The Colombian Cheese Coffee Trip with Woodhouse Coffee Co

The Colombian Cheese Coffee Trip

The Colombian Cheese Coffee Trip with Woodhouse Coffee Co

It is hard to imagine the world of coffee, much less the world of single origin coffees, without including those of Colombia. In a large part due to the efforts of the Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros (FNC), Colombia’s coffees are synonymous with high quality. Yet, while there are some unifying characteristics to the taste and aroma of Colombian coffee, these coffees are hardly monolithic in their cupping characteristics. Even within the several significant producing areas, there is great variation in style and quality from one microclimate to another.

Colombia boasts more than half a million coffee farmers producing anywhere from 10 to 25 bags on 870,000 hectares, with many lots as small as 50 kg. Due to the small size of the farms, it is necessary to complete thorough cuppings of every lot tendered by growers in order to obtain a good blend. This makes cupping Colombian coffees at origin both time consuming and expensive, but ultimately worthwhile in order to guarantee quality and consistency.

Two million Colombians rely directly on coffee for their livelihoods. There are very few estate coffees—sixty percent of Colombian coffee farmers cultivate their bushes on less than one hectare of land while only ½ percent have more than 20 hectares. Most of the coffee shipped from Colombia is a blend of the production from 50 or more individual farms. While this situation is typical of cooperatives in various regions of various coffee producing countries, it is unusual, and on Colombia’s scale, unique for it to be the predominant arrangement.