Colombian coffees have been a staple at Sagebrush since the very beginning. I continue to offer them on the site because they are versatile, incredibly smooth to drink and often sell very well. If you drink coffee, which why else would you be reading this, you have most likely had a cup of Colombian coffee in your lifetime. Many restaurants serve a Colombian blend for their morning coffee, and the origin is usually a top seller at grocery stores. So why are Colombian coffees so accessible and well-liked?
The origin story of Colombian beans has been told through several different accounts. Although there is not a definite answer, most people believe coffee was introduced to Colombia in 1723 by the Jesuits. Coffee as a commercial crop was received quite slowly by the various regions of the country. Colombia's coffee production did not pick up significantly until the end of the 19th century, and by 1912, coffee made up fifty percent of their total imports. What set Colombia apart from other coffee distributors was their focus on branding and marketing. A farmer named Juan Valdez became the "poster boy" of Colombian coffee with an image of him and his mule being the symbol that appeared on bags and advertising campaigns. This specific branding added value to Colombian coffee and made it a recognizable coffee to the U.S.
Colombia has become the third largest producer of coffee in the world, with the export now being controlled by a national federation called the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros or FNC. This organization protects the interest of coffee producers and has a role in marketing, financial matters, and the development of infrastructures like roads and schools. Colombian coffees are grown in elevations ranging from 1,200 to 1,800 meters. The harvesting season varies due to the geographic size of Colombia. Most crops are harvested between September and January, while certain areas harvest from April to August. This continual output of crops allows for more stable pricing and a consistent supply of beans to North America.
Colombian coffees standout because they have a vast range of flavors. Some beans have bolder, chocolatier notes while others are bright with a sweet, fruity mouthfeel. The coffee is smooth, medium-bodied, and their somewhat mild flavor makes it an excellent choice for espressos. Colombian beans are unique in that they can be roasted dark without becoming overly bitter. Colombia is one of the few origins I have carried that over time I have marketed as a light, medium, and dark roast. This goes to show how versatile Colombian beans truly are.