Today, Julian, owner of the Café de la Fonda, a coffee roaster/café which we usually visit during bike tours, gave an impromptu explanation to a group of Spanish-speaking cyclists about Colombia’s coffee production.
This has been an almost-record year for Colombian coffee, damaged only by torrential rains.
Julian travels regularly to Europe to participate in coffee fairs, where he offers his beans.
Julian explained how the best coffee is often grown at the highest altitudes – above 2,000 meters – altho the plants also grow more slowly at this elevation, reducing production. Colombia has a main and a secondary harvest, but Julian said that he can find coffee to buy somewhere in the cordillera any time of the year. He rides about on his motorcycle bargaining with farmers and arranging deliveries.
Besides altitude, the soil type, weather and the coffee plant’s genetic make-up all influence the coffee’s final taste.