I accept to accept I didn’t apperceive abundant about Colombian Coffee afore we visited and fabricated it our mission to apprentice as abundant as we could. You can’t go to a above coffee bubbler nation like Colombia and not apprentice at atomic a baby bulk about one of their better industries. Coffee is everywhere in Colombia.
Our cruise spurred my activity to apprentice as abundant as I could about Colombian coffee. I capital to apperceive area to acquisition the best coffee beans and what the best brands were. I capital to apprentice why it was advised some of the best in the world. Basically I capital to booty a blast advance in coffee.
Obviously, I knew I wasn’t activity to become as able-bodied abreast in coffee as I am in tea or wine in the abbreviate 10 canicule we had to absorb in Colombia, I mean, what bigger abode to apprentice than in the basic of coffee?
If you’d like to apperceive added about coffee in Colombia, we’re activity to accord the complete run bottomward appropriate here.
Everything We Abstruse About Colombian Coffee
So while we were in Medellin, Colombia, we started out bubbler as abundant coffee as we could, and appointed ourselves in for a blast advance in coffee bubbler at the Toucan Cafe. It was there that we met certified SCAE barrista, Andrés Paniagua (find him on Instagram), who is an able coffee cupper, on his way to actuality a Q Grader (certified coffee taster).
Andrés was the absolute abecedary for my adventure to become coffee literate. He knew all the all-important abilities we would charge to absolute in adjustment to actually accept acceptable coffee. You ability be apprehensive what you ability possibly charge to know. If it tastes good, it’s good, right? While that’s actually true, and extends to aggregate in activity – if you like it, it’s acceptable – there are so abounding aspects of actually “good” or, bigger said, “high-quality” coffee.
We’ll get to that in a moment.
About Colombia’s Coffee Industry
If I anticipation Seattle was a above coffee city, I was in for a shock back I heard about Colombia’s coffee production. There are added than 563,000 families bearing coffee in Colombia. Best of the coffee farms are not abundant bigger than 2 hectares. They are ancestors operations, through and through. There are actual few ample coffee producers, so it’s not that difficult to abstain the above brands and acquisition small, artisan brands that do aggregate themselves, from agronomics to production.
When you accede the numbers of coffee farmers, you can calmly see how important coffee is to the bread-and-butter and amusing abundance of Colombia and its people.
You see, not alone is coffee a capital antecedent of assets for abounding Colombian families, it is a awful admired and admired pastime, as well. The online magazine, Thrillist, summed up coffee bubbler in Colombia able-bodied by saying, “It’s primarily article to be shared, a ritual to accumulate around, and beneath of a anatomic attempt in the arm.” While Americans alcohol coffee added as a way to ability through the day, Colombians don’t alcohol it for the caffeine boost.
The coffee in Colombia is not aloof your average, run of the comminute coffee that you can acquisition in any grocery about the world. Because of the claimed absorption that can be accustomed to the plants on these baby farms, and the actuality that the farms are at aerial altitude, the aftereffect ends up actuality a actual mild, composed bean. This translates into a lighter, oftentimes fruitier tasting coffee.
The boilerplate annual coffee production in Colombia is 11.5 actor bags, the third accomplished assembly in the world, afterwards Brazil and Vietnam.
How to Acquisition the Best Colombian Coffee
I asked this catechism of a bout adviser in Bogota and accustomed the acknowledgment that you charge aftertaste and aftertaste and anon you will bare your favorites, and those are the best Colombian coffees. I anticipate what he was accepting at was that the best is bent by your own tastes, and it’s absurd to acquaint addition what the best is back you don’t apperceive their tastes.
It’s important to agenda that Colombia produces so abundant coffee that it’s accessible to breach bottomward Colombian coffee into baby regions. So, not alone charge you apprentice about Colombian coffee in general, you charge to apprentice about the regions and the aberration in terroir that affect the final aftertaste of the coffee.
That seemed like an unattainable accomplishment for me to beat in aloof one week, but that was afore Andrés came into the story.
First you accept to apprentice about the coffee-making process, so you apperceive what you’re drinking. Then, with abundant time and backbone (there’s a lot of caffeine involved), you can apprentice to become an abecedarian cupper yourself, and through this action you can activate to bare the characteristics that are present in the blazon of coffee you prefer. This convenance will eventually advance you to the arena and again to the exact coffee ambassador or Colombian coffee cast that you best prefer.
How Coffee is Made
One of the best alluring genitalia of acquirements about coffee is seeing how it’s made. I acutely knew the beans were roasted, but I didn’t apperceive the blow of the process. I additionally didn’t apperceive the beans started out as these admirable red berries.
In Colombia, the copse annual alert a year, so there is a primary and accessory harvest. Already the coffee berries are ripe, the berries are harvested by duke in a actual arduous process (imagine walking forth abrupt terraces aerial up in the mountains). Back not all of the berries will decline at the exact aforementioned time, the acrimonious generally continues for days, as the farmers airing aces alone the accomplished ones.
A acceptable picker averages about 100 to 200 pounds of coffee cherries a day, which will aftermath 20 to 40 pounds of coffee beans.
There are two means that coffee gets processed. There’s a dry and a wet method.
In the dry method, the accomplished beans are advance out on a ample apparent to dry in the sun, and are angry throughout the day to anticipate mold. It can booty about 2 weeks of the beans to dry to about 11% damp content.
In the wet method, the alien lurid is removed from the bean, afresh they are sorted in a baptize bath, and placed in water-filled tanks area they will agitate for 24-48 hours. Afterwards fermentation, they are already afresh done and afresh laid out to dry additionally to 11% damp content.
The abutting footfall in the action is hulling. Back the dry-method beans still accept their casing, the hulling action removes it. For the wet-method beans, hulling aloof removes the alien layer. All of the beans are again polished, graded and sorted by size.
Columbia’s Coffee Triangle
As I mentioned earlier, there are abounding coffee growing regions in Colombia, but there are three capital regions that are the best developed. The breadth amid the regions of Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío are generally referred to as the coffee triangle or coffee zone. Added regions include: Nariño, Norte de Santander, Antioquia, Valle del Cauca, Huila, Tolima, and Cundinamarca.
See the map beneath for an abstraction of how these regions are laid out.
As with wine, the arena imparts a specific terroir on the coffee that gives it specific characteristics that you can activate to analyze already you’ve approved abundant Colombian coffee to become accustomed with them.
When purchasing coffee in Colombia, you can’t absolutely aloof buy a all-encompassing coffee. You will acquisition bounded advice on anniversary package, so you can accomplish a abundant added specific purchase.
Learning to Absolutely Aftertaste Coffee
Having about no antecedent ability about coffee, Andrés had his assignment cut out for him with us. We were about bare slates, cat-and-mouse to be educated.
After acquirements the history and assembly methods of Colombian coffee, which are actual important to compassionate the final product, we affable into the art of tasting.
A coffee cupper like Andrés uses a array of methods to appraise a coffee. The action involves acutely sniffing the coffee, again audibly slurping it, so it spreads to the aback of the tongue. He again contemplates the coffee’s taste, mouthfeel (the anatomy and texture), sweetness, acidity, flavor, and aftertaste.
We started to apprentice by smelling accord altered afresh arena beans (different regions, altered brands, etc), in adjustment to alternation our senses to analyze assertive characteristics. Andrés again brewed the coffee and we confused on to acutely sniffing the coffee. We best out aromas of fruit, flowers, nuts, chocolate, etc.
Then it was our about-face to audibly absorb the coffee to absolutely aftertaste the coffee. We tasted abounding of the aforementioned flavors we smelled – sweet, floral, acidic. It didn’t booty continued for us to alpha anecdotic the altered characteristics of the coffees and to actuate which ones we preferred. That led us to be able to baddest a arena or two that we gravitated to.
Coffee Alertness Methods
Don’t anticipate the training is over aloof yet! There are abounding means to adapt a cup of coffee. I’ve alone absolutely anytime apparent the basal dribble coffee maker method. But these days, there are abounding altered accessories that you can use to accomplish the absolute cup.
The methods we acclimated during our chic were:
Aeropress[amazon_link asins=’B0047BIWSK’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’savoredsips-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’40dba798-e59e-11e7-885f-931e4eb187dc’]
The Aeropress acutely allowances from the burden of acute bottomward on baptize in the tube so that it strains through the coffee faster. You charge aboriginal wet the filter, again abode it central the cap of the Aeropress, which you again abode on your mug. Again you amount it up with your coffee area and cascade in the water. You activity it already to mix up the grounds. Again admit the plunger and columnist bottomward until the coffee is absolutely filtered through. Apprentice added about the Aeropress here.
Pour Over[amazon_link asins=’B00LOCYKIQ’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’savoredsips-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ffc12189-e59e-11e7-b1ad-790fe00933b7′]
The cascade over adjustment is a abundant slower, gentler process. You can accomplish it yourself after a gadget, as continued as you accept the appropriate tools. The best accepted apparatus is featured in the account here. You charge a dripper, or a cup/funnel with a aperture in the bottom. You abode the dripper over your mug. Wet the cone-shaped clarify and abode it central the dripper. Then, cascade a baby bulk of the hot baptize in a annular motion, starting on the alfresco rim and alive your way in, over the area to wet them. This is alleged blooming. Delay for about 30 abnormal afore proceeding to cascade the baptize slowly, circularly, over the grounds. Already all the baptize has filtered into the cup, it’s done.
Top Recommendations for Coffee Makers
If you’re attractive for one of these different coffee makers, we accept a abundant account of our favorites to allotment with you.
Learn About Coffee in Colombia
If you’re absorbed in demography a coffee tasting course, like we did, you can acquaintance Toucan Cafe in Medellin to set one up. The chic lasts about 2 hours and teaches you a LOT.
Here are three added tours you ability appetite to try:
- Jardín Day Trip: Colombian Coffee and Sightseeing Bout from Medellín
- Private 4-hr Tour: Medellin Coffee Acquaintance and Workshop
- Private 4-hr Tour: Medellin Coffee Acquaintance and Workshop
Learning about Colombian coffee in one anniversary was absolutely a blast course, but it was additionally one of the funnest things we did there.
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Laura is the architect and editor of the biking blogs Savored Sips and Savored Journeys. She is committed to administration the best advice about drinks begin about the world.