Colombian Coffee Tourism, Brands, and Everything You Need to Know

Updated January 26, 2024

Have a Coffee Brand? This is why Colombian Coffee should be Your White Label Coffee Choice!

Coffee is one of the world’s most loved beverages worldwide, and Colombia is no exception. In cities, towns, and homes across the country, tinto (traditionally served as a small, strong, black coffee) is a staple of everyday life. Sold on street corners and in bakeries in the mornings, sometimes with milk, and in the afternoon black, accompanied by a sweet treat, and sometimes even at night before bed, coffee is nothing short of a national treasure in Colombia. 

After Brazil and Vietnam, Colombia is the world’s third-largest coffee producing country, responsible for cultivating eight percent of the coffee in the world. It also has a long — almost 200-year — history of exporting coffee, some of this of course for white labeling. For years, it was common practice to export the country’s best quality coffee in order to maximize profits and the lower quality beans were reserved for selling at home, but nowadays local coffee businesses are increasingly enjoying success selling high quality coffee beans to Colombian customers. 

Regardless of where you’re based, we recommend you to make Colombian coffee beans your white label coffee of choice. Keep reading to find out our reasons why.

How Many People Visit Coffee Retail in Colombia?

Colombia’s third most-visited tourist destination is its coffee region, a picture-perfect part of the country, home to green, fertile land nestled in the foothills of the western and central ranges of the Andes mountains, and coffee farms famed for growing the largest quantities of coffee in Colombia. The coffee region stretches across the departments of Quindío, Risaralda, Caldas, and Tolima. 

Quindío, home to the famous Parque del Café, receives around one million tourists per year, most of them Colombian, but just under 10% come from abroad. 

But make no mistake, the coffee region is not the only area of Colombia where coffee is grown. Crops can also be found in chilly Cundinamarca, home to the country’s capital city, sunny Santander, home to the world’s second-largest canyon, and in the temperate mountains of Antioquia that Those Coffee People calls home.

Colombian Coffee Brands

Colombia can be credited with growing some of the most famous coffee brands in the world. The character of Juan Valdez, for example, has become a branded symbol of Colombia and its coffee culture worldwide, with almost 450 stores across 14 different countries.  

But if it’s white labeled Colombian coffee you’re after, look no further! Here at Those Coffee People, we’re proud to sell the best direct trade Colombian coffee you’ve ever tasted, all thanks to our extensive network of partner farms across the country. 

If you’re visiting Colombia, we recommend visiting the city of Medellín and checking out the up-and-coming creative district of Perpetuo Socorro, where our roasting house and HQ is located. If you’re looking to pick up a coffee bag, or several, then there are many different local coffee brands to choose from and a plethora of coffee shops across the city to explore. 

Medellín — Colombia’s second-largest city — is also home to the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros (FNC), the national guild of Colombian coffee growers, established in 1927. The FNC promotes coffee production and exportation in Colombia while ensuring the well-being of the country’s more than 500,000 families responsible for growing and harvesting the country’s coffee. 

Thanks to Colombia’s favorable geographic position with access to two different coasts — Atlantic and Pacific — the country is able to export its high-quality arabica beans to countries across the world, meaning coffee trading from Colombia is easy and accessible.

Looking for a Colombian white label coffee supplier? Find out more about our roasting and white labeling services here

Colombian Coffee Beans

Generally speaking, there are two families of high-quality beans that coffee drinkers consume: arabica and robusta. Across those two families, there are more than 120 different, unique varieties of coffee beans.

Colombia exclusively cultivates arabica beans, which make up almost two thirds of the international coffee trade. Famous for their heavenly, rich aroma but subtle, mild taste, Colombia produces millions of kilograms of arabica beans each year. In 2022, for example, the FNC counted 11.1 million 60 kg sacks of coffee, totalling more than 660 million kilograms of Colombian coffee produced.

The coffee industry directly employs more than 700,000 people, representing a quarter of employees across the country’s entire agricultural sector. 

Unlike top coffee-producing countries Brazil and Vietnam, where machinery is used to harvest coffee cherries, mixing unripe, semi ripe, and unripe into the same batch, Colombia famously grows coffee on hillsides where using machinery to harvest crops is extremely complex. For this reason, Colombia is unique in its tendency to hand-pick 100% of all coffee cherries. Not only does this improve the quality of the beans — only the ripest are selected for picking — but it also makes for an overall, sweeter cup of coffee.  . Though this can push production costs up,, the government provides Colombian coffee farmers with millions of dollars in government aid via the FNC, keeping purchase prices affordable.

Coffee Region Colombia

According to the FNC, Colombia is home to 931,746 hectares of coffee-producing land. Blessed with the perfect climate and high-altitude growing conditions for coffee, the country is nothing short of a paradise for coffee farming.

In the coffee region, tourists can wander the colorful streets of the small, coffee-growing towns of Salento and Filandia, sampling and purchasing their favorite roasts. The region’s breathtaking greenery can also be enjoyed on a hike or horseback ride through the famous Valle del Cocora, home to the world’s tallest palm trees.  

Another great activity for coffee enthusiasts is to visit a coffee farm in the region and pick coffee cherries — learning about every stage of the coffee-producing process, from cherry to cup. More on this in the next section. 

Coffee Farm Colombia

One of the best activities in Colombia’s coffee region is to take a tour of a coffee farm in order to learn more about how single origin coffee is produced and meet the farmers behind this labor. Most farms also offer a cupping service so that you can sample the end result!

Colombian coffee farms are somewhat unique in that they are usually run by families who have passed coffee farming leadership down generation by generation, for decades. Mostly found in remote locations that are difficult to access, these fincas usually consist of a family house, with maybe a few annexes or outhouses, and hectares of land for growing coffee beans. 

During their busiest months, coffee pickers rise early to begin harvesting around 4.30am, and continue working hard until the sun goes down, which is usually around 6pm. And that’s before they’ve weighed their day’s harvest and ran the arabica beans through the peeling machine to then be processed — either dried, washed, fermented, or honeyed — and eventually milled.

Colombia is one of the only countries in the world with two distinct coffee harvest seasons: a small harvest between June and July, followed by a bigger one between October and December. This means the country is able to produce small yields of coffee all year round, making Colombian coffee an awesome white label choice for consistency and availability. 

Is Colombian Coffee Strong?

The perfect Colombian cup is made with arabica coffee beans, which are generally milder, sweeter, and smoother in taste than robusta beans, which taste more bitter and a little more earthy. Thanks to Colombia’s perfect high-altitude growing conditions, its arabica coffee beans ooze sweet, chocolatey notes. Fortunately, their mild caffeine profile also means less jitters and caffeine-fueled anxiety after drinking a cup of arabica coffee. Countries which produce robusta like Brazil and Vietnam may also lead to more acid reflux than drinking a coffee made with arabica beans, such as Colombian 100% arabica beans. 

When it comes to coffee flavor though, arabica beans themselves can vary greatly in taste depending on how they are processed. Here at Those Coffee People, we stock different types of coffee beans that vary in their processes: from traditional washed varieties with notes of chocolate, nuts, sugar cane, and citric acidity, to specially-processed fruity and floral exotic varieties, and special fermented varieties with notes of jasmine. 

Wrapping Up 

Regardless of where you go and the varieties of beans you try, in Colombia, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect cup of coffee for any palette. So what are you waiting for? Colombia and its world famous, high quality beans are looking forward to your visit!

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