If you’re in a bit of a rush and want to know our thoughts, we would recommend Colombia Jo as the best colombian coffee beans.
Colombia produces some of the finest arabica coffee in the world, and is the third largest coffee producer, but what makes Colombian coffee so good? Why does it have the reputation it does for fine coffee? Well, you’re in luck.
Read on to find out why Colombia is a coffee giant, which are the best Colombian coffee beans, and a few tips on how to brew them.
Here are the products we’re going to be reviewing:
- Only Arabica
- What Makes Colombian Coffee So Special?
- The Different Regions and Different Coffee
- The Best Colombian Coffee Beans – The Reviews
- Brewing Tips
Colombia is the only country in the world that produces only arabica coffee. In fact, 12% of all arabica beans come from Colombia. So if you’re buying Colombian coffee beans, you’re buying arabica.
What’s so good about Arabica?
It contains small amounts of micronutrients, like magnesium, potassium and niacin, which are necessary for optimum body function.
And according to a study by Coffee and Health, it can help you stay hydrated due to the high levels of water contained in the beans, around 95% of it is water.
And The Mouth Watering Flavours?
Of course the mouth watering flavours!
But do I really need to tell you that it’s delicious? Probably not as you’re a coffee lover and that is why you’re here in the first place. But, it’s true. Arabica coffee is the most popular around the world for a reason.
The high quality Arabica coffee has slightly sweet flavours, with hints of chocolate, caramel and nuts, depending on how it’s roasted. You might be able to taste some subtle hints of fruit and berries. Its bitterness is normally around the mild mark, but if you like a cold brew, this will help bring out its sweetness, while decreasing the bitterness.
This all depends on the roast you choose. The area and the composition of the soil play a big part in what flavours are present, but we’ll cover that further down.
What Makes Colombian Coffee So Special?
There are a few things that make Colombian coffee so tasty.
Perfect Growing Conditions
Well, the arabica coffea is a bit fussy when it comes to growing conditions. It thrives at altitudes between 1,340m-2130m (4,400-7,000ft) and needs 1,200-2,200mm of rainfall. Temperatures at around 62-75F (12-23C) are ideal too.
This makes Colombia a pretty perfect place for it to grow, as it has exactly those conditions. Secondly, Colombian soil is very rich in volcanic minerals, which is also favourable for the coffea tree, giving the beans a unique flavour.
With arabica widely considered the better bean, and considering Colombia produces 100% arabica, there’s no doubt that they are going to be producing some superb coffee.
With its dramatic landscape, Colombia produces lots of varieties. Typica, Bourbon and Caturra are among a few.
They’ve been growing coffee for 100’s of years and many of the families running the coffee plantations have been at it for that long too.
This means that there isn’t really a ‘typical’ Colombian flavour, however there are a few recurring features and flavours. It’s often mild and well balanced, with floral hints, red berries or apples. A sweetness with subtle chocolate and caramel tones. Yummy!
The Beans Are Hand Picked
With Colombia having such steep, mountainous landscapes, it makes machine harvesting super difficult.
One reason why this makes Colombian coffee the highest quality, is that the pickers can select the best beans and the ones that are ready to be harvested. Unlike a machine which would strip the whole branch, regardless of whether all the beans are ready or not.
The Coffee Belt
Colombia is part of the coffee belt (or the bean belt) which is located between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer, running parallel with the equator.
It crosses through 70 countries that are known for having great coffee growing climates.
The Different Regions and Different Coffee
Each region produces coffee beans that taste different. Here’s why.
The majority of Colombian coffee is produced from the centre, and unsurprisingly this is where the coffee belt crosses. Beans from here are often more herbal and fruity, with a medium acidity.
When looking through Colombian coffee you may notice the initials MAM, which stand for Medellin, Armenia and Manizales. Also known as the Coffee Triangle. These are the regions that produce the premium coffee.
Castillo coffee is very popular, however it’s been under scrutiny for a long time now. It shares a genetic heritage with Robusta coffee beans, which means people within Colombia question its quality and whether it should be grown at all. Regardless, it’s known for its smoothness and beautiful aroma.
Colombia’s finest coffee has a few contestants, one of them being Caturra beans. Characterized for its bright acidity and medium body.
Northern and Southern
Both these regions have lots of high ground.
Many coffee varieties from the northern region have hints of chocolate and nuts. Whereas in the south, they produce many specialty coffees, with caramel and fruity notes.
The northern regions often have less acidity but more body, unlike the south which have low acidity.
Check out this video explaining why Colombian coffee is up there with the best!
The Best Colombian Coffee Beans – The Reviews
- Medium-Dark roast
- Medium Acidity
- Low bitterness
- Extremely smooth
- GMO, chemical and pesticide free
- Great price
Not only does this brand have amazing ethics, but they also produce some incredibly tasty coffee. Being a family run business really shows in the quality of their beans. The texture is smooth and rich, with a full flavour that will leave you feeling more than satisfied.
Java Planet roast their coffee in small batches to ensure consistent fresh coffee beans. Their customers often report a lack of adverse reactions that they often get from drinking non-organic coffee, for example indigestion or acid reflux.
The strength of caffeine in this product isn’t the strongest so if you’re a person that smashes the coffee and needs a few cups to feel the effect don’t expect to get a big caffeine rush off of this.
- Medium roast
- Smooth, but subtle flavour
- Low bitterness
- Heavy body
- Beautiful aroma
- Balanced acidity
Koffee Kult has an incredible aroma upon opening the bag. It’s a medium roast with a heavy and bold body. Flavours of caramel, dark chocolate and walnut, with hints of mild cherry.
Some heavier coffee lovers have reported that the roast is a little light for them, and perhaps has a slightly weak flavour. But of course, don’t let that put you off if you don’t drink a lot of coffee.
They use organically sourced coffee beans, from Colombias Huila region which has high mountain elevations and rich soils, which add to the quality of the beans flavours. If you’re looking for a well rounded gourmet coffee, then this is a pretty good choice to go for.
They’re a brand which looks after their farmers and respects the environment. Importantly, they only support farms that pay women directly and equally. They’re looking for the highest quality coffee in a sustainable and ethical way. You can’t get much better than that.
- Medium-Dark roast
- Pleasant acidity
- Non GMO
- Very smooth cocoa finish
- Good price
What’s great about Cafe Don Pablo is that you get a medium-dark roast, while keeping that acidity low, giving you a best of both worlds. If you want to try a darker roast, but don’t like that bitterness that comes with it, then this is a good start.
They source their beans from small, authentic, family run farms from some of the best regions in Colombia, which reflects in the quality of their beans. They’re rich, with a touch of sweetness, and leave a very clean cup.
Very consistent with the quality of their produce, both beans and packaging. Their bag actually has a zip lock mechanism meaning your beans will be kept as fresh as the day they were opened. They small batch artisan roast their beans for optimum freshness and quality.
- Medium roast
- High in caffeine
- Medium acidity
- Strong flavour
- Unique consistency
This super aromatic and tasty coffee is perfect for people who like their coffee strong both in flavour and caffeine. It has a distinguishing consistency when comparing it to other coffee brands, meaning it will tickle all of your senses.
In every Colombian harvest, there are certain beans called ‘Caracolito’. They are recognised for their noticeably small size compared to the usual beans, which is due to only a single seed inside the berry. Juan Valdez ‘Colina’ coffee is a product of only these exotic berries, giving a unique coffee experience to anyone who tastes it.
Juan Valdez Colina is great for any coffee lover who wants to explore their palette.
- Medium roast
- USDA, Fair Trade and Kosher certified coffee
- Use small family farms
- Great price
- Very little to no bitterness
- Beautiful aroma
- Super smooth
One of my personal favourites, Colombia Jo. There’s a lot to love about this brand, it’s organic, eco friendly and Fair Trade Certified, which shows they support responsible companies, empower farmers and workers, and work to protect the environment. In a world where people vote with their wallets, this is a great company to vote for.
If you enjoy some toasted almond flavours thrown in your morning coffee, complemented with notes of caramel and sugar cane, then you’ve found the right coffee to start your day.
There aren’t a lot of coffee brands that seem to tick all the boxes, but in my opinion, Colombia Jo is pretty close.
Alright, so you have your best Colombian coffee beans, but what to do with them?
Lucky for you, we have a few tips for you to get the most out of your beans.
Espresso coffee is normally a blend of 85%-90% Arabica, and the rest Robusta. However there is nothing at all wrong with using 100% Arabica. The Robusta is thrown in there mainly for the extra caffeine content, not for the flavour.
For the coffee connoisseurs out there, this will fill your home with the beautiful aromas, bring out the acidity and with that an aftertaste. If you’re really wanting to taste your Colombian coffee, I’d go for espresso.
When roasted dark and brewed strong they still don’t have an overly bitter taste, most likely because of the lack of Robusta. This means it can be good for espresso based milk drinks like cappuccinos and macchiatos.
Colombian beans are balanced and smooth with a full body, great for an aeropress style brew. It will bring some amazing flavours out of your beans.
Colombia and coffee go together like cheese and crackers. There are a lot of reasons why they produce some of the best coffee in the world, and therefore it’s hard to pick a winner. The country’s commitment to growing the highest levels of arabica coffee really shows, and has given South America the reputation it has today.
With that being said, the best coffee brand in my opinion is Colombia Jo, it seems to tick a lot of the boxes for when I’m looking to buy coffee.
The medium roasted cuppa ‘Joe’ is not only smooth, low in bitterness and flavourful, but the brand itself is something I’d like to see more of, which is why I’m giving it my top spot.
If you need a coffee maker to brew those delicious beans you’ve just bought, head over to our coffee maker reviews to figure out which one is best for you.
Let us know which one you went for in the comments!