity, fundamental characteristics of coffee that we will explain later. The reason is that this fruit is exposed to much higher temperatures and therefore, farmers plant the trees in shadier places which directly influences the final result that the consumer will have in the cup.
North-Central and South-Central Zones
The regions that stand out in this region for their coffee production are:
|Antioquia||Citrus and sweet||–||–|
|Caldas||Fruit and herbal||Medium||Medium|
|Risaralda||Fruit and herbal||Medium||Medium|
|Quindío||Fruit and herbal||Medium||Medium|
|Valle del Cauca||Fruit and herbal||Medium||Medium|
|Tolima||Citrus, sweet and fruity||High||–|
In this area, the harvest season goes from March to May and from September to November, which corresponds to the wet seasons of the region (essential characteristic for growing coffee). However, in the northernmost areas, the production phase could extend to June and December respectively.
These regions are characterized by producing more roasted, aromatic, and very good quality coffees, a great attraction for coffee lovers.
These areas have enormous wealth when it comes to coffee. For example, Antioquia is the second-largest coffee producing region in the country and perhaps one of the most positioned nationally and internationally.
Probably a large part of those interested in knowing general concepts about coffee have heard of Juan Valdez, a character created by the National Federation of Coffee Growers to promote the work and efforts of Colombian coffee growers. This exponent has elements alluding to the region of Antioquia due to its importance in the country.
Also, Tolima is the third most important region in the country and one of the most attractive regions for baristas.
In this area, we will find regions that are also icons in the production of coffee. Here is located what you have probably heard as the Coffee Triangle: Nariño, Cauca, and Huila.
Huila is the largest region in terms of coffee production. Its cultural wealth and growth year after year has made it position itself as the leading department to offer the best products.
The wet season in this region can start from October and end until June, which allows much of the year to grow coffee and its production stage is greater than that of other regions.
|Nariño||Citrus and sweet||High|
|Cauca||Citrus, sweet and floral||–|
|Huila||Sweet and wine||Medium-High|
Here you will find a more acidic coffee with intense aromas, a dense body, and a perfect combination of fruity and caramelized notes. Many features in a single sip that attract the looks of anyone.
A smaller region, but with highlights that are not left behind. Its main coffee regions are:
|Caquetá||Spicy and herbal||Low||–|
Its rainy season is very similar to the northern region, from March to November are the months with the highest efficiency to grow coffee.
This area is making several efforts to boost the production of coffee varieties because due to conflicts that plagued the country and especially this region years ago, its development was not as fast as in other areas. For that reason, here you will find a soft coffee, but with various aromas, flavors and densities.