A Tour Of Coffee Origins: Colombia
Colombian coffee has been a mainstay on our grocery shelves for years. It's a favorite because it's easy to find, and because...
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Why shop coffee according to the origin?
As you embark on the exploration voyage of different coffee beans, the first destination is the coffee origin. Single-origin coffees can be traced to a single producer, crop, region, rather than being a blend of beans sourced from different locations.
Single-origin coffee, apart from being considered coffee in its purest form, allows you to discover nuanced flavors since these coffees display taste characteristics based on the region. These can be influenced by altitude, soil, climate, shade, as well as varietals and processing methods.
The subtle, complex flavors of Brazilian coffee are coveted by many for their intensity and balance. The robust body with low acidity make this a delicious sip that's not too sweet or sour - an excellent morning pick-me up! They also have a robust body with chocolate notes that produce an excellent espresso blend. With fourteen major coffee-producing regions spread over seven states, Brazil’s beans are a diverse mix.
Kenyan coffee is known for its consistently rich and vibrant fruity flavors and deep wine-like acidity. They have complex notes of fruit, berries, and citrus, which showcase best when used for pour over coffee. Kenyan coffee offers a huge range of flavors depending on the region, varietal, and processing method. Most Kenyan coffees are wet-processed (washed) and are graded according to their own system, AA beans being the larger size and highest quality beans.
Colombia is the 3rd largest producer of coffee in the world and it is well known for producing almost exclusively highly regarded Arabica coffee beans. With its rich chocolate and caramel flavors combined with fruit and citrus notes, Colombian coffee offers a smooth enjoyable cup that can please almost every coffee drinker. The great taste is attributed to high altitude, fertile volcanic soils, and predominantly shade-grown coffee.
Ethiopia claims to be the birthplace of coffee, discovered by an accident by a 15th-century monk. Today, Ethiopian coffee has established itself as one of the best coffee producers in the world. The coffee has inimitable, unique delicate tasting notes. The floral aroma often resembles jasmine and bergamot flavors. Somewhat similar to Kenyan coffee, it is lively and fruity. It contrasts with a much milder and pleasant acidity.
The flavor profile of Costa Rican coffees is one of the best in Central America. The ideal coffee growing conditions include high altitude. The highly-priced Caturra varietal is typically grown in Costa Rica. The coffee from this region has brown-sugar sweetness, pronounced fruity flavors, and citrusy notes. Alongside Colombian coffee, it is one of the most popular single origins for manual brewing methods.
Coffee in Peru is mostly grown in mountainous regions in high altitudes, with the Typica varietal of Arabica being the most common. The tasting notes of Peruvian coffee are balanced in all respects. They have a medium body, middle acidity, gentle sweetness, and a balanced mellow flavor. These attributes make Peruvian coffee delicate and easy to drink.
The coffee in this region exhibits characteristics similar to Indonesian coffee, especially Java Arabica, with a full body and a brighter acidity. The Indian coffees are often exposed to the monsoon season and moisture-laden winds. This strengthens the coffee’s sweetness, resulting in a heavy body and muted acidity. Quality Indian coffee displays the “classic” coffee tasting notes including the chocolatey aftertaste.
Bolivia, with its high altitudes and nutrient-rich soils, has ideal conditions for producing exceptional coffee. The coffees from this origin are incredibly sweet and clean. They offer versatile taste profiles. Some coffees can have sugary or toffee sweetness with a silky but dark mouthfeel, whole others can be complex, winey with lively berry or butterscotch notes.
Coffee from this origin has some similar attributes to other countries in Africa such as Kenya or Ethiopia. These include floral and fruit-forward tasting notes with clean, refined flavor and acidity. The delicate tasting notes of this coffee are best experienced in pour over brews. Burundi cultivates mostly Bourbon varietals that are grown in high altitudes with a dominating wet processing method.
Coffee from Guatemala is known for its dominant chocolatey profile, balanced medium to full body, and sweet undertones. Most Guatemalan coffee is grown at a very high altitude, over 5,000 feet in rich organic soils, which is the reason for its developed robust flavor. The strong flavor is balanced with moderate acidity and complex notes of caramels and nuts, occasionally combined with citrusy, spicy, or fruity aroma.
Hawaii is the only US state that grows coffee commercially. It is successful at producing high-quality beans due to high elevation, rich volcanic soil, and afternoon cloud shade. There are more than 700 coffee farms in Hawaii with one of the largest, highly-priced coffee regions - Kona. Pure 100% Kona coffee is unique, rare, and expensive. It is celebrated for its pleasing aroma, full-bodied flavor, and slightly syrupy body.
In the past, coffee from Honduras was usually used for coffee blends, but in recent years, the coffee from this origin emerged with its unique characteristics. The tasting notes of Honduras coffees range widely, from soft and nutty to bright and vibrant. The best coffees are classified as Strictly High Grown, where they grow in higher altitudes, taking on a robust flavor profile.
The coffee production in Mexico took off quite late and really started booming only in the late 20th century. Today, Mexico is the number one source of Certified and Fair Trade coffee. The specialty coffees from Mexico are often compared to white wine, with the dry delicate body, lightly sweet, fruity tasting notes, and acidic finish. They also work very well in blends, complementing the flavors of other single origins.
Coffee from Panama commonly displays dominant fruit and citrusy undertones with a rich syrupy mouthfeel. Similar to its neighboring origin, Costa Rica, the coffees have a bright acidity and shine when prepared in a pour over method. One of the best coffee varietals in the world, Gesha, comes from Panama. This award-winning coffee is known for its superior flavor profile, bright acidity, and jasmine aroma.
Sumatra, an island in Southeast Asia, is ideally suited for growing Arabica coffee. The coffees from this region can be distinguished by a heavy body, earthy flavor, and low acidity, similar tasting notes as the coffees from Indonesia. Most coffees from Sumatra are wet-hulled, where most of its coffee’s unique characteristics come from. The aromas and flavors can have spicy, mossy, mushroomy, or earthy tasting notes.
Vietnam is the number one producer of Robusta beans in the world. The coffee from this origin has an earthier flavor with chocolate and nutty tasting notes and deeper mouthfeels, so they work well when mixed with milk, cream, and sugar. This is why traditional Vietnamese coffee is often mixed with condensed milk, resulting in a sweet bold beverage where Robusta properties shine. Vietnamese Robusta coffee also tends to have higher caffeine content.
Why shop coffee according to the flavor profile?
As you begin to explore different origins, roasts, and varietals, you’ll start developing a coffee palette that will let you distinguish nuanced flavors in your cup. The most common flavors are identified and sorted in the SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) coffee taster’s flavor wheel.
The days when coffee only tasted bitter are long gone. With the rise of third-wave coffee and specialty single origins, you are now able to taste delicate taste profiles in your cup. When selecting your next bag of beans, you can experiment with different flavor profiles or stick with the one that suits your taste the most.
You can detect tropical, berry, stone fruit, or citrus fruit aroma and tasting notes. Fruity coffees typically have a wine-like brightness, vibrant juicy tasting notes, and pronounced acidity. They are best enjoyed black prepared with manual brewing methods.
A subtle flavor and aroma, reminiscent of delicate flowers such as jasmine, lavender, orange blossom, magnolia, or lemongrass. These coffees can be unique and unmistakable, floral flavors are combined with subtle fruity notes and gentle brightness. Coffees are light-bodied and best enjoyed black.
Full-bodied coffees with intense chocolate aromas, flavors of butterscotch, cocoa and milk chocolate. These coffees have a heavier texture, bold mouthfeel and little acidity. The chocolate flavors are typically combined with nutty flavors and when combined with milk or cream they have a pronounced sweetness.
A pleasant flavor is similar to fresh nuts, like almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, or walnuts. These coffees typically have lower acidity and a medium to full body. When mixed with milk or cream, these coffees display subtle sweetness.
Earthy coffee flavors tend to be related to the processing method used. When the coffee cherry is dried on the beans before removal, you can commonly detect earthiness in your cup. These coffees work well when mixed with milk or cream.
Coffees with dark flavor and robust body are usually roasted dark. They take on flavors developed by the roasting process including smoke, black pepper, toast, and carbon. They can be also referred to as Italian or French roast.
The coffees in this flavor category can display a range of spicy characteristics, ranging from smoky, fairly strong and pungent to gentle warming notes of cinnamon or cardamom. Spicy flavors are often combined with earthy notes and when roasted dark, they can display subtle sweetness, strong aroma and chocolatey taste. Brown spice, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, or tobacco
Why shop coffee according to the roaster?
Roasting brings out all the aroma and flavor that is hiding inside the coffee bean. The best roasters understand the origin, varietal, and properties of their beans and ensure the roasting uncovers the best possible flavor in your cup.
Remember that coffee maintains its flavor for only a couple of weeks after it’s been roasted, so buying your beans from a local roaster will ensure their freshness. The best rosters know that the best quality is achieved through small-batch roasting and allow personality flow into their blends.
A team of coffee professionals developed an evolving portfolio of coffees to reflect their passion and philosophy. Offering handcrafted blends tailored to espresso as well as the filter brewing methods in a way that will best showcase the flavor.
Dedicated to raising coffee to a new level, they believe great-tasting coffee should be the norm, not the exception. Helping others to make great coffee at home, work, or on the go. Committed to the development of a transparent and sustainable business model.
A coffee roaster with a mission to bring delicious and exciting coffee from around the world and bridging the gap between roasted beans as a product and a cup of coffee. Focusing on constant learning, innovation, and the quest to be better.
Importers, roasters and distributors of high-quality, ethically sourced coffee beans. Roasti offers custom blends, custom branding, and tailored machinery packages.
Built on passion to explore the world of coffee, commitment to creating a special product that honors the work of coffee producers, focused on building partnerships that extend beyond simple transactions.
A small-batch specialty coffee team of creatives, innovators, and educators, exploring the diverse terrain of coffee. Committed to creating the perfect relationship of great flavor and good taste.
Micro-roastery based in Ardrossan, Alberta. They believe coffee should be more than just a mindless morning habit and treat the roasting process just like cultivating wine. Roasting high-quality beans imported from around the world.
The roaster is dedicated to creating coffee that showcases complex, sophisticated flavors but also has personality. Focused on relationships with farmers to provide the quality in your cup.
Small batch specialty coffee micro-roastery dedicated to bringing customers high-quality coffee from around the world. Believe that the perfect cup of coffee tastes different to everyone, and dedicated to making delicious coffee accessible to everyone.
Family-owned and operated small-batch coffee roastery. Carefully sourcing and selecting beans from around the world, based on the season, ensuring every coffee cherry is ripe. Taking an individual approach to roasting, every bean is profiled with how it should be roasted to bring out the best flavor.
Proudly local and family-owned roastery that carefully sources coffee beans from around the world, which are then meticulously roasted in small batches. The business started with the family in search of a perfect cup of coffee. They couldn’t find what they were looking for, so they decided to make their own.
A hard-working, visionary husband and wife duo born in Colombia and living in Edmonton. Coffee is sourced exclusively from their family farm “El Agrado”, which is located at an altitude between 1780-200 meters and roasted to different levels.
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