Coffee Roasting for Beginners

Coffee Roasting for Beginners

If you love coffee you want the best coffee. That means buying quality whole bean arabica coffee from Colombia and grinding enough for making coffee each day. Better yet you may wish to buy green arabica coffee beans from Colombia and roast your own coffee. Roasting your own coffee every day is a great way to get the freshest coffee for less than coffee shop prices. By roasting your own coffee you get to try out lots of different coffee varieties. And roasting your own coffee can turn into a simple and enjoyable hobby. So, here is a bit of useful information about coffee roasting for beginners.

You Do Not Need a Fancy Roasting Machine to Roast Coffee

You local coffee shop roasts its coffee beans every day. They use a commercial coffee roaster. The same folks who make commercial roasters also make smaller ones for home use. A small home coffee roaster can easily set you back $800. If you just want to try out roasting your own coffee you can use a home popcorn popper, a convection oven, or even a frying pan! The point is to heat the beans sufficiently to bring about the roasting process to the desired degree, light, medium, or dark roast.

Coffee Roasting for Beginners
Roasting Coffee with a Skillet

Roasting Coffee With Your Popcorn Popper

A good way to roast coffee for beginners is to use a hot air popcorn popper which you can purchase, if you do not have one already, for $25 to $30. All you need is the popper, a cup of high quality green arabica coffee beans, a tray for cooling the beans and your ears. Listen for cracking sounds and watch the clock after the first “crack.” For a light roast turn off the popper 5 seconds later. For a medium roast wait 25 seconds. Wait 45 seconds for a medium-dark roast. A dark roast will take 65 seconds after the first crack and a French roast will take 95 seconds. As a practical matter, beginners should start with light to medium roasts and adjust the time to their taste. Because this is a relatively simple and cheap process, you can simply start over if you mess up.

Because you will get chaff from the skin of the coffee bean, put a cloth or paper towel under the spout of the air popper. When you have used the correct amount of coffee beans, they will move with the airflow of the popper just like when you pop popcorn. If they are not moving you need to use fewer beans.

The cooling part is important because the heated beans continue to roast until they cool down. Simply putting the roasted beans on a cookie sheet, spreading them out with a spatula, and waiting five minutes is sufficient. Then grind your beans, make your coffee, and enjoy!

Roasting Coffee Beans in Your Oven

If you are going to use this approach, use a baking tray and line it with baking paper. Then add your green coffee beans and put them in the hot oven. With this process you should open the oven and turn the beans with a spatula every few minutes. Like with the popcorn popper method listen for the first crack and remove the beans from the oven 5 minutes later and longer for darker roasts. As you become accustomed to this method you can simply keep track of time after the first crack or listen for the second crack as well. Like with the popcorn popper method, remove the roasted beans and transfer to a cookie sheet to cool for five minutes.

Using a Frying Pan to Roast Coffee Beans

Most Colombians in the coffee growing regions buy roasted coffee at the supermarket. However, there are those who have the good fortune to have easy access to green coffee beans. Going back to the days of the “bisabuelas” or great grandmothers, the quickest and easiest way to roast coffee at home has been to put a single layer of green coffee beans in a dry skillet and heat over a medium to high flame on the stove. Although you can use a spatula to turn the beans, simply moving the skillet back and forth does the job. Like with the other processes, listen for the first crack and remove from the flame a few minutes later for a light roast and progressively longer for a darker roast. If the beans are still over the flame by the second crack it is time to remove them. Transfer to a cool surface for five minutes and you have excellent roasted coffee ready to grind and make your coffee.

What Is the Best Way to Roast Coffee?

All of the cheap and easy ways to roast coffee for beginners require a “hands on” approach. The rationale for using a machine that roasts coffee lets you roast larger quantities and allows you to automate the process. You can get excellent roasted coffee by any of the means we have described. But once you have found the right setting with your home coffee roaster you can generally get the same quality roasted coffee every time with less effort.

Will Climate Change Lead to Worse Coffee at Higher Prices?

Will Climate Change Lead to Worse Coffee at Higher Prices?

Slowly but surely the world is getting warmer. This is also causing both increased and decreased rainfall in many areas of the world. Over the coming decades we can expect to see climate change lead to worse coffee at higher prices. This is because the effects of a more severe climate will likely be greater for arabica coffee and somewhat less for the hardier but more bitter robusta variety. The effects of climate on the three greatest coffee producing regions of the world will vary a bit based on the types of coffee produced, the specific regional topography, and the ability of local coffee growers to adapt to climate changes.

Climate Change and Coffee in Vietnam

Bloomberg published an article about how climate change is making your coffee more bitter and expensive. They focused on Vietnam and Robusta coffee production. One of the basic assumptions about climate change and coffee is that robusta, being a hardier variety than arabica, will be affected less by higher temperatures and resulting issues like more coffee leaf rust and other plant diseases. Thus, the rationale is that we will be drinking more of the bitter, caffeine rich robusta and less of the milder arabica. And, with both types of coffee suffering from climate change, prices of each will go up.

Vietnam has produced coffee since the mid-19th century when French planters brought the crop to what was then French Indochina. It was only after Vietnamese independence in the1970s that, with the help of the World Bank, Vietnam became a major coffee producer, rivaling Brazil for the lead in total coffee production. Virtually all of Vietnam’s crop is robusta.

The Bloomberg article looks in depth at coffee production in Vietnam and shows us that robusta is not immune from the effects of higher temperatures and dramatic variations in rainfall from droughts to torrential rains. When there is a drought coffee farmers need to drill deeper for water for irrigation and when there are torrential rains coffee production is reduced as well. Farmers are having to reduce their reliance on coffee as a cash crop. While planting a mixture of crops helps Vietnamese farmers financially, it is reducing production of robusta coffee by the world’s biggest producer of this variety.

Climate Change and Coffee in Brazil

Brazil has long been the dominant producer of coffee in the whole world. It produces a mixture of arabica and robusta coffee and today usually out produces Vietnam for total coffee production and commonly loses out to Colombia in just arabica production. The same issues that Vietnam faces apply to Brazil’s robusta crop. These climate risks apply with greater force to Brazil’s production of arabica coffee. Specific issues include not only temperature and variable rainfall but higher incidence of coffee leaf rust, coffee berry borer, and leaf miner infestations. As much as 60% of cropland suitable for coffee in the southeast of Brazil will likely be lost in the coming decades. In Brazil we can expect a reduction in both arabica and robusta production and, thus, higher prices. To the extent that arabica experiences greater production losses, we can expect to see more bitterness in our cups of Java.

Climate Change and Coffee in Colombia

Colombia is the third leading producer of coffee in the world and commonly the biggest producer of arabica with Brazil as its chief rival. The bulk of Colombian arabica coffee production takes place in the western region of the Andes at altitudes ranging from 3,000 to higher than 8,000 feet. Because of its susceptibility to leaf rust, the older arabica variety is only grown at the highest altitudes. As temperatures increase one can expect to see this coffee grown at higher altitudes and on diminished crop land. Lower altitudes are planted with leaf rust resistant strains developed by Cenicafe, the research arm of the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia).

The same issues that affect Brazil and its arabica crop apply to Colombia as well. Colombia has the advantage of extremely high altitudes for growing coffee but the higher one goes the less room there is to grow coffee. A decided advantage that Colombia has is its ability to develop leaf rust resistant strains of coffee that retain the original arabica flavor and aroma but mimic some of robusta’s hardiness. Nevertheless, we can expect Colombia to experience some of the same falloff in arabica production over the coming decades which will lead to all of us drinking coffee that is more expensive and all too commonly mixed with robusta and more bitter.

Wine From Coffee Country in Colombia

Wine From Coffee Country in Colombia

We were pleased recently to run across a new wine produced in the heart of Colombia’s coffee growing region. Reserva del Cielo is a medium dry red wine from Isbella grapes in the department of Caldas, one of the three departments making up the Colombian coffee growing axis. Coffee lovers will be pleased to know that among their offerings Reserva del Cielo has a wine that includes the flavor of coffee!

Growing Wine in Colombia

Although Colombians are largely coffee, beer, and rum drinkers, there is a wine market as well for local and imported wines, primarily from South America. Varieties grown here are generally those suited to the tropics like the Isabella grape which is a vinifera variety like Chardonay or Cabernet Sauvignon but adapted to the climate. These are generally grown at cooler and dryer altitudes like in the department of Caldas. Because Colombia does not have the sort of seasons seen in more temperate climates there is no natural dormant season. Thus it is common to pluck leaves from vines manually to allow plants to shut down and recuperate after each harvest of which there can be more than one a year! Commercial Colombian wine production only became viable when Colombia put high tariffs on all wines from outside of South America. The majority of Colombian wine production goes toward fortified wines like brandy but there remain some excellent ones like Reserva del Cielo for traditional wine consumption.

What Are Isabella Grapes?

The Reserva del Cielo wine is made from Isabella grapes. This variety comes from a rare French variety, the Meslier petit white grape. This variety came to the Americas hundreds of years ago and adapted to the climate via cross pollination with local wild species of grapes. Although the original variety is rare in Europe it has favored in the Americas because of its tolerance to tropical and semi-tropical climates. Thus, the Isabela grape is idea for growing in Colombia in the tropics. It should be noted that in the mountains of the Western Andes it is not especially humid nor hot at elevations of four thousand feet and higher where the Reserva del Cielo vineyards are.

Wine From Grapes Grown in Volcanic Soil

The rich volcanic soil in the Colombian coffee growing axis is ideal for growing not only coffee but other crops as well. Although volcanic soils do not retain water well this can result in plant roots having to go deeper. This can lead to the production of superior wines. The plentiful rainfall in the premier coffee growing region in the world tends to counterbalance any water retention issues with volcanic soil.

Reserva Del Cielo of Manizales, Colombia

Reserva Del Cielo is a one year old company headquartered in the heart of the Colombian Cafetero in Manizales. It was started by Sebastian and Laura, two local students studying international business who are also wine lovers. They currently offer two wines. One is a medium dry, medium sweet red and the other is a red wine infused with roasted coffee. They are planning to also provide a rose in the near future. All of their wines feature the Isabella grape. If you would like to try a bottle or two of Colombian wine from the heart of Colombian coffee country, contact us at

Wine From Coffee Country in Colombia Two Wines
Wine From Coffee Country in Colombia

Coffee and Health Facts Versus Fantasy

Coffee has a lot of health benefits. However, it is not a miracle drug or drink. In this regard it is useful to sort out coffee and health facts versus fantasy. The main sources of coffee health benefits are the antioxidants in coffee and the fact that we drink so much coffee. The caffeine in coffee offers both benefits and problems. Antioxidants are responsible for fighting the free radicals in the human body that lead to cell damage, inflammation, chronic diseases. What are the health benefits of drinking coffee?

Coffee Health Benefits

Johns Hopkins University details why coffee is good for you. The first and foremost reason is that people who regularly drink coffee are better at processing sugar and less likely to develop type II diabetes, a disease that affects nearly half a billion people worldwide or more than six percent of earth’s population. In addition, regular coffee consumption is related to less heart failure, a lower incidence of Parkinson’s disease, less likelihood of colon cancer or liver disease, fewer strokes, and a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. The sum total of these effects is based on a reduced incidence of DNA (genetic) damage and leads to a measurably longer life!

Coffee and Health Facts Versus Fantasy
Caldas, Colombia Where the Best Coffee Comes From

Ways That Coffee Causes Problems

Not everyone can drink a lot of coffee without having problems. It appears that the ability to drink coffee regularly without side effects has a genetic basis. Folks who have problems tolerating coffee become anxious, have trouble sleeping, have higher blood pressure, and get an increase of their heart rate. All of these effects are “dose related.” The more coffee some folks drink the worse their symptoms are. Many of these folks can drink decaffeinated coffee, however. Decaf provides most of the benefits of regular coffee because it still has the antioxidants but lacking the caffeine it does not provide the morning wakeup effect or help one through a long afternoon.

The Sugar Trap of Specialty Coffees

A cup of good black Arabica coffee has no calories and all of the health benefits noted above. However, lots of folks who drink coffee like it with a bit (or a lot) of sugar, milk or cream, or other additives for flavor. While adding a bit of milk or sugar to taste or to balance acidity is generally not an issue, too much can become a health issue all by itself. While your coffee is working to protect you from diabetes you are adding so much sugar that, in theory, you may be countering the good effects of your coffee!

Coffee Is Not a Cure All

There are lots of good reasons to drink coffee in addition to the fact that you like it. However, coffee is not a cure all. As the old saying goes, only death and taxes are certain in life. By drinking coffee, you will not live forever. The health benefits of coffee get getter the more coffee that you drink up to about six cups a day and then they level out. All of the health benefits of coffee function in moderation. Coffee reduces the risk of type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s but does not cure to totally prevent any of these conditions. Any assertion to that effect is pure fantasy. The point is that coffee is rarely bad for you unless your genetic disposition is such that you get heartburn and high blood pressure with just a cup or so. So, drink you good Colombian Arabica coffee. Enjoy it. Revel in the fact that what you enjoy is also generally good for your health.

What Constitutes Gourmet Coffee?

What Constitutes Gourmet Coffee?

Many coffee lovers are willing to pay the extra price for gourmet coffee. Their expectation is that gourmet coffee will have better taste and aroma. But what constitutes gourmet coffee? And how much more do you have to pay to get a coffee that you enjoy a little bit more than your regular brand? A lot of so-called gourmet coffee is marketed by individual growers and the prices of these coffee brands is substantially higher than what one would pay for one of the top brands at a local grocery store or even bags of coffee sold at your favorite coffee shop.

What Does Gourmet Coffee Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, gourmet means the following:

of, relating to, or being high quality, expensive, or specialty food

typically requiring elaborate and expert preparation

In regard to coffee, gourmet or specialty generally means meticulous care from the harvest through all processing steps to an ideally roasted coffee. Coffee beans are selectively picked at peak ripeness and roasting is done in small batches. Coffee producers and roasters who offer gourmet products are trying to present their best efforts and typically expect to charge a premium price. To a large degree getting a gourmet quality coffee has to do with selective picking of coffee cherries at their maximum ripeness. This approach is more labor intensive and expensive than simply going out during the harvest and picking all of the cherries from a coffee plant. Also, it is more expensive, per coffee bean, to roast in small, controlled batches which also adds a bit to the cost. In addition, in order to get a price that rewards the extra work and expense a grower needs to market their product separately which adds one more cost. Nevertheless, the markup for gourmet coffee commonly goes beyond these factors.

Truly Gourmet Coffee Comes From Better Coffee Beans

Nobody, at least that we are aware of is trying to market Robusta coffee as gourmet. Robusta has more caffeine, the plants produce a greater yield, and Robusta has much greater resistance to coffee diseases like coffee leaf rust. But it has decidedly less flavor and aroma than Arabica coffee and certainly much less than a good Arabica from a region like the coffee growing axis of Colombia or Kona coffee from the Hawaiian Islands. In general, honestly promoted gourmet coffee generally comes from better coffee beans. An issue for us is that far too many “gourmet” brands are priced in the stratosphere instead of just having a markup to cover extra cost and provide a reasonable reward for the extra effort.

What Constitutes Gourmet Coffee?

How Much Does Gourmet Coffee Cost?

If you simply do a Google Search for gourmet coffee and take the top listing you will find yourself on with roasted whole bean coffees going for $1.70 an ounce. However, there are specialty gourmet coffees that sell for tens or even hundreds of dollars a pound. Panama Geisha, Hawaiian Kona Peaberry, and Jamaica Blue Mountain all come to mind. While these are all excellent coffees they command extremely high prices because their quantities are relatively small. Panama produces about 50,000 sacks (60 kg) every year. By comparison the Colombian Cafetero produces about 13,000,000 bags (60 kg) of uniformly high-quality Arabica coffee a year. We might argue that if Colombian coffee were as rare as some of the rarer high-quality coffees in the world it might similarly sell for hundreds of dollars a pound instead of $7.71 (29.500 COP) for a one-pound bag of whole bean roasted gourmet coffee at a local grocery store in Manizales, Colombia or $15 at an outlet in the USA.

Get Your Gourmet Coffee For a Reasonable Price From the Colombian Cafetero

The point we are getting to is that you do not need to pay extravagant prices for the highest quality gourmet coffee. Contact us at for help with your gourmet coffee needs at affordable prices.

The Problem of Organic Coffee Low Yields

The Problem of Organic Coffee Low Yields

We have written time and time again about the benefits of organic coffee both to the consumer and to the environment. However, the vast majority of coffee farmers do not bother with organic coffee. The reasons are that it is a lot more work to grow organically, the costs are greater, yields are less, and the prices that organic growers receive for their coffee do not justify organic coffee farming on strictly a financial basis. One can argue that sustainable agriculture has its own rewards, but that does not keep a coffee farmer from going broke during a couple of bad years! A major issue is the problem of organic coffee low yields.

Lip Service From the Organic Coffee Consumer

Here at we frequently get requests for coffee from Colombia, both regular Arabica and organic. The coffee that we can provide is extremely high quality but consumers are generally not interested in paying the markup for shipping, for Colombian coffee, and for organic coffee. Because Colombian coffee farmers are not interested in giving away their high quality coffee for less than market value, folks are not getting their coffee. Thus, Colombian coffee farmers go back to farming sustainably but without organic certification. The point is that many folks give lip service to organic coffee but are unwilling to pay a price that would make organic coffee production financially viable for someone growing coffee in the Cafetero Colombiano.

The Problem of Organic Coffee Low Yields

The Problem of Low Organic Coffee Yields and Low Prices

Less than 7% of land used to cultivate coffee is dedicated to organic coffee. However, organic coffee production is much less than 7% of the total. Comparison studies have been carried out in several countries. Organic coffee yields lag by as little as a few percent to as much as 44%. Our own experience at is that many coffee growers that we have known have tried organic coffee and given it up. First reason commonly given is that they have to pay for certification and are not getting any more money for their coffee. This comes from folks who have been essentially organic but without official certification for years. The point is that not only does the price not make farmers go organic but they have to fight the yield issue. Thus the coffee farmer needs to make up for lower yield, more production costs, and an inadequate price which any business person is generally not willing to do.

Why Is Organic Coffee Yield Low?

A lot of organic coffee is shade grown. This generally results in a finer coffee. It also reduces the yield. However, the main reason that yields for organic are lower than regular is fertilizer. Commercial fertilizers are an efficient way to provide nutrients to the soil. When the organic coffee farmer goes with organic fertilizers they often find it difficult to get enough. Commercial fertilizer provides 40 kilograms of nitrogen to a hectare of land with between 90 and 270 kg. It requires more like 2000 kg of organic fertilizer to provide the same 40 kg of nitrogen per hectare.

Cost Versus Availability of Organic Fertilizer

Hog farmers in Iowa commonly use hog manure to fertilize their corn or soybeans. This sort of self-contained farming is very efficient. Coffee farmers in the mountains of western Colombia do not have large hog operations side by side. Thus they need to make do with compost and other lesser sources of nutrients and thus lower coffee yields. Alternatively the coffee farmer can pay to have huge amounts of organic fertilizer shipped to them and pay the extra cost which will not be recouped by a higher price for their coffee.

Will There Be a Shortfall in Colombian Coffee Production Due to El Niño?

The El Niño weather event that began in mid-2023 is weakening as of May of 2024.according to the World Meteorological Organization. Nevertheless, it continues to affect the climate at it origin along the west coast of South America and across the world. This El Niño event has been the fifth strongest on record. As such it has had various effects on coffee production in Colombia from positive to negative depending on the local micro-climate. Across the country as a whole and especially in the higher producing region of the Eje Cafetero, there could be a shortfall in Colombian coffee production in 2024.

Why Does El Niño Affect Coffee Production?

An El Niño weather event affects amounts of rainfall, humidity, temperature, cloud cover, and consequently plant diseases and plant growth. In contrast to the immediately preceding La Niña weather event which increased rainfall and cloud cover, humidity, and plant diseases, El Niño has provided more sunshine, less rain, higher temperatures, and periods of rain deficit during which time there is better flowering and fruit filling, provided that the rain deficit is not excessive. Thus coffee production is expected to recover from the deficit during the La Niña years. An additional benefit to coffee production has been lower fertilizer prices which has led to improved coffee crop nutrition.

Coffee Grown in Colombia’s Three Coffee Growing Regions

Colombia produces coffee year round but not all from the same growing region. The southern zone harvest coffee during the first half of the year. The central zone harvest during the second and third semesters, and the northern zone harvest takes place during the second half of the year. Weather forecasters are predicting that El Niño will continue to weaken and transition back into La Niña by the end of 2024.

Tail End of La Niña and Coffee Borer Beetles

A big factor that will have dragged down Colombian coffee production in 2024 will the increase in coffee borer beetles due to rainfall excess at the end of 2023. The problem was lower grain filling due to the beetle. To compensate for this, the drying weather in the middle of the year will likely increase the 2024 harvest. Toward the end of the year when the major harvests are taking place a big factor will be the availability of labor for picking and processing the coffee.

On the other hand, the flowerings responsible for the harvest are concentrated in the second half of the year, together with adequate rainfall, which could lead to an important harvest by the end of the year, where the availability of labor and the processing capacity will be decisive.

Will There Be a Shortfall in Colombian Coffee Production Due to El Niño?

El Niño Versus La Niña and Coffee Leaf Rust

Whether it is a normal year, an El Niño year, or a La Niña year, it tends to rain a lot in Colombia and there tends to be a lot of cloud cover. This is generally good for coffee plants in rich volcanic soil and adequate drainage. However, excess moisture also favors fungal infestations. The primary culprit in Colombia is coffee leaf rust, AKA Hemileia vastratrix. Colombia has risen to the challenge of this plant infestation in several ways. First of all, staring back in the 1980s when leaf rust first appeared in Colombia started creating resistant varieties. These include the Colombia variety and then Castillo and Cenicafe 1.

Other fungal infestations include Llaga Macana or Ceratocystis fimbriata and various Rhizoctonia species. There are no specifically resistant strains for these plant diseases so the coffee farmer is tasked with chores like clearing debris (fungal food) from around the coffee plants.

The bottom line is that Colombia coffee production will likely come in at a high level by the end of 2024.

Top Colombian Coffee Brands

Top Colombian Coffee Brands

Colombia produces a huge amount of Arabica coffee. It is the biggest exporter of this coffee of highest quality and the third leading exporter of all coffees by volume in the world. It ranks behind only Brazil which produces a substantial amount of Robusta coffee and Vietnam which produces almost exclusively Robusta coffee in terms of total coffee exports. We know that lots of folks drink Colombian coffee all over the world, but what brands of coffee do Colombians drink at home? There are top Colombian coffee brands based on price and convenience and there are top Colombian coffee brands based on quality.

Specialty Coffee Versus Grocery Store Coffee in Colombia

If you search on Google for Colombian coffee brands, best Colombian coffee, and the like you will virtually always get a list of brands that are paying to be promoted. These are pretty much always great Colombian coffees. However, as often noted in online postings within Colombia, the best brands at your local grocery store are of equal or even better quality than those you see which are paying for the exposure.

Colombian Grocery Store Coffee

Coffee that you see on the grocery store shelf in Colombia falls into three general categories, instant and often mixed with sugar and flavoring, inexpensive, and high quality. The inexpensive brands are almost always ground coffee. The highest quality coffees are either ground or whole bean. Three good examples are Colcafé instant, Sello Rojo ground coffee, and Quindío Gourmet whole bean. If you live in the USA and are interested in trying out Quindío Gourmet or any of their coffee products, contact us at today.

Cafe Quindío Example
Colcafe Examples
Sello Rojo Example

Colombian Coffee Served at Home

Perhaps the most common way that the average Colombian family makes coffee is similar to making Turkish coffee without the Ibrik. They add coffee grounds and sugar to a pot of water and bring in to a boil. Sello rojo (red seal) coffee is a common if not the most common brand seen in most households along with Lukafe and Aroma. Lukafe is made by Casa Luker which is a major world chocolate supplier. If you are interested in high quality green coffee from a large and reputable supplier in Colombia like Case Luke or Café Quindío, contact us today at

Best Coffee by Price in Colombia

This photo of a portion of the coffee display devoted to Sello Rojo at the Mercaldas Las Palmas supermarket on Avenida Santander in Manizales, Colombia gives you an idea about the brands that Colombians drink the most. Sello Rojo, by the way, is pretty good coffee, often referred to as the Folgers brand of Colombia. It is always ground coffee but always reasonably fresh because it does not sit on the shelf very long before every bag is purchased and replaced with new.

Folks who drink high quality coffee like Café Quindío, La Loma, Juan Valdez, or Matiz commonly make pour over coffee, use a French press, or have an electric coffee percolator. These folks commonly buy whole bean coffee and grind enough each day for making their coffee.

Coffee Shop Coffee in Colombia

It is hard to go to a major city in Colombia and not find at least one Juan Valdez or Oma coffee shop. Juan Valdez is the name of fictional coffee farmer used to advertise Colombian coffee. And it is the name of a coffee brand and coffee shops. An advantage of going to a Juan Valdez coffee shop is that they sell bags of coffee from virtually every department that produces coffee in Colombia. Their department-specific coffee is priced about a third higher than there standard bag of coffee and about forty percent higher than a brand like Quindío Gourmet whole bean. Because great coffee is ubiquitous in Colombia, this writer commonly forsakes the Manizales Juan Valdez on Avenida Santander and buys his coffee at La Suiza across the street where they serve it in a porcelain cup instead paper and where the 70-year-old pastry shop and restaurant has great carrot cake.

Although Colombia produces organic coffee it produces far more coffee that is organic in everything except official certification. Likewise, many coffee roasters in Colombia do not bother with the export market but simply roast and sell to the local 51.87 million person market. Nevertheless, you can find organic coffee from the likes of Café Quindío, Juan Valdez, and many smaller coffee operations at major grocery store chains throughout Colombia.

Coffee From Colombia at Wholesale Prices

Coffee From Colombia at Wholesale Prices

The best place in the world to find huge amounts of fine Arabica coffee in one location is in the coffee growing region of Colombia. There are many great coffees in the world but no coffee growing region produces the amounts of consistently great Arabica coffee that is produced in the Colombian Eje Cafetero or coffee growing axis bounded by the departments of Caldas, Risaralda, and Quindío of western Colombia. For those looking for wholesale pricing for either roasted whole bean coffee or green coffee ready for roasting, your best bet is to contact us at Buy Organic Coffee here in the heart of the Cafetero Colombiano. Simply send us an email at

How To Order Wholesale Colombian Coffee

If you send us an email regarding coffee from Colombia at wholesale prices please include the following information:

General Type of coffee: roasted whole bean, roasted ground, green coffee ready for roasting

Specific Type of Coffee: are you looking for supremo or large beans, a specific variety like bourbon rosado, typical, or Caturra or simply Arabica

Quantity of coffee that you require: how many bags of coffee, how many tons of coffee, etc. and how often you will require these amounts

Your name and address for delivery of your coffee: are you ordering as an individual or a company and to what country, city, and address shall we have your coffee delivered?

Your Contact Information: if you wish to communicate by email please provide us with your email address. If you prefer a phone call or contact via WhatsApp, please provide that information.

Coffee From Colombia at Wholesale Prices
Different Varieties of Arabica Coffee Growing at Different Altitudes Along the Coffee Highway Between Pereira and Manizales, Colombia

Fresh Green Coffee From Colombia

There is often a hidden issue when you buy coffee. The issue is its degree of freshness. Green coffee stays reasonably fresh for up to three years when stored properly. Roasted whole bean coffee remains reasonably fresh for up to six months when stored correctly. A little over a decade ago we wrote an article how the government of Brazil purchased coffee directly from coffee growers and put it into storage in order to shore up prices. The issue regarding freshness in this case was that much of this coffee stayed in storage for as long a 8 years as the government feared that dumping their stockpiles would drive prices back down again. The problem for anyone looking for green coffee was that coffee sourced from Brazil could well have lost all of its freshness, its antioxidant properties, its flavor, and its aroma. The same issue exists when anyone buys from someone who has lots of coffee stored and wishes to get rid of their older stock by selling it to you! At we help you get coffee from Colombia from the most recent harvest which means that it has been in storage for weeks or months at the most and not years and years!

Why Coffee from Colombia?

Colombia is the biggest producer and exporter of consistently high quality Arabica coffee. Similarly high quality coffee, in lesser quantities from individual growers or smaller regions is commonly promoted to the point where the price is substantially higher than what you will pay for either freshly roasted or green Arabica coffee ready to roast in commercial quantities from the Colombian coffee growing axis. Because of the high quality of coffee from Colombia it generally commands a higher price than that quoted for coffee on the NYMEX or New York Mercantile Exchange. However, this markup is a few percent as opposed to the multiples seen with heavily promoted coffees from specific coffee growers.

The point is that you can get fresh, high quality Arabica coffee from Colombia equal to the best-known brands in the world for reasonable wholesale prices via our services at with offices in Manizales, Colombia in the heart of the Colombian Eje Cafetero.

Fresh Coffee from Colombia Nevado del Ruiz
Nevado del Ruiz Volcano looming over Manizales, Colombia
in the Heart of the Colombian Coffee Growing District

Are Sustainable Coffee Businesses Viable Financial Entities?

Are Sustainable Coffee Businesses Viable Financial Entities?

A primary goal when growing organic coffee is to develop a sustainable system of production. Coffee farmers strive to preserve the health of their soil, water table, and tree cover. By avoiding chemical fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides a coffee grower maintains their organic certification. Ideally, this means that they can sell their coffee for more than otherwise. Sadly, that is not always the case. All too often a grower quits paying to have their operation certified because they do not have a ready market for the coffee produced by their sustainable operation. This brings us to the point for today. Are sustainable coffee businesses viable financial entities?

What Is a Sustainable Coffee Operation?

Sustainability has to do with not damaging the soil, water table and wider environment while growing coffee. Avoiding exploitation of workers is sometimes included in the definition of sustainable coffee. The point is to maintain a long term environmental balance by not depleting the soil, poisoning the water table, or damaging surrounding plants and animals. It commonly has to do with maintaining as much of the natural forest cover as possible as well.

Are Sustainable Coffee Businesses Viable Financial Entities?

Is Coffee Sustainability Costly?

In the coffee business there is the price that a grower can get for their coffee and the cost of producing coffee. The coffee price is notoriously volatile. The cost of producing coffee can be broken down into fixed and variable costs. On an organic coffee farm labor costs are significantly higher due to weeding and other activities to control weeds and pests that would otherwise be dealt with by chemicals. In addition, there are labor costs associated with picking the coffee, multiple times because coffee beans do not all ripen at once, and processing. In a year when coffee prices are high in dollars and the local currency is weak in relation to the dollar, a coffee grower may do very well. When both coffee prices in dollars and the dollar itself fall against a local currency like the Colombian peso, a farmer may have a bumper crop and still lose money!

Sustainable Coffee Businesses Going Out of Business

Coffee News recently published an article about sustainable coffee businesses going out of business. They discuss both fixed fees like taxes, cooperative fees, and mortgage costs as well as labor and costs of chemicals or fertilizers to the extent that they may be used. When leaf rust strikes a coffee farm the costs of labor soar and, even when efforts to fight the plant disease are successful, coffee yield drops significantly. Because of the prevalence of coffee leaf rust in Central and South America, this can be a major factor in the survival of sustainable coffee businesses.

Relationships With Green Coffee Buyers and Business Survival

Over the years we have spoken with coffee growers in Panama and Colombia who went to the expense of having their coffee farms certified as organic. In many cases these growers had already been running what were essentially organic operations so there was little extra expense involved. However, they were not able to link up with a buyer who could guarantee them the sort of premium prices that should go with organic, sustainable coffee farming. In several cases the coffee farmers gave up their certification by simply not paying for the paperwork after a few years. We might compare this with something like the sugar beet business in the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota where growers are routinely guaranteed a set price for a set amount of sugar beets every year. This area includes many prosperous sugar beet farmers who have maintained their farms for generations. The key issue seems to be whether or not the market will be willing to pay for higher quality over the years!