Our exporting partners in Colombia work with a collection of smallholder producers in Cauca to assist with exporting high quality coffee. Later deemed the capital of Cauca, Popáyan is located within the Pubenza Valley and has significantly contributed to Colombian culture and politics. It is rumoured that Piendamo was the first coffee-producing community of Cauca, and still maintains its cultural production. Prior to the Spanish arrival, local indigenous populations called the Nasas populated these valleys. The tribes were able to preserve their culture and tradition throughout the Cauca department over time and still maintain traditional methods of coffee production today. Other indigenous communities include the Paeces, Misak and Guambianos.
Colombia is the third largest coffee-producing country in the world, and thanks to its vast array of unique microclimate, are able to have harvests throughout the year.
Commercial coffee cultivation began in the mid-1830s and spread so rapidly that throughout the twentieth century coffee already became the country’s leading export. A mountainous topography and many tropical micro-climates contribute greatly to Colombia’s reputation for ideal growing conditions, which – in turn – have helped Colombia establish itself as a recognisable origin around the world.
The diversity of coffee and profiles found across Colombia is enormous and coffee is harvested practically year-round depending on the region. The main harvest takes place from October to February with November and December being the peak months. There is also a second fly (or ‘mitaca’) crop several months later, again varying by region and microclimate.