Colombian Coffee

Colombian Coffee Overview

Although Brazil and Vietnam are the leading coffee producing countries in the world, Colombia doesn't fall behind with them being responsible for 12% of the worlds coffee supply. However, Colombia produces some of the highest-quality Arabica coffee with microlots sometimes achieving cupping scores around 90 points.

Colombia has been blessed with a perfect climate for coffee growing as it has a dozen micro-climates across thousands of miles, volcanic soil, and just a perfect amount of rain. Wet climate, dense hills and mountains, and various height altitudes makes it perfect for growing speciality coffee but harvesting and transport can be very challenging due to the difficult terrain.

The majority of the coffee produced in Colombia comes from small farms often less than 10 hectares in size.

Colombia Villa Esperanza (photo credit: Falcon Coffees)

Colombian coffee farm - villa esperanza


Colombian coffee is nearly always hand harvested to select only ripe cherry and this is done every few days as the coffee ripens on the trees. 

  • Washed processed coffee is the most common method used in Colombia. After fruit is removed using a pulping machine the coffee is typically dry fermented and then washed to remove any remaining mucilage. Coffee is then dried on raised tables, patios and sometimes mechanically dried.
  • Natural processed coffee is produced in smaller quantities often with very good results. Coffee is dried on raised tables or patios with the fruit still intacts.

Many producers are experimenting with alternative methods including complex washed methods, anaerobic fermentation and the use of rare and unusual varietals like Geisha and Pink Bourbon. 

Flavour profile

The Colombian coffee flavour very much depends on geography and altitude at which the coffee was grown. Typically the best washed coffees are bright, juicy, floral and rival some of the best African coffees from Ethiopia and Kenya. Washed coffees can also rounded in acidity with mellow chocolate notes. 

The natural processed coffees showcase bright and juicy fruit notes and the experimental fermentation methods (ie Anaerobic) often have wild and unusual fruit and floral notes.