Climate Change and Coffee Production

As climate change raises temperatures across the globe, production of high-quality Arabica coffee will suffer. Arabica coffee already needs to be grown at higher and higher altitudes in order to avoid leaf rust. As temperatures climb, farmers need to plant more leaf rust resistant coffee strains. Some of these, like Caturra, are high quality Arabica coffee while others like high-caffeine Robusta give you leaf rust resistant coffee with little taste. Climate change and coffee production concerns have brought to mind so-called forgotten coffee plants that grow well in warmer climates like Stenophylla, a West African wild coffee strain which is currently not economically viable due to low yield and small berries.

Loss of Productive Farmland for Growing Coffee

Coffee industry sources predict that by 2050 half of the farmland currently being used to produce high-quality Arabica coffee will no longer be suitable for growing these coffees. First of all, lower altitudes will get hotter and increase the risk of leaf rust infestations. Next, higher temperatures are not the only thing that happens with climate change. Excessive rain and droughts can destroy crops as more heat pumps more energy into the atmosphere. This will make it impossible in some areas to predict whether coffee planted in an area will be able to produce a harvest five to fifteen years later. Thus, we may be drinking drought-resistant coffees, lots of leaf rust resistant Robusta, and, hopefully, newer Arabica varieties that are tolerant of heat and infestations.

Taming Wild Coffee Varieties

Coffee grows wild in Ethiopia and other parts of East and even West Africa. The reason that Arabica and Robusta are the dominant commercial strains is that coffee farmers can make a living by planting these crops and getting a sufficient harvest, at a high enough price to make a business of it. Stenophylla is a wild coffee strain that grows wild in Sierra Leone. It tastes great and is tolerant of heat and leaf rust. Unfortunately for coffee farmers it produces small berries and coffee beans and not very many. As such, Stenophylla is not a commercially viable coffee at this time. This strain of coffee will need to be crossbred just like Arabica was crossbred with a leaf rust resistant strain form Timor to produce the leaf rust resistant strains that saved the Colombian coffee industry. If history is any guide, this will take ten, twenty, or thirty years. If such a project works out, we could be drinking coffee derived from this wild strain that can stand temperatures as much as six degrees Celsius higher than Arabica can tolerate.

Climate Change and Coffee Production - Stenophylla Coffee
Stenophylla Coffee Beans

Where Will Arabica Coffee Grow?

Arabica is the preferred coffee worldwide due to its taste and aroma. It grows in mountainous regions and today accounts for sixty percent of all coffee production. In the Colombian coffee growing region in the Andes, Arabica coffee is already grown at five to seven thousand feet and there is room to grow higher in the mountains should temperatures continue to rise. Lower altitudes like three to five thousand feet will be used for leaf rust resistant strains and probably more Robusta. The use of higher altitudes will give coffee producers a couple of decades grace but eventually either new strains will need to be produced to tolerate increased temperatures or there will simply be less Arabica coffee available at increasingly higher prices.


How Does Drinking Coffee Prevent Type II Diabetes?

We have known for many years that there is a relationship between drinking coffee and a reduction in the incidence of type II diabetes. In general, drinking coffee up to about six cups a day increasingly reduces your likelihood of getting this disease. However, all of the original studies were based on health questionnaires answered by large populations of men and women. There were no prospective studies in which people were assigned to levels of coffee intake and followed for years. And, there were no studies that helped us answer the question, how does drinking coffee prevent type II diabetes. A recent study provides more answers.

How Does Coffee Lower Type 2 Diabetes?

In a March 2021 issue of Nutrients the authors note that prospective epidemiological studies have repeatedly shown a relationship between steady coffee consumption and lower incidences of type 2 diabetes. Because this relationship holds up in studies of young, old, smokers, non-smokers, both sexes, and various regions of the world there appears to be a true cause-effect relationship.

How Does Drinking Coffee Prevent Type II Diabetes

Caffeine and Sugar Levels

Studies have not shown any consistent short term or long term effects on blood sugar levels or on the incidence of type 2 diabetes. In other words, non-coffee caffeine drinks do not have the effect of coffee on reducing the chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

Phytochemicals in Coffee Improve Blood Sugar Regulation

Phytochemicals are the antioxidant-rich constituents found in many nuts, fruits, vegetables, chocolate, and coffee. These chemicals have been shown to reduce oxidative reactions and thus deter various disease processes. Phytochemicals upregulate synthesis of enzymes responsible for cell repair and defense. In the case of phytochemicals in coffee, they preserve beta cell mass by improving function of mitochondria, reducing endoplasmic reticulum stress, and both preventing and disposing of amylin. The authors believe that the consequent long term preservation of beta cell function coupled with maintenance of good liver function is how routine coffee consumption reduces the incidence of type 2 diabetes.

Does Putting Sugar in Your Coffee Make a Difference in Getting Type II Diabetes?

One of the arguments made against drinking coffee with the hope of reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes has been that by adding sugar to your coffee you are negating whatever beneficial effects the coffee may have. The problem with this argument is that none of the population-based reviews considered whether sugar was added or not. Drinking coffee always had the effect of less type 2 diabetes. Secondly, none of the studies show any indication that short term effects of drinking coffee on blood sugar are related to the long term effect of less type 2 diabetes. Rather, the antioxidants in coffee seem to have a preventive and repair effect on both functions of the liver and pancreas (beta cells) which seems to be responsible for the long term benefit of drinking coffee on your likelihood of getting type 2 diabetes.

Do Other Caffeine Drinks Reduce the Incidence of Diabetes?

No, they do not. The benefit of coffee consumption in reducing the incidence of type 2 diabetes comes from the antioxidants in coffee, not the caffeine.

What Coffee Is Best for Preventing Diabetes?

Because the antioxidants in phytochemicals are what seem to help prevent type 2 diabetes, coffee beans with more active phytochemicals ought to be better for you than beans with less. Although antioxidants in coffee last a long time they do not last forever, thus relatively fresh, high quality Arabica coffee should be better for the purpose of preventing diabetes than lower-grade coffee of uncertain age. Your best source for excellent, fresh Arabica coffee is coffee from Colombia. For great Colombian coffee sent directly to you contact us at admin@buyorganiccoffee.org.

How Does Drinking Coffee Prevent Type II Diabetes? – Slideshare Version

How Does Drinking Coffee Prevent Type II Diabetes? – PDF

Colombian Coffee Facts

When you are looking for reliably great Arabica coffee the best choice, bar none, is coffee from Colombia. While there are many places in the world that grow and export great coffee Colombia grows great Arabica coffee across a wider region in the Western Andes than any other growing region in the world. The coffee culture, volcanic soil, and perfect coffee-growing climate all contribute to reliably excellent coffee region after region, farm after farm, bag after bag and cup after cup.

Coffee from Colombia

When you purchase coffee in a store in the USA, Great Britain, anywhere in Europe, Australia, or Japan it is easy check to see that the coffee is from Colombia. Just look for Juan Valdez! Juan Valdez is a fictional character used by the Colombian Coffee Growers’ Federation to guarantee that a bag of coffee is 100% Colombian. By the way, within Colombia Juan Valdez is also a brand of coffee and a string of excellent coffee shops featuring coffees from the various regions of the coffee growing district, the Eje Cafetero.
If you are interested in checking out Colombian coffee shipped directly from Colombia, contact us at Buy Organic Coffee via email, admin@buyorganiccoffee.org.

Organic Coffee from Colombia

The gold standard for organic coffee certification is the US Department of Agriculture. You can get USDA certified coffee from Colombia as well as organic coffee certified by the likes of the Rainforest Alliance and UTZ. UTZ promotes good agricultural practices and environmental protection as well as safe and healthy working conditions plus the abolishment of child labor. In addition they help growers promote their products. Rainforest Alliance Certification is part of a broader sustainable agriculture program that includes coffee, bananas, cocoa, oranges, cut flowers, ferns, and tea. Like UTZ, Rainforest Alliance helps growers promote their products.

Not All Organic Coffee from Colombia is Certified

A practical issue for Colombian coffee farmers is the cost of becoming certified and maintaining certification as an organic coffee producer. The coffee farmer pays to have someone come in and verify that they do not use chemicals, have measures to separate organic from non-organic coffee, and follow all of the sustainable agricultural practices that go with organic coffee farming. If they cannot get a higher price for their product by being certified many coffee farmers forego certification even though they follow all of the right steps. At Buy Organic Coffee we deal with many coffee farmers who are organic in everything but name.

Where Is Coffee Grown in Colombia?

Although coffee is grown in every part of Colombia the vast majority of coffee production comes from the departments of Caldas, Antioquia, Risaralda, Tolima, and Huila. These jurisdictions are all in the Western Andes ranging from 3,000 feet to 8,000 (or higher) in altitude. The region is bounded on the East by a string of more than two dozen volcanos of which about half are currently active.

Colombian Coffee Facts - Northern Part of Volcanic Front

Northern Part of Colombian Volcanic Front

Number 19 on the map is Nevado del Ruiz, 15,500 feet and still active. The peak is visible from Manizales.

Fresh Coffee from Colombia Nevado del Ruiz

Nevado del Ruiz Volcano Visible from Downtown Manizales, Colombia

Because coffee does best between three and seven thousand feet in the topics in regions with lots of rain and lots of cloud cover the departments of Caldas, Antioquia, Risaralda, Quindio, Tolima, Huila, and the Eastern elevations of the Valle de Cauca Colombia

Colombian Coffee Facts – PDF

Colombian Coffee Facts – Slideshare Version

Colombian Organic Coffee Brands

Colombian coffee is widely acclaimed to some of the best coffee in the world. But what about Colombian organic coffee brands and Colombian coffee brands for standard Colombian Arabica coffee? Any coffee grown in Colombia qualifies for Juan Valdez designation, meaning that the Colombian Coffee Growers Association certifies it as 100% Colombian. Coffee from Colombia is good and healthy organic coffee from Colombia is excellent. Think of some of the best organic coffee in the world and think of Juan Valdez, certified and Colombian, organic coffee from the Colombian Cafetero.

Juan Valdez Colombian Coffee

The Juan Valdez trade name came from the Colombian Coffee Growers Association more than half a century ago. It is meant to give the buyer assurance that the coffee they purchase is 100% Colombian. Although there is a popular Juan Valdez coffee house chain in Colombia the name Juan Valdez is simply meant to guarantee 100% Colombian content. Within Colombia Juan Valdez only has to do with the coffee house chain as regular Arabica and organic coffee in Colombia is grown in Colombia.

Colombian Organic Coffee Brands and Retail Prices in Colombia
Brand

Retail/Pesos

Retail Quantity

Retail in Dollars

Café Quindio Organico

24,300

340 grams

$6.75

Juan Valdez Gourmet Selection

20,300

282 grams

$5.64

Mesa de Los Santos

40,000

454 grams

$11.11

Oma Export Coffee Organic

20,100

250 grams

$5.58

This table lists Colombian organic coffee brands available in the Colombian Cafetero. Prices are retail in Colombian Pesos and the US dollar equivalents are based on the late 2021 exchange rate of around 3,600 Colombian Pesos to the US dollar. Purchasing Juan Valdez organic coffee, that is to say Colombian organic coffee brands, is easy in Colombia and is easy if it has been exported from Colombia. However, getting Colombian organic coffee brands sent from Colombia can be difficult unless you have help from someone who is already in Colombia.

Obtaining Colombian Organic Coffee Brands from Colombia

Two things have made it easier to get coffee from Colombia. The more-than-half-century civil war is largely over. And three years ago the government made it easier for small producers to export their coffee. In our recent article about getting fresh coffee from Colombia we offered to send local coffee brands purchased retail in Colombia to the USA via normal mail. The limit is 2 kg before you need an export license to do this.

If you are visiting Colombia and want to bring coffee back with you, that is still possible. Thus, if you are going to fly out of Manizales, Pereira, Medellin, Cali, or Bogotá expect to have your bags searched for drugs as a large drug-sniffing police dog sits by. The officer will pin prick any bags of coffee that you are carrying and test with a mechanical “sniffer” if not the large pooch at his side. If you decide that you would like to forego this experience and mail your coffee back home you will have to abide by the 2 kg per shipment rule.

Many Colombian Organic Coffee Brands are grown in the shadow of the tallest volcano in Colombia.

Nevado del Huila – Tallest Volcano in Colombia

Colombian Organic Coffee Brands – PDF

Colombian Organic Coffee Brands – Slideshare Version

Gene Café CBR 1200

I love freshly roasted coffee and decided to give home roasting a try. To save money I went the popcorn popper route. My results were not especially good (as in really bad). But the clincher was when the coffee caught fire in the popper. So, I decided to get a real home coffee roaster with a decent capacity. I ended up looking at the new Gene Café CBR 1200. Here is what I found out.

What You Should Consider before Buying the Gene Café CBR 1200

When you first roast coffee at home it can be fun, even if the Arabica coffee directly from Colombia does not turn out that well. But, the newness of coffee roasting will wear off. And then you will want to have a roaster that is easy to operate, simple to maintain, and one that does a great job roasting coffee.

Home coffee roasters are for home use. Sounds a little simple but the point is that you are probably not a coffee house employee. You do not have experience roasting coffee every work day for years. You need a home coffee roaster that you as a novice can use to make good roasted coffee!

Home coffee roasters use a fair amount of electricity and, like the Gene Café CBR 1200, many require a 220 volt electric outlet. So, you may need to call the electrician before you can plug in your new coffee roaster!

You can roast a batch of coffee with the new Gene Café roaster in half an hour. Then add time for the beans to cool. This roaster is easy to operate but you do have to periodically clean and maintain it or there will be problems like smoke and fire! You may end up paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for a home coffee roaster. Make sure that your love of freshly roasted coffee is such that you are willing to take the time to do the roasting.

The Gene Cafe CBR 1200 small batch coffee roaster provides an even and reliable roast with automatic roasting.

Gene Cafe CBR 1200

Gene Café CBR 1200

The Gene Cafe CBR 1200/1 kg is a great small batch coffee roaster for either home or commercial use. Gene Cafe has been making a smaller model for several years. The increase in roast size up to a kilogram makes this coffee roaster a better choice for small volume commercial use than its older brother.

The CBR 1200 uses an innovative off-axis rotation method combined with hot forced air heating. It will very evenly roast up to two pounds of green coffee beans in half an hour. A hopper is used for adding green coffee beans to the preheated roasting chamber. And roasted coffee beans are automatically released into a cooling chamber beneath the roaster. This model also has a manual override feature.

I really like the clear Pyrex roasting chamber which lets me see the coffee as it roasts. And I like its quiet operation. This makes it easier to hear the first crack and when I want a darker roast, the second crack. It has an easy to empty and easy to clean chaff collector as well.

Pros

  • Off axis rotation of roasting chamber for very even roasting
  • Pyrex roasting chamber for easy viewing of coffee while it roasts
  • Automatic roasting once time and temperature are set
  • Automatic release of roasted coffee to cooling chamber

Cons

  • Chaff collector needs to be routinely emptied or starts to emit smoke
  • English instructions poorly written by Korean manufacturer
  • Must be placed close to an outside wall in order to vent excess heat

Features & Benefits

I think that this coffee roaster is nicely designed for use both by a pro and by a beginner. Like with any new appliance, you should read the directions. And you should consider the first couple of roasting sessions to be practice runs. Here are my thoughts on the various features of the CBR 1200.

Feeding Beans from the Hopper to the Roasting Chamber

This roaster has a hopper for feeding green coffee beans into the pre-heated roasting chamber. To me it seemed a little complicated at first but it is a nice feature.

  • After pre-heating the roasting chamber, open the safety cover and rotate the hopper down over opening.
  • Then you need to press the red control knob until you see the word “insert.”
  • Set the time and roasting temperature.
  • Then press the red knob like you would a button until you see the word “insert.”
  • Now is when you rotate the little switch to the right in order to insert the beans.

The Gene Cafe CBR 1200 has a hopper for feeding beans into the roasting chamber. Turn the lever to the right to feed the beans.

Gene Cafe CBR 1200 Hopper and Hopper Lever

Finally, lift up the hopper and rotate in back in place over the roaster housing. Close the safety cover. With the time and temperature set, press the red button again until you hear a beep and roasting starts.

Once you have done this a time or two it will be easy even though at first there seem to be a lot of steps!

Pyrex Heating Chamber

The heat resistant Pyrex glass for the heating chamber is a useful feature. You get to see the beans roasting, which is always fun. But, more to the point, seeing the process helps you get the exact roast that you want. I like it.

Remember that this chamber gets very hot. Always have oven mitts available when you touch or handle the roasting chamber.

Three Dimensional Off Axis Mixing

There is nothing you have to do about this innovative feature. It is just how the roaster chamber rotates and tilts to constantly mix the beans to guarantee an even roast every time.

Automatic and Manual for both Roasting and Cooling

For a person who is new to the world of home roasting, the automatic features of the Gene Café CBR 1200 are a good idea. The roaster can be completely automatic or you can override either roasting or cooling or both. What I think works the best is to learn the settings you need for the roast that you want. Then only override when you think there is a problem. But, if you are totally new to the world of home roasting, automatic will give you a decent roast as your learn the ropes.

When you find exactly the right time and temperature for the roast you want, you simply repeat the process. The CBR 1200 remembers the time and temperature of the last roast. A better idea is to write down the times and temperatures you have used for various roasts.

Chaff Collector

The roaster removes chaff as it roasts but the chaff can accumulate in the collector and start to smoke or even catch fire. Empty and clean the chaff collector every five batches. This is not a big deal but could become a problem if you neglect it! There is a reason that the safety instructions that come with the roaster state that you should have a fire extinguisher available next to the roaster!

Cyclone Duct

Coffee roasters generate a lot of heat and this one is no different. If you are set up in a small space you will need to exhaust the hot air using the cyclone duct. Unfortunately the cyclone duct is rather short. You should not add an extension because chaff will build up in a long duct. So, you need to put this roaster right next to an outside wall to vent the heat.

The Cyclone Duct carries heat and smoke away from the Gene Cafe CBR 1200 Coffee Roaster

Gene Cafe CBR 1200 Cyclone Duct

For me this is a real downside for a home coffee roaster. Making holes in the walls of your home to exhaust the heat seems a little excessive.

The other issue in this regard is the power supply.

Korean power outlets are 220 volts and that is what the CBR 1200 needs. Having to call the electrician to rewire your kitchen is another strike against this roaster.

What Others Are Saying about the CBR 1200

The thing we see repeated in the coffee forums is that people are shocked at the price of the Gene Café CBR 1200 and give it big “thumbs down.”

From Dave in Great Britain:

There is something that just doesn’t add up. A 1kg machine costs 4,000 pounds?
The same machine but a smaller version that roasts 250-300 grams or 1/4 kg, cost 329 pounds. So buying four of these machines for 1300 pounds will give you a 1kg yield and you’re still ahead of about 2700 quid.
Does the Gene Cafe company take people for idiots?

Bean & Gone says:

I’ve been looking for a bigger roaster and liked the look of this as I already have a gene café, but the prices that I have been given as an estimate are just short of £4000. Not sure how accurate that is but it’s the same or similar to the toper cafemino 1Kg roaster.

So, What Are Some Alternatives to the Gene Café CBR 1200

This is a decent coffee roaster. It may be a bit much for home use but certainly would function well in a small coffee shop. But, this coffee roaster costs nearly $6,000 plus tax!
What other roasters can you get for that price? And, more to the point, what similar roasters are out there for a better price?

BEHMOR 1600 Plus: $369

This is a standard drum roaster as opposed to the off axis setup with the CBR 1200. It can roast up to a pound per batch which is half the CBR 1200 capacity. It is similar to the CBR 1200 in that it features pre-programmed roast profiles or can be totally manual. It has technology to suppress smoke without the need to vent to the outside. Unlike the CBR 1200 this is strictly a home coffee roaster without much use in a commercial setting.

But, the biggest difference is that the Behmor 1600 Plus is substantially easier on the pocketbook at $369 versus $6,000.

  • Roasting Capacity: CRB 1200-2 pounds, Behmor 1600 Plus-1 pound
  • Programmable or Manual Operation: Both roasters can go either way
  • Dealing with Smoke: CBR 1200 needs to vent through an outside wall, Behmor 1600 Plus has internal smoke suppression technology
  • Home Versus Commercial Use: CBR 1200-both home and commercial, Behmor 1600 Plus-strictly a home coffee roaster
  • Price: Huge difference with CRB 1200=$6,000 and Behmor 1600 Plus=$369

Take a look here if you are interested in checking out the Behmor 1600 Plus.

QUEST M3: $1,400

This coffee roaster is a miniature of a standard coffee shop roaster. It is meant for sample roasting with a maximum roast capacity of 200 grams (0.44 pound) as opposed to two pounds for the Gene Café CBR 1200. Unlike the CBR 1200, it is a completely manual machine with no advanced electronics and no programmed settings. And, unlike the CBR 1200, if you are going to roast several batches you leave it turned on as repeatedly heating up and cooling off is hard on the roaster. The Quest M3 is more suited for a professional than for someone who wants to start roasting at home. But, it costs about $4,600 less than the CBR 1200.

  • Roasting Capacity: CRB 1200-2 pounds, Quest M3-0.4 pound
  • Programmable or Manual Operation: CBR 1200 is both while Quest M3 is manual only
  • Chaff Collector: Both roasters have one and both need to routinely cleaned to prevent a fire
  • Home Versus Commercial Use: CBR 1200-both home and commercial, Quest M3-roast size is suitable for home use or for sample roasts in a commercial setting
  • Price: Big price difference with CRB 1200=$6,000 and Quest M3=$1,400

If you want to check out the Quest M3, take a look at it on the Coffee Shrub website.

HOTTOP KN-8828B DIGITAL DRUM ROASTER: $1,100

This roaster is similar to the Gene Café CBR 1200 in that it is computer controlled so you can set up and repeat favorite roasting profiles. Its capacity is smaller than the CBR 1200 as it will roast at most 2/3 pound at a time. It also has a built-in smoke suppression system unlike the CBR 1200 which needs to vent to the outside or be located in a very open space.  And, like the CBR 1200, the HOTTOP has a window so you can watch your coffee as it roasts. If price is the main issue, this roaster sells for $4,900 less than the CBR 1200.

  • Roasting Capacity: CRB 1200-2 pounds, HOTTOP KN-8828B DIGITAL-2/3 pound
  • Programmable or Manual Operation: Both roasters function both ways
  • Smoke Suppression: The HOTTOP KN-8828B DIGITAL has an internal smoke suppression system and the CBR 1200 does not
  • Home Versus Commercial Use: CBR 1200-both home and commercial, HOTTOP KN-8828B DIGITAL is a home roaster
  • Price: Substantial difference with CRB 1200=$6,000 and HOTTOP KN-8828B DIGITAL =$1,100

Take a look at the HOTTOP KN-8828B DIGITAL on Roastmasters.com.

For Small Commercial Roasting

If you are considering the Gene Café CRB 1200 for commercial use, consider also the Artisan 3-e. This commercial coffee roaster has a 3 pound maximum roast size compared to 2 pounds for the CBR. It is a fluid bed coffee roaster unlike the off axis drum roaster in a CBR 1200. Like the Gene Café CBR 1200 it has an attachment for exhausting heat and smoke. But, you need to buy your exhaust blower separately for the Artisan 3-e. And, the Artisan 3-e is much less expensive than the CBR 1200 at $3,300 versus $6,000.

  • Roasting Capacity: CRB 1200-2 pounds, Artisan 3-e=3 pounds
  • Roasting technology: CBR 1200-off axis rotating Pyrex chamber, Artisan 3-e fluid bed roaster
  • Exhausting heat and smoke: Both roasters require that you exhaust to an outside wall but with the Artisan 3-e you need to buy your blower separately
  • Home Versus Commercial Use: CBR 1200-both home and commercial, Artisan 3-e is a high capacity commercial roaster capable of roasting 18 pounds an hour
  • Price: Big difference with CRB 1200=$6,000 and Artisan 3-e =$3,350

If you would like to know more about this roaster, take a look at it on the Coffee Crafters website.

Conclusion

If you want to roast coffee at home and would like an automated system, the Gene Café CBR 1200 can do the job. It is relatively easy to set up, use and maintain. And, with the automatic settings you can set up profiles to reliably get the roast you like every time. This roaster needs to go in a large open area or be vented to the outside. And, it requires a 220 volt outlet.

The big drawback to this coffee roaster is the price. You can get a roaster with comparable features for thousands of dollars less.

Nevertheless, if you would like to learn more, visit the Gene Café website for more  for more information.

Gene Cafe CBR 1200 – Slideshare Version

Gene Café CBR 1200 – PDF

Single Origin Coffee from Colombia

Colombia is the world’s largest producer and exporter of high-quality Arabica coffee in the world. Coffee from Colombia finds its way into virtually every country. But, what if you are interested in single origin coffee from Colombia? There are growers throughout the departments of Caldas, Tolima, Risaralda, Quindío, and Huila who grow specific coffee varieties. These unique high-quality coffees are sometimes certified as organic coffee and almost all of them are organic in fact even when not certified. If you need single origin coffee from Colombia, contact Buy Organic Coffee by sending an email to admin@buyorganiccoffee.org.

What Is Single Origin Coffee?

Single origin means that all of the coffee beans that went into your cup of coffee came from the same place. Sometimes “single origin” means it all came from the same country or region within a country. If you buy coffee with Juan Valdez on the label it is 100% Colombian coffee and is “single origin” from Colombia. And, you can buy coffee from Tolima, Huila, or the historic heart of the Colombian coffee-growing region, Caldas.

By narrowing down the region you are more likely find to coffee that is all grown in a similar climate, type of soil, and with similar coffee-growing methods. The gold standard for single origin coffee is coffee that is all from the same coffee farm or, from the same local coffee cooperative that services a small sub-region.

Many times the coffee farms that provide single origin coffee can only provide a ton or two of their excellent coffee but the coop can help multiply that supply by providing coffee from several farms with similar growing conditions and the same coffee varieties. For example, the pink bourbon coffee that we supply comes from Huila which is the only region in Colombia where this variety can be found in any quantity.

Finding Single Origin Coffee

There are two issues when you want to find single origin coffee. One is that not all coffee farmers can provide unique coffee varieties. Much of the coffee in Colombia, for example, is a mix of Arabica varieties and comes to the standard of “usual good quality” or UGQ. It is probably excelso which means a larger bean size and higher, export quality. You may need to go to the region in question to talk to the local coffee cooperatives or individual coffee farmers to find out what varieties they grow and how carefully they preserve their unique coffee varieties.

What Is Pink Bourbon Coffee - Nevado del Huila
Nevado del Huila – Tallest Volcano in Colombia

And, in many regions of the tropics around the globe finding great single source coffee involves going to the individual countries and trekking throughout the mountains to find coffee farmers. In our case, Buy Organic Coffee has a presence in Manizales, Colombia and the closest coffee cooperatives are in the city and within twenty to thirty miles of our shop. We also know coffee growers and processors throughout the coffee growing region of Colombia and routinely deal with growers as far away as the southern reaches of the Department of Huila in the shade of the tallest volcano in Colombia, Nevado del Huila (17,500 feet) as opposed to Caldas where the tallest, still-active volcano, Nevado del Ruiz, is only 15,500 feet tall.

Single Origin Coffee from Colombia - Nevado del Ruiz
Nevado del Ruiz – Tallest Volcano if Department of Caldas, Colombia

Why Is the Origin of Coffee Important?

Bean origin matters. The type of soil (usually volcanic), climate (high mountain, lots of rain and overcast), production and process methods handed down through families for generations, and the unique varieties all give you unique flavor, aroma, and aftertaste. If you are interested in true artisanal coffee and especially wholesale artisanal coffee from Colombia, contact us at Buy Organic Coffee by sending an email to admin@buyorganiccoffee.org. As we commonly mention, there are lots of great coffees in the world. The advantage of coffee from Colombia is that you get a lot more great Arabica coffee from this region than from anywhere else. And, if you are interested in single origin coffee, we can find a source for you right from the historic heart of the Colombian coffee growing region, Caldas, or from anywhere else in the coffee growing axis (Eje Cafetero).

Pink Bourbon Coffee Finca La Paula
Pink Bourbon Coffee, Finca La Paula, Huila, Colombia

Single Origin Coffee from Colombia – PDF

Coffee Varieties Grown in Colombia

When coffee growers in Colombia sell their coffee harvest, the price is based on the New York commodity price, the USD to COP exchange rate, and a premium for coffee grown in Colombia. Colombia is the world’s biggest producer of Arabica coffee. Virtually no Robusta is grown in Colombia! The soil, weather conditions, coffee-growing culture, and excellent coffee varieties grown in Colombia all contribute to Colombia producing the largest amounts of the finest coffee in the world.

Coffee Varietals

The taste, aroma, and overall quality of coffee varies from country to country, climate to climate, region to region and coffee farm to coffee farm. Local conditions are important when it comes to coffee quality and so are the coffee varieties that the coffee farmer plants and nurtures. The coffee varieties grown in Colombia are all Arabica, ranging from old, pure, Arabica strains typically grown at the higher altitudes like 6,000 to 8,000 feet and leaf rust-resistant strains that do better at lower altitudes like 3,000 to 4,000 feet.

Coffee Varieties Grown in Colombia

Typica

Typica is the old variety from which most modern varieties were derived. Typica dates back to when coffee was taken from Ethiopia and Yemen to plant throughout the world. Typica is a taller coffee plant that produces beans of excellent quality but a lower-than-average harvest volume.

Bourbon

Bourbon is the other old coffee variety, named for the island in the Indian Ocean where Dutch traders first planted it. Bourbon produces about a fourth more yield than Typica and also has an excellent, sweet, fruity, slightly acidic taste profile. As this variety spread across the world, mutations resulted in three standard sub-varieties, red, yellow, and orange Bourbon. We have written about a cross-bred sub variety, Pink Bourbon, which is a cross between yellow and red Bourbon. Pink Bourbon gives the farmer more coffee per plant and greater resistance to leaf rust.

Caturra

Caturra is a “transplant” that occurred by natural mutation from Red Bourbon around the town of Caturra, Brazil. It is significantly more resistant to leaf rust, a shorter plant with higher yield, commonly planted in lower altitude coffee farms (2,000 feet to 5,000 feet). This coffee has a medium to low body, slight acidity, and with less sweetness than Bourbon. Because of the issues that Colombia had with leaf rust a decade ago, much of the “lower” coffee growing regions were replanted with Caturra. The same is true in Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Caturra and Typica Coffee Plants Side by Side
Caturra and Typica Coffee Plants Side by Side

Castillo

Castillo was developed by Cenicafe which is the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation research arm in 2005. Because of leaf rust issues, Cenicafe used a Timor hybrid (leaf rust resistant) and Caturra (somewhat resistant to leaf rust) to produce Castillo. They crossed male Caturra with the female Timor hybrid. This new variety has a high yield, can be grown at both higher and lower altitudes and produces an excellent cup of coffee. Castillo Tambo is a sub variety of Castillo developed by Cenicafe specifically for the departments of Cauca, Nariño, Tolima, Huila, and the Cauca River Valley. Castillo has a citric acidity, is smooth, and has a pleasing aroma.

Colombia

This variety is, like Castillo, a cross between a Timor hybrid and Caturra. It was responsible for helping save Colombia’s coffee industry in the 1980s.Besides being leaf rust resistant, Colombia has a high yield and is a first choice for many small coffee farms. Colombia is full-bodied, sweet, and bright with hints of chocolate and cherry. It was also used as a base for sub varieties of Tabi and Castillo.

Tabi

Tabi is the newest variety to be released by Cenicafe. They crossed Typica, Bourbon, and a Timor hybrid to get a coffee that is typically planted in the higher altitudes like in Caldas, Tolima, and Huila. It produces a tall plant with long branches with larger fruit and coffee beans. Tabi is both leaf rust resistant and an excellent coffee. The name comes from the word for good in the Guambiano dilect (an indigenous tribe in Colombia).

At Buy Organic Coffee we are pleased to be able to provide access to any and all Colombian coffee varieties, both in bulk and artisanal coffees from small, local producers and coffee farms. Contact us at admin@buyorganiccoffee.org for more information.

Coffee Varieties Grown in Colombia – PDF

Wholesale Artisanal Coffee from Colombia

Colombia is the largest producer and exporter of high-quality Arabica coffee in the world. Wholesale coffee from Colombia finds its way into virtually every country. But, what if you are interested in single origin, wholesale artisanal coffee from Colombia? There are individual growers on individual coffee farms in the departments of Caldas, Risaralda, Tolima, Huila, and Quindío who grow specific coffee varieties. These coffees are of extremely high quality, some are certified as organic coffee, and most are organic in everything but name.

What Is Artisanal Coffee?

Single origin coffee beans are what make artisanal coffee unique. Coffee growers limit their production to specific, high-quality coffee varieties. When you drink wholesale artisanal coffee produced on one of these farms, you will enjoy coffee grown in specific soil conditions and at a specific altitude range. Artisanal coffee growers specialize in unique coffee varieties and follow sustainable agricultural practices. They may or may not have bothered to have someone like Bio Latina certify their crops for USDA certification. When you first brew an artisanal coffee, go with a light roast. Do not add milk, cream, or sugar. Taste the black coffee and you will be able to enjoy distinctive flavor profiles that come from specific growing conditions and unique coffee varieties.

Pink Bourbon Coffee Finca La Paula
Pink Bourbon Coffee – Finca La Paula – Huila, Colombia

Wholesale Artisanal Coffee from Colombia – Buy Organic Coffee

At Buy Organic Coffee, from our location in Manizales, Colombia, we deal directly with individual coffee farmers and small processors to give you access to wholesale artisanal coffee from Colombia. Artisanal coffee commands a higher price than UGQ (usual good quality) Colombian Arabica coffee. This is understandable as the growers frequently sacrifice production volume in order to obtain maximum quality. And, because artisanal coffee is relatively rare, it naturally commands a higher price. However, most of the price markup that a coffee shop in the USA will pay comes from “middlemen” along the supply chain.

Fresh Coffee from Colombia

Another issue with getting artisanal coffee is that your supplier might be buying the coffee, warehousing it, and selling when it gets the best price. Unfortunately, the quality of your artisanal coffee will suffer the longer it is stored. At Buy Organic Coffee we work directly with coffee growers, local processors, and buyers across the globe. We will shorten your supply chain for getting any fresh coffee from Colombia and especially artisanal coffee from this region. When you source your artisanal coffee from Colombia through Buy Organic Coffee you get a better price, guaranteed quality, and personalized service.

How to Roast Artisanal Coffee

Whether you roast your own coffee at home or roast commercially for your coffee shop, use a light roast for artisanal coffee. This will preserve the distinct flavors and aroma that are unique to the altitude, soil conditions, amount of rainfall, and specific coffee variety. Artisanal coffee beans bring you the flavors and characteristics of the soil in which your coffee was grown and these can be lost in a caramelized dark roast.

Contact Buy Organic Coffee in Manizales by sending an email to admin@buyorganiccoffee.org.

Wholesale Artisanal Coffee from Colombia – Slideshare Version

Wholesale Artisanal Coffee from Colombia – PDF

Coffee from Colombia

If you are looking for Arabica coffee, high quality coffee, and lots of it, look for coffee from Colombia. Colombia is the third largest coffee producer and exporter in the world behind Vietnam and Brazil. However, Colombia grows and exports only Arabica coffee and not Robusta. Colombia ranks number one in production and export of the highest-quality Arabica coffee. If, before reading further, you would like to purchase coffee directly from Colombia, send us an email at admin@buyorganiccoffee.org. Buy Organic Coffee works with local producers and processors in the Manizales, Colombia region which is the heart of the Colombian coffee-growing district.

Colombian Coffee History

Coffee growing in Colombia goes back to Spanish Colonial times. A Jesuit priest, José Gumilla first wrote about coffee growing in Colombia in the 1730s. The first record of commercial production was in 1808. The current coffee growing region was only settled in the middle of the 19th century with the founding of Manizales in the department of Caldas. Today the greatest production of Arabica coffee in Colombia takes place in the Western mountains (Andes) of Colombia ranging from Caldas North to the Southern part of Antioquia, West and South to Risaralda, Quindío, and Tolima, and then farther South to high mountains of Huila where Buy Organic Coffee sources its high-quality Pink Bourbon coffee. The historic center of Arabica coffee production is Manizales and is where we, Buy Organic Coffee, your source for ordering coffee from Colombia are located. (Order by emailing us at admin@buyorganiccoffee.org.)

Coffee from Colombia - Colombian Departments

Coffee from Colombia – Colombian Departments

How Do You Get Fresh Coffee from Colombia?

Colombia exports the most Arabica coffee of any country in the world. Thus, you can find Colombian coffee everywhere. However, when millions of tons of coffee are exported they go to warehouses where the coffee sits until it is sold to roasters as part of the supply chain that brings coffee to your favorite coffee shop or to your grocery store. If you see the name Juan Valdez on the label that means your coffee is 100% from Colombia. Juan is a fictional character dreamt up decades ago to promote coffee from Colombia and is well-known along with his burro that is carrying large sacks of coffee. The problem with getting fresh coffee is that after your coffee from Colombia goes down the hill with Juan from the coffee farm and is processed at the local “trilladora” to remove the husk, it may sit for a long time before it is processed during which time it will lose freshness.
Contact Buy Organic Coffee by emailing us at admin@buyorganiccoffee.org to get coffee directly from Colombia that was not sitting for years in a warehouse. Contact us for coffee that is, at the longest, from the most recent harvest (twice a year in Colombia).

If you are visiting Manizales or anywhere in Colombia, you can purchase high-quality Arabica coffee in a grocery store. The easiest way to get organic coffee is to visit a Juan Valdez coffee shop and purchase a bag or two. You can take the coffee back home with you in your suitcase but don’t be surprised when the authorities at the airport in Bogota pin prick your bags of coffee and pass them in front of a mechanical drug sniffer or a drug-sniffing dog. (You don’t want the dog to sit down which is what it does when it recognizes cocaine or marijuana!)

If you would like us to send you a four-pack of grocery store coffee from Colombia by mail, send us an email to admin@buyorganiccoffee.org.

Coffee Direct from Colombia

Our price for this sample pack is $30 for the coffee and $30 for mailing to anywhere in the USA.

Coffee from Colombia – Slideshare Version

Coffee from Colombia – PDF

How to Buy Great Fresh Coffee

Learn how to buy great fresh coffee and every morning cup of Java will be a delight. To get the best and freshest coffee you need to pay attention to several things, starting with the coffee bean. Coffee is fresh when it is first harvested and processed. Green coffee beans that are properly stored (cool and dry) retain their freshness for up to three years. By comparison, roasted coffee beans retain their freshness for up to six months. In each case, the sooner after harvest (and roasting) that you purchase your coffee, the fresher it will be. Average coffee that is fresh is better than so-called gourmet coffee that sat on the shelf for months or years!

Avoid Old Warehoused Coffee

Almost a decade ago we wrote about how the government in Brazil was paying farmers to store their green coffee beans instead of flooding the market. Coffee prices were down and holding back coffee production from the market helped support prices. That was in 2012. A follow-up note is that coffee prices went up a few years later and coffee farmers in Brazil started to sell their stored coffee. Unfortunately, coffee that is six or eight years old has pretty much lost its flavor and any antioxidants of value. The same problem arises when you purchase coffee in the USA, Europe, Japan, or any other coffee-drinking region where they are not coffee producers as well. You typically do not know how long your coffee sat in the warehouse before roasting and how long it has been in the bag after roasting.

Fresh Coffee from the Source

Your best way to guarantee the freshness of your coffee is to buy it from as close to the source as possible. At Buy Organic Coffee we offer fresh coffee from Colombia. Because we work with local coffee farmers and small processors, we can provide you with fresh coffee beans, green or roasted, that are from the most recent harvest. Because Colombia harvests coffee every six months, our coffee from the source may be just off the mountain or at least within six months of harvest.

How to Buy Great Fresh Coffee - Pink Bourbon Coffee Finca La Paula

How to Buy Great Coffee (and not break the bank)

There are lots of great coffees in the world. And, there are lots of heavily-advertised coffees. Kona coffee from Hawaii, Blue Mountain coffee from Jamaica, and Juan Valdez coffee from Colombia are all great coffees. Blue Mountain sells for $36 for a 16-ounce bag and Royal Kona sells for as much as $90 for a 16-ounce bag. Both of these prices are before shipping. By comparison, we provide Pink Bourbon coffee from Finca La Paula in the department of Huila in Colombia for $12 for each 500 mg (16-ounce) bag. Our guarantee is that your coffee will have been harvested no more than six months before your purchase and very commonly will have been harvested within the month.

Why Buy Great Fresh Coffee from Colombia

There are lots of great coffees in the world. The best coffees are all Arabica varieties. Unfortunately, many places that grow good coffee do not grow much of it. The place in the world where they grow the most Arabica coffee is in the mountains of Colombia. Colombian coffee history goes back more than two centuries. Not only does coffee grow in rich volcanic soil with plenty of rainfall in Colombia but the coffee-growing culture goes back generations. An excellent example is Pink Bourbon coffee which is a hybrid of red and yellow bourbon. This carefully crossbred coffee is more resistant to coffee leaf rust and has spicy-jasmine notes with a hint of caramel. Because there is so much great coffee produced in Colombia, prices for artisanal coffees are very reasonable and standard coffees are cheap compared to equally good but heavily–advertised coffees from elsewhere in the coffee belt.

How to Buy Great Fresh Coffee – Slideshare Version

How to Buy Great Fresh Coffee – PDF