Questions You May Have When Buying Colombian Coffee

29 June 2022
 Categories: Food & Cooking, Blog


Colombian coffee is widely known for being balanced, delicious, and high-quality. As such, if you go to a store to purchase whole bean coffee, a good number of the coffees you see will likely be from Colombia. You'll browse your options, read the bags, and likely come up with a few of the following questions:

What is Arabica coffee?

Most of the Colombian coffee beans you see will likely be labeled "100% Arabica coffee," or something similar. Arabica is just a variety of coffee beans. It's one of the best-quality species of coffee for drinking as it is less acidic and more balanced than the other common variety, Robusta. Arabica coffee can be grown in many countries, but Colombian coffee producers place a huge emphasis on only growing Arabica beans. So practically all the Colombian coffee you see will be 100% Arabica.

What is the difference between light roast, medium roast, and dark roast?

Most Colombian coffees will have one of these three labels. They just specify how the coffee has been roasted, not how it has been grown. Light-roast coffee has not been roasted very long. It often has a nutty flavor and is high in caffeine. Medium-roast coffee has been roasted a bit longer, and dark-roast coffee has been roasted for quite a while, creating chocolatey and slightly burnt flavors. Most fans of Colombian coffee feel it tastes best with a light roast as that allows its more nuanced flavors to shine through, but everyone has their own preference.

Why is there so much information about elevation on the bag?

If you see Colombian coffees from smaller-batch producers, you'll notice many of them have lots of information about elevation on the bag. For instance, a bag may say "grown at 1,200 meters above sea level." Basically, this is meant to indicate that the coffee in the bag is of good quality. Coffee grown at higher elevations is exposed to more fresh air, richer volcanic soils, and the like. This is one key reason why Colombian coffee, in general, is so good. Colombia has a lot of high-elevation land.

Hopefully the answers to these questions have cleared up a few things you may wonder about when shopping for Colombian coffee. While some brands and roasts may be more suited to your palate than others, remember that it's hard to go wrong with any coffee from Colombia. If you like coffee, you're likely to enjoy any whole bean Colombian coffee you happen to buy. Contact a local supplier, such as SF Bay Coffee, to learn more.