Coffee production looks very different around the world. Columbia started growing coffee long before it became popular. The prehistoric volcanic soil in a climate with both wet and dry seasons cultivates the perfect place for coffee bean growth. Coffee beans can also grow very well at elevations as high as 6,400 feet.
Columbia is a smaller country fitted perfectly for coffee production. The Andes Mountains run in three different cordilleras from south to north. Nearly 2.2 million acres of Columbian ground is used in coffee production.
Coffee production is historically rich in Columbia and therefore a lifestyle. Coffee production started in Columbia in 1790. Jesuit priest, Jose Gumilla, is believed to have brought the first coffee plantation to Columbia.
Beginning in the eastern part of the country, Columbia was exporting coffee from the Cucuta port (near Venezuela) in 1835. Columbia really began to export large amounts of coffee beans in the 19th Century. The United States became the number one consumer of coffee, followed closely by Germany and France.
Coffee production in Columbia is generational, with many family owned farms. Columbians take pride in harvesting coffee beans by hand. It's estimated that 95% of Columbian coffee-growing families operate on small 5-acre plots of land.
Today, the United States remains the number one importer of Columbian coffee, at 35%. Germany receives around 10%.
Columbia's historically pride-filled coffee production is continuing to grow. They are not new to the vastly changing culture of coffee consumption. The history, generational loyalty, and economic foresight will keep Columbia in orbit around the world of coffee.
At Green Dragon Roasters, we take pride in the history of coffee. Feel free to contact us about any questions you may have about our roasting process.