Coffee has been one of the most representative symbols of Colombia for years. Its quality and flavor has made it desirable in many countries abroad.
In the beginning, very few areas of the country produced it in large quantities and exported it. But its growing demand continues to strengthen its production and allow its expansion throughout the Colombian territory. As a result, 22 of the 32 departments of the country produce coffee today.
This coffee boom has an impact on many levels. On the one hand, collectives of small producers and coffee growers continue to empower themselves and create their own enterprises. This shows a trend towards the recognition of the work that people in the field carry out. And it promotes a better practice of fair trade. This means paying what is fair for a quality product. And that allows them to work under increasingly fair conditions.
On the other hand, there is also visible growth of new coffee brands. Small and medium companies that create a space to taste and promote not only their product but also the region from which it originates.
Let’s taste and learn!
Coffee is no longer only an object of export, or a product for daily consumption. Colombian coffee is an experience. For this reason, in this post we share with you 3 keys to learn more about our coffee, and the 5 best coffees in Bogota.
What will you find here?
1.Keys to understand the fame of Colombian coffee
Why is Colombian coffee so well known worldwide?
Colombia is the third largest coffee producing country and the largest producer of mild coffee in the world. This is mainly due to the production process, but also to the natural conditions when growing the coffee.
Unlike other countries, in Colombia many of the processes of harvesting, picking and selection are still handmade. That is to say, coffee growers carefully select the ripe cherries. And then, when the beans are green, they also select the best beans by hand. This craftsmanship in the process and all its good practices allow to obtain a product of the highest quality.
But not only that, in addition to this careful process, we have the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia. The Federation has been doing a rigorous marketing and research work for decades. As a result we have this prestige and value. And also so many good coffee stores, just like the best coffee stores in Bogota.
Why Colombia produces so much coffee?
It is not only the production process that allows us to be one of the largest exporters. In Colombia the geography and the properties of its soils favor the enormous and varied production of coffee. Colombian coffee is of the Arabica species, which is characterized for being milder. It is grown at altitudes of 2000 meters and at temperatures between 18 and 24°C (64 and 75°F).
Many zones of Colombia have microclimates that naturally provide these optimal conditions for coffee. In addition, since there are no seasons, we can grow coffee all year round.
Remember that Colombia is traversed by the three mountain ranges that emerge from the Andes. From the south to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, in many departments it is possible to find the right ecosystems and coffee crops.
How to identify a good Colombian Coffee?
Colombian Coffee is more aromatic, sweet and acid by nature. A specialty or good quality coffee should not need sugar. Of course, the nuances, acidity, body and intensity vary according to the varieties of the bean and its roasting or washing process. In order to taste it, it is necessary to drink it without sugar and without any type of milk.
Making sure it is freshly ground and they prepare it with quality water also allows you to appreciate its true qualities.
And, again, coffee is an experience. For this reason we recommend tasting it in places where the baristas can show you the preparation and tell you in detail about what you are going to taste. In addition, of course, to learning about the origin, the region and the history behind the beans and their growers. All these things give you a lot of information about the concrete characteristics of the coffee.
2. The best coffees in Bogota
Of course, going to the coffee farms is what we recommend to have a full experience on coffee. But another way to know what we are producing there is in the stores. Now that you know these keys, here are 5 places in Bogota (updated 2022) where you can have a coffee tasting experience, learn about it and enjoy its qualities.
Its founder, Jaime Duque, calls this place a coffee warehouse. Here you will not only be able to taste a cup of specialty coffee, but also learn to recognize the characteristics of a good coffee. The place offers courses and also has a laboratory and roasts its own coffee. Jaime Duque supports small producers in many parts of Colombia in improving their processes and teaching them about fair trade.
Where? Calle 120a #3a-47 Usaquén
This coffee promotes the respect and recognition of the coffee grower and promotes special harvests from small producers. They take care of the entire process from the handling of the beans to the roasting and the preparation of the beverages. You can also pair a great variety of coffee origins with a wide range of pastry or other type of food.
Where? Calle 41 #8-43 / Calle 12 #1-20
This cafe has several locations and in some of them they roast their coffee in front of their clients. They have an environmental responsibility project in their commercialization. In addition to the traditional drinks and coffee tasting experiences, the baristas create interesting signature drinks around elements or products related to coffee.
Where? Calle 69 #6- 20 / Calle 71 #10- 47 / Calle 11 #4- 14
Azahar is the name of the coffee flower. This place also works with small producers with a fair trade proposal and exports regional blends. In their stores you can try different varieties and preparations. And if you wish, the baristas can guide you in choosing the best experience with this beverage.
Where? Calle 93b #13- 91/ Carrera 3# 12B-60
In this place you can see the roasting process of how the green bean turns into coffee. They work mainly with single origin beans. Thus, you will be able to taste the flavors and representative qualities of some of the most representative coffee regions of the country. Here they rescue ancient and ancestral coffees.
Where? Carrera 13 #83- 19 / Calle 70A #13- 83