Being the third-largest producer of coffee in the world, Colombia is definitely a heaven for coffee lovers. The country boasts coffee of excellent quality, long tradition, and persistent growers who strive to excel at the standards.
But, is Colombian coffee really the best coffee in the world? Let’s have a look at why Colombian beans are often called the best coffee beans in the world.
Join me on a journey through the coffee flavor profile and more, of a unique South American country that seems to try its hardest to keep the rest of the world awake!
Let’s discover the best coffee brands in Colombia!
Volcanica Colombian Supremo
Volcanica Colombian Supremo coffee beans are high-quality 100% Arabica beans that are perfect for a daily brew. These beans make smooth coffee with nutty undertones, with fruity and floral aroma, and sweet tones.
- Why is Colombian coffee so special?
- Best Colombian coffee brands
- Instant Colombian coffee brands
- Colombian coffee taste
- How to make Colombian coffee
- Colombian coffee history
- Colombian Coffee Brands: a recap
- Recommended Reading
Why is Colombian coffee so special?
Coffee from Colombia is unique for a couple of reasons:
Colombia mostly produces Arabica coffee beans.
The country has a diverse climate and landscape, which enables them to grow and produce many different varieties of the coffee flavor profile.
- Traces of chocolate, nut flavors; it has more body and less acidity than other coffees from the country
- Coffee is more herbal and fruity with medium acidity but medium body
- Coffee triangle (coffee belt) is located in this zone
- Higher acidity with hints of citrus
- Produces specialty coffee with caramel and fruity notes
Coffee Triangle Colombia: Eje Cafetero
Also known as Coffee Zone, Coffee Axis or Coffee Belt, there are three regions in Colombia where they grow coffee: Caldas, Quindío, and Risaralda.
This triangle produces the majority of coffee; it has been considered many times as the best in the world. While that may depend on the taste of each individual (some love animal poop coffee!), there’s no denying that it’s still flavorful and very aromatic.
The triangle is an area where a combination of soil and climate make it a perfect location to grow world-class coffee. We’re not going into all details about the coffee bean types here, but in short, there are two main types of a coffee bean:
Arabica and Robusta. Arabica is much pickier about its living conditions (climate, location, etc.). And Colombia has ideal growing conditions for Arabica. Coffee is grown at high altitudes, which causes the beans to ripen more slowly and consequently also develop more flavor.
But that’s not all; the coffee in Colombia is divided further by quality:
- Supremo is the best available coffee you can get from Colombia
- Extra is a middle-range quality coffee
- Excelso is considered inferior and it’s a mix of the first two
Colombian coffee types
Coffee growing has a long history in Colombia and now, there are many small farmers that cultivate it in the regions mentioned above.
The coffees grown in Colombia are varieties of Arabica beans:
Best Colombian coffee brands
Which are the top coffee brands from Colombia? Let’s have a look at the top 5 picks.
- Medium roast
- Medium-full body with smooth acidity
With sweet, fruit tones, and floral and fruity aroma, Volcanica Colombian Supremo is a premium coffee, shade-grown, Fair Trade Certified, and, most importantly, roasted on demand to ensure the highest quality and customer satisfaction.
The coffee is 100% Arabica beans with a more fair than robust flavor. While it won’t work best in a regular coffee pot, it’s excellent in the French press. You can also brew it with a drip machine or espresso maker. It’s free of any bitterness but packs a smooth taste you can enjoy day after day.
- Great daily go-to coffee
- Nutty undertones
- Smooth finish
- Fair Trade certified
- Rainforest Alliance certified
- Medium acidity
- Mild flavor
Perfect coffee for everyday use, Colombian Supremo is a blend of smooth, sweet, and nutty notes that won’t easily disappoint. What’s best? Coffee is roasted on demand to provide the ultimate freshness of the beans. You can choose from whole bean coffee and drip, espresso, or french press grind.
- Medium roast coffee
- Medium to high acidity, bright nutty flavor
A variety of organically-grown and Fair Trade peaberry beans, Peaberry coffee is grown at 5,000 feet elevation which makes the beans more acidic but also more aromatic and flavorful. This coffee type is rich in flavor and also a smoother bean.
The interesting part about growing this type of coffee is that it’s grown in shade, which is a traditional method and also more environmentally friendly.
If you’re looking for a sustainable coffee, Volcanica is your bean of choice. They’re also Rainforest Alliance and Fair Trade.
- Rare and unique
- Grown in volcanic soil
- Fair Trade certified
- Coffee has an after-bite
This gourmet coffee is not too strong but it’s definitely full-bodied and unique (Peaberry beans make up 5% of the crop, coming from the rarest beans!), they roast the beans after you’ve made your order to ensure the highest quality.
- Dark roast coffee
- Medium acidity and balanced body
Think smoky, cherry, blueberry, chocolate with notes of caramel when wondering how this coffee tastes. 100% Arabica coffee beans, this brand is an excellent value for money. Above all, it’s dark roast (unlike others on the list), and organic!
It’s a blend of French and Italian roast for a combo of smokiness and sweetness, all in one. The coffee is roasted to bring the maximum flavor to your cup, with a smooth flavor and sweet aroma. It’s full-bodied but well-balanced, combining the best of both worlds.
- 100% Arabica beans
- Organic coffee
- Decaf available
- More grind sizes available
- Can be too strong for some
This is a good quality coffee that’ll turn into a treat for your taste buds. You may not be too familiar with the brand, but they provide high-quality coffee, handpicked, and always roasted on demand.
- Medium roast
- Full-bodied, nutty and smooth flavor
A man and a donkey walk into a bar. They make delicious coffee and it becomes a world-wide demand right away. That’s Juan Valdez for you. Ho, he wasn’t a real person, if that’s what you’re wondering. A fictional character or not, his coffee is a real thing though.
And he became the face of a large marketing campaign for coffee Colombia. See more below of history of coffee. Anyway, Juan Valdez is still a respectable and recognizable coffee brand all across the world!
- No bitter aftertaste
- Fairly strong and rich
- Mild flavor
- Too pricey
Juan Valdez is a blend of good and smooth flavor that doesn’t leave any severe and lingering aftertaste. It’s not bad at all; in fact, online reviews claim it’s an excellent medium roast coffee; it’s nutty, mild, and with lovely aroma!
- Light to medium roast
- Medium acidity and full body, sweet and crisp finish
- Best to use in: all types of coffeemakers
Packed with flavor and organically sourced, Koffee Kult Colombia is a delicious coffee with a pleasing taste and packaged right after roasting. That means you get a fresh and decent quality to your doorstep.
This is a US-based artisanal roaster and family-based; they offer Colombian Huila beans of high quality. These beans are grown at 6,230ft/1,900m and processed by the wet method before they sun-dry them or dry them mechanically.
With a mild cherry taste and notes of caramel, this coffee is 100% Arabica blend of Colombian bean varieties.
- Artisan roasted coffee
- Very aromatic
- Ethically Sourced
- Resealable closure package
- Dry beans
If you’re looking for a strong cup of black coffee, this may not be for you. While it makes a lovely aromatic cup of joe, some claim it’s not the best coffee experience.
Instant Colombian coffee brands
Since Colombia produces so much coffee, it’s also an important supplier of instant coffee. That’s also what many Colombians drink. I’ve zero experience with instant coffee from Columbia, but many reviews claim it to make a smooth and good-tasting cup of instant coffee.
Here are some of the best Instant coffees:
- Waka instant coffee (Arabica beans with rich, dark chocolate, and earthy flavors)
- Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Coffee (100% Arabica beans with signature walnut flavor)
- Alpine Start Instant Coffee (Arabica Colombian beans)
- Jiva Instant coffee (with smooth and citrusy flavor, freeze-dried Arabica)
Colombian coffee taste
With so many growing regions, there are important geographical and climate differences between the beans. That’s why it’s difficult to determine the overall coffee flavor profile from Colombia.
But there are certain features that are common to the majority of Columbian coffee beans:
- it’s a mild yet well-balanced coffee, clean and bright
- medium to high acidity
- it’s sweet (chocolate, sugarcane or caramel) with hints of tropical fruits, red berries or apples
- citrusy, fruity, and very mildly spicy aroma
How to make Colombian coffee
There are plenty of methods online that promise to teach you Colombian style coffee with… khem, instant coffee, weird coffee, donkey poop coffee, and many other types of coffee.
I’ve searched far and wide and found this recipe on coffee with aguapanela. I’ve never tried it but if you have, let us know in the comments below what are your thoughts on the recipe.
There are two methods to be most recommended when it comes to brewing Colombian coffee:
- Espresso (the beans are excellent for medium-dark roast, which is best for espresso)
Apart from that, if you’re actually heading to Colombia, make sure to stop by at any of the street vendors and get yourself a cup of tinto. Tinto or inky water is sold in small cups for a few cents a cup. It’s a must-try for the real Colombian experience. Okay, it’s not the highest quality but it’s popular.
According to Thrillist and their article on Colombian coffee culture,
Tinto doesn’t refer to one particular style of preparation: it could be everything from a simple drip brewer to a pour-over cloth coffee filter (looks like a sock), to just putting grounds in the bottom of a cup and splashing them with hot water. It’s basically the Colombian equivalent of a “cup of Joe,” in that you probably won’t hear a graphic designer ordering it over ice, and more sophisticated drinkers would shy away from the label.
Colombian coffee history
Coffee has become a part of Colombia’s national identity, but it wasn’t always so. It entered the county in the 18th century and they started exporting it only in the 19th century. During the 20th century, coffee somehow became the main export of Colombia. The farmers refused to grow it at first since they believed it took too long to harvest the beans (which is about 5 years).
Nowadays, the majority of farmers grown coffee on small parts of the land. Many of the farms are family-owned and the majority of coffee growers are a part of FNC or National Colombian Coffee Growers Federation.
This group has worked hard to protect their country’s coffee industry. It was first established back in the 1927 with the goal to represent the interests of the coffee growers.
In 1959 they have created the famous Juan Valdez (Colombian coffee bean guy), an imaginary character (and his donkey) that helped to establish the reputation of Colombian coffee worldwide. It has been an incredibly successful marketing campaign. And Juan Valdez has made Colombian coffee brands recognizable all over the world. You can easily buy Juan Valdez coffee online.
Feel free to see a short video about the history of Coffee in Colombia here:
Nowadays, the FNC works to
reach our goal of improving the quality of life of coffee growers. The FNC also supports Colombian growers in different areas such as: research and development to optimize the costs of production and improve the quality of coffee, technical assistance to coffee growers…, ensuring the coffee grower receives market premiums, carrying out programs to benefit the growers, their community and their environment
Colombian Coffee Brands: a recap
The majority of coffee coming from Colombia may be Arabica but that doesn’t mean that all coffee from this South American country is the same.
In fact, Colombia has incredibly diverse geographical and climate features that make every bean unique in terms of flavors and aromas. That is also the reason why Colombian coffee is the best (or one of the best) in the world. What’s more, the coffee is high-quality, bringing an exceptional taste to your cup.
There are many options when it comes to the best Columbian coffee brands and the good news is that you can buy Colombian coffee online easily. Columbian coffee beans bring a lovely variety into your coffee routine; even if you’re not too keen on traveling there, you can bring the Colombian vibe into your kitchen with tasty and freshly roasted beans.
To be honest, any beans from the list will give you good coffee. There is one though, that I’d recommend giving a try, especially if you’re completely new to coffee beans from Colombia.
Volcanica Colombian Supremo Coffee is superior for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s a perfect coffee for daily use. You can easily use it to brew French press, Espresso, or Drip coffee. What’s more, it’s high-quality coffee that’s shade-grown, Fair-Trade certified, Rainforest Alliance certified and roasted on demand. That means you get a freshly roasted batch every time you order!
Colombia Supremo is a medium roast and medium body with smooth acidity. You can expect sweet notes, a floral aroma, and 100% arabica beans. What I love about it is the smooth finish, nutty undertones, and a bit of Colombia in every cup I drink!