Best Colombian Coffee – Coffee Beans Buying Guide And Reviews

Colombia is one of the world’s top coffee exporters. In fact, Colombia produced nearly two billion pounds of coffee [1] in 2019. That’s about double what they made in 2012.

But not all coffee is equal, and every bean has its unique taste meaning that finding the best Colombian coffee can be difficult. Let’s break it down into some of our favorite brands and what makes Colombian coffee the best coffee you’ll ever taste.

How Does Colombian Coffee Taste?  

Many Colombian coffees are well-balanced with a medium body, making them the perfect crowd-pleasing morning drink and afternoon pick-me-up.

Colombia has many coffee growing regions and varietals. Depending on where the coffee bean is grown depends on what it tastes like. Some are mild, and some are rich. You can get nutty, chocolatey or floral notes.

What makes Colombian coffee stand out is the fact that this coffee has a more pleasant citrus-like acidity than other coffees. Don’t equate acidity with sourness. Sourness is biting into an unripe fruit, while acidity makes things like apples, pineapple and other tropical fruits so delicious. It adds a refreshing and vibrant quality to the coffee.

One thing that doesn’t change is that no matter the variety of beans, Colombian coffee is always 100% Arabica.

Also read: You can find more exotic coffee flavors from our reviews of the best tasting coffee in the world.

7 Best Colombian Coffee Brands – Our Best Picks 

What you like will factor into what you want from a coffee. Here are the best Colombian coffee brands we’ve found out there. 

1. Juan Valdez café 

If you want your house to smell like freshly brewed coffee in the morning, then this will work. The fragrance in Juan Valdez Organic Medium Roast Coffee is strong and earthy, reminding you a bit of walking through a rainforest with fresh and lively notes.

Juan Valdez coffee is known for its smooth taste and consistency, and it’s 100% Arabica beans. The organic blend is a perfect breakfast drink since that wakes you up and gives you that spring in your step as you head out the door.

Juan Valdez Organic Coffee honors the environment and the world we live in by being handpicked. This coffee has been certified organic by the USDA, the JAS or Japanese Agricultural Organic Standards, and EU organic. This coffee is also sustainable.

It’s gently washed before being dried in the sun, just like coffee growers have been doing since the beginning.

Juan Valdez is one of the most known Colombian coffee brands out there and has been consistently giving great coffee, one cup at a time, for over 60 years. They are one of the only recognized coffee brands that coffee growers own. Whole Bean coffee and ground coffee are also available.

Juan-valdez-coffee

Flavor Notes

  • Fresh
  • Mid-acidity
  • Balanced

Certifications:

  • USDA organic certified
  • JAS – Japanese Agricultural Organic Standards certified
  • EU organic certified

2. Volcanica Coffee – Colombian Supremo Coffee Beans

colombian-supremo-coffee

Have you ever wondered what coffee grown in the Colombian Andes mountains with volcanic ash would taste like? Well, then look no further. The premium Colombian Coffee Supremo from Volcanica coffee will answer your question.

This is a single-origin coffee that and it’s only produced at the Colombian Andeano Estate. They are grown in the Andes between 5,400 and 5,900 feet in the Bucaramanga region. This coffee is also kosher and fair trade certified. It is grown in the shade to help the environment and produce a medium and smooth flavor to get your taste buds tingling.

The Volcanica Supremo Coffee is processed by being washed, giving it a lighter flavor before it is patio dried to the perfect cup of medium roast coffee. Patio drying washed beans is done with two to three centimeters of beans constantly raked in the sun for optimal drying.

Colombian Supremo whole bean coffee should have the color of cinnamon and be lighter than all the other Arabica beans with a heady and refreshing aroma. They also tend to be larger than their other Colombian varieties.

This coffee is a bit bittersweet with underlying chocolate notes. It also has hints of caramel and orange with nutty undertones for a truly sensational taste. 

Flavor Notes:

  • Bittersweet
  • Chocolate
  • Caramel
  • Orange

Growing Conditions:

  • Only produced in the Colombian Andes Mountains
  • Single-origin
  • Grown in volcanic ash

3. Don Pablo Colombian Supremo 

The best thing about Don Pablo Colombian Supremo coffee is that it’s roasted in small batches and made to order. You’ll get one of the freshest tasting coffees around, as the longer a bean sets after being roasted, the more flavor and aroma you lose. 

The Don Pablo, Colombian Supremo coffee, is a medium dark roast. The beans should be a bit darker than medium roasted beans and be slightly oily due to the roasting process and the caramelization of the sugars in the bean. Another unique feature is that they use smell, sight, and sound to roast the coffee instead of an actual timer.

Don Pablo Colombian Supremo is known for its mild yet rich flavor with notes of chocolate and walnut with an undertone of citrus. For being a low acidity bean, it retains much of the Colombian boldness in flavor.

Don Pablo’s sharing certified program helps the Colombian coffee growers get better labor conditions and continue to improve sustainable practices. Their Colombian coffee beans are GMO-free and use 100% Arabica coffee. Whole bean coffee and ground coffee are available.

Flavor Notes:

  • Low acidity
  • Citrus notes
  • Chocolate
  • Walnut

Roasting Process:

  • Made to order
  • Roasted in small batches
  • The roasting process uses smell, sight, and sound to tell when the beans are finished

4. Fresh Roasted Coffee, Dark Colombian Supremo 

Fresh Roasted Coffee, Dark Colombian Supremo

If you’re looking for a darker Supremo, then look no further. The Dark Colombian Supremo by the brand Fresh Roasted Coffee is a dark medium-bold coffee. This coffee is sustainably sourced and kosher certified.

These beans are grown and picked in Colombia before being shipped off to the USA to be roasted, ground, and shipped to customers looking for their morning fix.

The varietals Caturra and Castillo are grown at 4,265 feet above sea level in Colombia’s vast and mountainous countryside. The process of removing the pulp uses the washing method before being dried on raised beds. Sometime between September and December is when farmers harvest the beans.

What makes this coffee so different from other Supremo’s is its bold and earthy notes that include cherry and an underlying sweetness of honey despite its low acidity.

The company uses an eco-friendly Loring Roaster in its roasting process, locking in more flavor and creating a high-quality coffee bean. A Loring roaster is smokeless and eliminates 80% carbon emissions compared to traditional roasting machines.

Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC has plenty of certifications, including organic, fair trade, and rainforest alliance. These certifications make their coffee appealing to many to know that this company is trying to help the environment. They also offer the medium roast Colombian supremo if you prefer lighter roasts.

Flavor Notes:

  • Earthy
  • Cherry
  • Honey
  • Low-acidity

Roasting Process:

  • Eco-friendly Loring Roaster
  • 80% less carbon emission than traditional roasters
  • Roasts a richer, higher-quality bean 

5. Peet’s Coffee Single Origin Colombia 

Peet's Coffee Single Origin Colombia, Ground Coffee

Peet’s Columbia Coffee is sourced from Colombia but tends to favor the high southern region of San Agustin, Huila, making it a single-origin coffee. 

They work with non-profit Enveritas to ensure responsible sourcing and find farmers for their Coffee Verification Program. This verification program works with farmers to create better lives for themselves and their families. They work with farmers long-term to create lasting change and success.

Peet’s Coffee is dedicated to providing the freshest coffee, so they only roast coffee on Wednesdays and ship the same day it roasts, ensuring it reaches your doorstep at the peak of freshness.

Peet’s Colombia coffee also uses the washing method, allowing for a more mellow flavor. This dark roast coffee is a full-bodied brew while still being sweet and bright with stone fruit notes.

You will enjoy a flavorful cup of this fresh high-quality arabica coffee using a French press or your drip coffee maker.

Flavor Notes:

  • Bright
  • Full-bodied
  • Toasted Nut, Caramel and Citrus

Sustainable Practices:

  • Coffee Verification Program
  • Works with farmers for a better, brighter future
  • Trades directly with farmers

6. Koffee Kult Colombian Coffee Beans Huila Region Medium Roast 

Koffee Kult Colombia Coffee Beans Huila

Koffee Kult Colombia Coffee is an artisan, gourmet coffee roasted in small batches to keep these beans at the peak of freshness.

These coffee beans come from the southern region near Huila and primarily come from family-owned farms. Koffee Kult is dedicated to consistency, so you’ll never have an off batch.

This is a medium roast coffee which means the beans should have no oil on them. It has medium acidity and has a bold and smooth flavor with notes of cinnamon and chocolate. Let this top-tier coffee sweep you away and bring you back, ready to face whatever the day throws at you.

Koffee Kult’s coffee farmers use the washed method, and either sun or, if necessary, machine dried. The beans get shipped to Hollywood, FL, where they are roasted.

Both ground coffee and whole bean coffee are available.

Flavor notes:

  • Bold
  • Clean
  • Sugary
  • Medium-acidity
  • Cinnamon
  • Chocolate

Koffee Kult:

  • Small family-owned business
  • Created in 2012
  • Sources beans from family-owned farms
  • Dedicated to consistency

7. Java Planet, Organic Coffee Beans, Colombian Single Origin 

Java Planet, Organic Coffee Beans, Colombian Single Origin

Java Planet has a wide range of certifications, so you know that they want the best for our planet. This single-origin Colombian coffee is USDA Organic Certified, Rainforest Alliance certified, and one of the only certified brands to be bird-friendly. Bird-friendly means they follow strict guidelines for tree height, biodiversity, and foliage cover.

Because of this, you know you’re getting a sustainable cup of coffee every time you use Java Planet Single Origin Colombian Coffee.

Java Planet is a small family-operated business that roasts its coffee in small batches to ensure the best quality. They also date stamp every single bag, so you know exactly when it was roasted.

The beans are 100% Arabica and are low-acidic with a medium dark roast. It is full-bodied with fruit flavors throughout the coffee. It also contains the nuttiness that many dark roasts have and even has a chocolate undertone.

If you have a sensitive stomach and looking for low acid coffee, this is the Colombian coffee brand you should try.

For maximum freshness, Java Planet only offers whole bean coffee, so you’ll need a coffee grinder to grind it to the optimal grind size for your brewing styles.

Flavor Notes:

  • Nutty
  • Full-bodied
  • Low-acidity
  • Fruity
  • Chocolatey

Certifications:

  • USDA Organic certified
  • Rainforest Alliance
  • Bird-friendly

Best Brewing Method For Colombian Coffee 

Not all coffee beans are created equal, just as not all brewing methods are created equal. Each Colombian coffee bean has the best way to brew it.

coffee-roast-level

Dark roasted Colombian coffee is suitable for espresso since most beans are higher acidity and mild in flavor. The concentrated nature of espresso reduces any lingering bitterness and promotes a more robust flavor profile.

Medium roast is best for drip coffee or any other manual coffee method such as the French Press and even cold brew.

Light roast is for pour-overs, including a Chemex, and can also bring out the profile of Colombian beans.

So, with all these brands that claim to have the best Colombian coffee, why is it so popular? What makes Colombian coffee so much different than the rest of the coffee out there?

History of Colombian Coffee  

Colombia’s first taste of coffee was in the 1700s and was first harvested in the northeast part of the country. But it didn’t take long before many family farms were growing it as a cash crop.

The first commercial coffee export contained just 100 bags of green coffee weighing about 132 pounds apiece in the first decade of the 1800s.

That was the beginning of the marketing empire that coffee is today.

When it comes to coffee in marketing nowadays, no one is more thought of than Juan Valdez [2], a fictional character that portrayed the Colombian coffee farmer. He started appearing in advertisements in 1958 for the FNC or the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia, otherwise known as the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia.

Juanvaldez

The FNC continues to this day to help coffee farms across Colombia better their lives and their families by creating a positive social impact through their coffee.

Now Colombian coffee production is the third in the world, after Brazil and Vietnam, and the highest when it comes to Arabica bean.

Ideal Condition For The World Class Coffee 

coffee-farm-in-manizales

Coffee farm in Manizales, Colombia

What many may not know is that the coffee bean is a pretty picky plant. It prefers volcanic soil, grows well in high altitudes, needs at least 80 inches of rain per year, with an ideal temperature range of 46-75 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The fact that the coffee plant loves the shade makes the rainforests of Colombia an ideal place to grow and harvest coffee.

In Colombia, these ideal conditions are why the coffee bean plant is planted on about 940,000 hectares of farm. That’s over two million acres. 

Colombia Coffee Regions – Great Variety All From One Country  

There are those who really, really like coffee and will constantly refer to the country their coffee originated from. Then some are obsessed with Colombian coffee and will go on about the region their coffee is from.

The need to label where your coffee comes from isn’t just something that’s done just for brownie points. There’s a reason for it. Each region that produces coffee in Colombia has its microbiomes, which makes the coffee taste different. These regions are divided into Central, North, and South.

Central 

As some call it, the Coffee Belt, or the Coffee Triangle, is the most significant region for growing coffee, and it’s smack dab in the middle of Colombia. It has everything the coffee bean plant could want when it comes to ideal growing conditions.

Three of Colombia’s most distinguished coffee regions come from this area. They are: Medellin, Armenia, and Manizales (MAM).

When it comes to flavor profiles coming from the Coffee Belt, they tend to be more fruity with medium acidity. Coffee from this region tends to be more balanced with a medium body.

Northern  

The Northern region has a lower altitude and warmer temperatures, drastically changing the taste of the coffee bean.

This region includes Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the Perija mountains, Casanare, Santander, and the Norte de Santander.

Coffee from this region is lower in acidity but comes with a fuller body and has strong hints of citrus.

Southern 

The main difference between the Southern region and the other is that the coffee is grown at a higher altitude. This area is closer to the equator, the coffee beans have higher acidity with much sought-after sweetness and more subtle flavor profiles.

The most well-known coffee regions are Nariño, Cauca, and Huila.

100% Arabica Beans 

All Colombian coffee is 100% Arabica. The much sought-after Arabica is more popular than its cousin, the Robusta bean.

Robusta coffee is notoriously bitter and has a flavor profile similar to that of oatmeal anywhere from neutral to harsh due to the higher caffeine content. Companies use Robusta for instant coffee, espresso, and as a filler in other coffee blends.

On the other hand, Arabica coffee is the world’s most popular coffee type, and specialty coffee lovers prize it for its full-bodied flavor and notes that range anywhere from chocolate to jasmine.

Coffee Bean Grading In Colombia – Supremo or Excelso? 

Just like in school, coffee beans get grades, too. These grades are Supremo and Excelso, and it all comes down to size.

Supremo is larger than Excelso, which is weird because they aren’t a different variety of beans. In fact, during the harvest, they often fall from the same tree. Larger beans also have fewer defects in them. Some believe that the Supremo beans have more flavor, so companies sell them as specialty beans for top dollar.

However, this shouldn’t be a primary factor when deciding which type of Colombian coffee to go for. The smaller beans’ flavor profile is not necessarily worse than the larger bean. 

excelso

Final Thoughts

Colombian coffee is worth trying, with its long history, excellent reputation, and focus on sustainability. Coffee farmers have the knowledge and training for coffee cultivation. They’ve had hundreds of years of experience to grow the perfect coffee bean.

The difference between types of Colombian coffee is sometimes challenging to navigate, but you can find a coffee that you adore with a bit of trial and error. Just follow your nose and taste buds.

We hope that you found your next favorite coffee within this list and that you’ll continue to find new ways of enjoying your morning beverage of choice. No matter what kind of coffee you drink or from which region it comes from, know that your next cup of coffee is made with care and consideration. Enjoy your next sip to the fullest.

References

[1] Colombia: coffee production 2012-2019 – Published by Bruna Alves, Oct 22, 2020 – https://www.statista.com/statistics/801437/coffee-production-colombia/

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Valdez