Colombian coffee, a formidable rival in a game of bean trade

Colombia Coffee

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Ah! Colombia, the land of a thousand rhythms, vibrant colors, culture, and tradition. Renowned in the trading of crude petroleum and coal briquettes.

But what makes her celebrated is her vital play in the world of coffee. Supplying 15% of the world's coffee, Colombia has stepped up the game of bean trade. Coffee shops near you might include Colombian Coffee on their coffee menu. According to the statistics conducted by the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC), Colombia has earned 2.7 Billion Dollars in the export of coffee in 2017. She is the second-largest coffee exporter in the world, following Brazil with 4.6 Billion Dollars. Inevitably, several factors contribute to this success. 


Colombia geography

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Colombia encompasses mountain ranges and steep slopes, perfect location for coffee plants to grow in the best possible condition. The wide geographical land area allows Colombia to have 2 harvest seasons per year. With an elevation of 4,000-6,000 feet, higher altitude means better-quality coffee. Colombians grow most of their coffee in the Colombian coffee growing axis region, also known as the coffee triangle(Triángulo del Café), which has semi acidic volcanic soil and nutrients, suitable for coffee growth. The high altitude plus the type of soil in this region is responsible for the rich and fruity flavor a Colombian coffee possesses. In 2011, the coffee cultural landscape of Colombia was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO due to its [exceptional example of a sustainable and productive cultural landscape that is unique and representative of a tradition that is a strong symbol for coffee growing areas worldwide.]


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Another ace in the deck of cards is Colombia's climate. Characterized by being tropical and isothermal, it maintains a relatively steady temperature for the coffee plants to grow. Arabica beans tend to be more sensitive to changing temperatures, so the perfect climate in Colombia is the ideal place for coffee survival. One factor for this is the country's proximity to the equator that holds the balance between hot and cold climates. Colombia has a humid environment and an ideal rainfall of 80 inches (200 centimeters) per year, enough to keep the ground moist but not compacted. 

Harvesting Method

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The majority of coffee farms comprises of family-owned small businesses with less than 12 acres of land, and around 600,000 coffee growers join hand in hand during harvest season. Coffee is considered a big industry in Colombia. They take it seriously that harvesting must be done by handpicking the beans to be able to select the best quality coffee. It requires skill and dedication to determine the good from the bad, something a machine cannot achieve. A skilled picker can harvest up to 200 pounds of coffee cherries per day, which is equivalent to 30 to 40 pounds of coffee beans. Because this kind of harvesting method is more laborious and expensive, it only concentrates primarily on premium quality Arabica beans. This harvesting method has been an age-old tradition in Colombia and for that reason alone, Colombia has taken pride in its coffee for over the years.

Alabaster Box Coffee is proud to introduce El-Dorado. A premium Colombian Coffee with a rich chocolatey flavor and a hint of dried orange and berry notes. Feel the luxurious quality of this coffee in every cup. Visit our products page to get one.