Colombian coffee society and their stories

Those Coffee People

What Defines Specialty Coffee?

Reading time: 7 minutes.

After a global wave of  sudden awareness to specialty coffee ciraca 2017, we would like to address a very important topic, what actually is specialty coffee? It seems in some of the cafe’s we have visited, specialty coffee seems to be perceived as just a specialty preparation rather than a description of the beans themselves. According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s website, “…the term ‘specialty coffee’ was first coined by Erna Knutsen, of Knutsen Coffee Ltd., in a speech to the delegates of an international coffee conference in Montreuil, France. The concept was quite simple: special geographic microclimates produce beans with unique flavor profiles.”

The basic definition of specialty coffee was also supported by the understanding that specialty coffee beans would always be freshly roasted, and properly brewed.” The Specialty Coffee Association of America has created rating system in order to evaluate the quality of flavors in each type of coffee. The way the coffee is tasted is by “cupping” and the evaluation gives each coffee a quality rating on a 100 point scale. By standardizing the cupping, the SCAA intend to prevent the loss of meaning of the term specialty.

Specialty coffee retailers should strive to recognize the uniqueness and specialty of each origin, and the concept of terroir. Terroir, a term made popular by the wine industry, is described in Tanzer, Stephen’s What is Terroir as “the set of all environmental factors that affect a crop’s phenotype, including unique environment contexts, farming practices and a crop’s specific growth habitat.” Specialty coffee has its own terroir from the earth that gives each microlot its unique characteristics. Together, these factors all impact the coffee and give it an original profile.

Microlots, special geographic regions and terroir, special bean varieties, these are the factors that make up specialty coffee. Its not just about preparation, its about the beans themselves.

Here at Those Coffee People we strive to offer our customers an extraordinary coffee buying experience through our grouping systems that differentiate the types of specialty Colombian coffee.

Group 1 (link) offers consumers unique Terroir of the lands of these farms. Each of our group 1 coffees is a single estate or grouping of a few farms from the same town. In this coffee you can experience the unique profiles and attributes that comes from the microclimates, soil composition, and unique harvesting methods of the farms. 

Group 2 (link) coffee offers the same terroir experience of our single estate producers but also a specialty profile beginning to emerge from the distinct processes and procedures implemented at the farms. In Colombia 100% of the coffee is hand picked because the land is so rugged a machine couldn’t possibly function. In group 2 you get an even more elevated experience because the farms all have strict protocols to ONLY pick the ripest beans leading to unique profiles and attributes in the cup. 

Group 3 (link) represents high scoring coffees with unique processes such as extended fermentation, natural, and honey. In Colombia, washed coffee makes up an overwhelming majority of coffee production because the government guarantees they will buy all of the production of every single coffee farmer as long as it is traditional washed process. Therefore having other processes in Colombia is a much higher risk for producers since the government won’t buy the coffee if they can’t find a private buyer. Those Coffee People has discovered and supplies some of the country’s best produced unique process coffee beans. Mango, pineapple, grape, tamarind, cognac and more unique flavors really emerge in this group. 

Group 4 (link) is our highest scoring group on average with coffees from traditional or exotic varieties. The Colombian government, in an attempt to protect the harvests against drought and diseases, created and heavily promoted new varieties of coffee that were very strong and resistant. Unfortunately these beans were more dull in flavor from the traditional varieties like Typica, Bourbon, Caturra, and Tabi. In group 4, we only include these traditional full flavored varieties as well as exotics like sudan rume, geisha, and wush wush. 

Reach out to us for your complimentary consultation of which group is suitable for your needs or take our online quiz to find out the same with the chance to directly order.


How to Establish Direct Trade Partnerships?

Reading time: 3 minutes.

Stability, trust, and exclusivity are some of the main reasons to consider going into a direct trade partnership, but with a myriad of different options available, how does a small or medium roaster choose the right direct trade partnership for them?

Read More


Check out our video recap of our trip to visit one of our amazing producers in Santa Barbara, Antioquia, Colombia!


Reading time: 7 minutes.

In the summer of 2017 Those Coffee People Founders Jennifer and Andres met during a “bucket list” trip to Peru. In the south of the country sits a small desert oasis called Huacachina, a famous little village outside the town of Ica. One chilly morning, Jennifer went out to take breakfast in the boutique hotel she was staying in and found Andres on the  hotel patio enjoying a coffee. The patio was crowded so Jennifer went and took a seat at the open chair next to Andres and conversation quickly started. Standard traveler’s questions like “where are you from?” and “where are you going?” lead them to realize their paths were going to be crossing for the following week as they had the same travel plans from Huacachina to Cusco. Read More

Why Medellin is the Perfect Specialty Coffee Scene

Reading time: 6 minutes.

Medellin is the second largest city in Colombia behind Bogota, located in the state of Antioquia. It has an economy based on agriculture, textiles, energy, and a wave of rapidly growing tourism activities. As you have probably seen on Netflix, thirty years ago Medellin was famously plagued by drug cartels- a cancer that changed the peaceful and beautiful city into one of the most dangerous cities around the world. Today, Medellin is evolving from place troubled by social problems such as FARC, narcos and poverty into an innovation cluster of opportunities that appeal to local and international business alike.

Read More