Colombian Coffee has long been recognized worldwide for its distinctive taste and impeccable quality. History isn’t clear on when the first coffee reached Colombia. It is often indicated that Jesuit priests brought the seeds for coffee plants with them in the mid 16th century.
Colombian tradition claims that the seeds were brought by a traveler coming from Guyana. This traveler happened to pass through Venezuela before arriving at their final destination in Colombia. The oldest written record of the presence of coffee in Colombia is attributed to a book written by a Jesuit priest in 1730 . The book was titled “The Orinoco Illustrated” which attests to the presence of coffee in a mission near the Orinoco River.
The first Colombian coffee crops were planted in the eastern part of the country. Nowadays it’s grown in both the eastern and central regions of the country. Both areas are said to produce their own distinctive flavors.
Coffee grown in the central region of Colombia is known to be rich in flavor. With a well balanced acidity giving it a heavy, aromatic body. Colombian coffee from the eastern region is grown in the arid mountains. Grown amongst rich volcanic soil, in the shade of banana and rubber trees. It is said to be richer and less acidic than the product produced in the central region. The finest Colombian coffees come straight from this mountainous eastern region.
Colombian Coffee Exports
The first bags of Colombian coffee were exported from Colombia in the year 1835. At that time around 2500 bags were exported to the United States. And it only served to whet the appetite of American coffee lovers. By the end of the 1800’s that number had increased seventy times over. And by the 1930’s over 3 million bags had been exported.
It is estimated that coffee exports represented about 65% of Colombia’s total exports by the year 1920. The export of Colombian coffee to both the United States and Europe peaked around 1992 in the 17 million bags range.
Nowadays, exports of Colombian coffee fall into the range of about 10 million bags a year. Although at present time coffee exports represent only a rough estimate of about 10% of Colombia’s total exports by value, it remains a very important sector of the economy. You’ll find Colombian coffee sold in virtually every cafe, restaurant, grocery store in the United States. Many online stores sell it too!
The creation of the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia in 1927 had a major impact on the dynamic growth of the Colombian coffee industry. There are still over 500,000 coffee growing families in Colombia.
One of the most successful marketing campaigns for Colombian coffee is the fictional character of Juan Valdez. The National Federation of Colombian Coffee Growers gave birth to the poncho clad, friendly, humble, coffee picking character in 1959. The campaign took off and the vision of the fictional Juan Valdez seemed to add an air of charm and romance that continues to survive today. Recent surveys showed that Americans recognize the name of Juan Valdez and immediately associate it with Colombian Coffee.
Popular Colombian Coffee Brands
There are however, other popular brands of Colombian Coffee available such as: Café Sello Rojo, La Bastilla Fuerte, and Aguila Roja. Many coffee lovers consider Colombian coffee to be the finest coffee in the world.
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