Coffee is grown and processed within the boundaries of Colombia. Coffee is widely regarded as one of the most important products of Latin America and the Caribbean. Coffee beans are processed into various types of beverages including black coffee, Indian coffee, Spanish coffee, hazelnut coffee and others.
Coffee production in Colombia has a worldwide reputation for producing relatively good quality coffee beans. Colombia’s annual coffee production of around 11.5 million kilos is well above the third world’s total production, though second-highest in relation to arabica bean production. Coffee lovers in the United States and in other parts of the world are usually impressed by colas produced in Colombia that have a distinctive taste. Colombia produces a wide variety of coffee, with different climates and soil compositions affecting the coffee bean’s taste and aroma.
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Coffee production in Colombia is organized according to regions, each of which is further divided into provinces. Coffee in Colombia is best described as arid or semi-arid areas in which the coffee grows in an open field. Coffee production regions are characterized by the presence of a wide variety of landscapes and physical characteristics, including fertile flat terrain, steep slopes, low fertility levels, and abundant sunshine. In most areas, the political control of the coffee industry is decentralized, with the national government retaining only limited control over coffee plantations and farming practices. The Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia or FCGC is the largest union of coffee grower cooperatives in Latin America, with additional smaller cooperatives belonging to other countries.
Coffee in Colombia is known for its outstanding aroma and flavor. Most Colombian coffee beans are noted for their bold flavor, their aroma, their acidity, their smoothness, and their sweetness. Coffee beans are primarily arid species, although they can also be found containing acid-like qualities that are referred to as acid coffees. Acid coffee production is characterized by intense flavor, but also higher acid content than regular coffee. This is because arid conditions provide favorable conditions for the growth of volatile aromatics (characteristics of coffee that create a “fragrant” taste), and because some of these arid qualities are liable to oxidize when exposed to the air. Because of this, most Colombian producers of high quality coffee rely on arid methods of production.
Colombia’s diverse geography enables it to produce coffee beans throughout the year, providing coffee bean producers with a full assortment of coffee types and regions. Coffee in Colombia is also noted for its production of several types of berries, one of which is the world’s number one coffee berry, the guava. Guava coffee is a fruit that has large and small seeds. It is not technically considered a coffee bean, but rather a seedless plant that produces a light, soft drink that originated from the rainforests of Colombia and Central America.
Coffee is grown in Colombia throughout the Andes mountain range as well as in other high altitude locations such as the Caribbean lowlands and the mountains of Colombia. The coffee that is grown in Colombia is generally arid or semi-arid in nature, because it is naturally adapted to a warmer climate that discourages the growth of trees. In humid areas such as Colombia, however, trees are encouraged to grow, often replacing grass in floodplains and other areas that would otherwise be devoid of them. Along with rain, Colombia also benefits from the presence of man made water, often referred to as hydrocarbon water. Much of this hydrocarbon water is used for irrigation, though it is often captured and recycled for drinking water.
One of the main reasons why coffee production in Colombia has become a popular venture is because of the environmental benefits that have resulted from improvements in land use and climate. The result is that Colombia is one of only a few countries in the Western Hemisphere to enjoy an abundance of rain forest in both the Amazon and the Orang Desert. Coffee plantations in Colombia have contributed to the forest being able to provide food and other products for the millions of people who depend on the forests for their livelihoods. With so much hydroelectric power generated by Colombia’s vast mineral deposits, the impact on the environment has been greatly reduced.
Coffee growing in Colombia is producing other products as well. Coffee derived from arabica beans accounts for about 50% of the coffee produced in the country, so the demand for this mild-flavored bean is immense. It is also grown in other South American countries such as Peru, Argentina, and Bolivia. There is also interest shown in the possibility of bringing coffee growing in Columbia and Mexico to the Amazon Basin. While this idea remains only a dream at this time, it does show that coffee growing in other areas of the world is not considered to be harmful to the environment as is it in Colombia.