Added: 05th August 2014
It’s not about creating new tastes or flavours, what you get from the Colombian Arabica bean is simply a great cup of coffee, one that you’ll find is universally accepted. Unfortunately, until recently, it hasn’t been easy for coffee lovers to learn more about this bean straight from the source – the plantations in Colombia’s west – but all that is about to change.
Colombia has experienced a somewhat turbulent past which has deterred mainstream tourism not to mention adverse weather conditions, including the heavy rains of La Nina, which have damaged many of the coffee plantations. Fortunately, with peace negotiations in place, Colombia’s economy has received a welcome boost through tourism and is now in a position to rejuvenate its’ plantations. In the past few years, Colombia has planted more than 3 billion coffee trees, and reports show that Colombian Arabica production for the first half of 2014 has risen by a 27% on last year’s figures.
Many plantations, especially in the west of the country around the Quindio region, are opening up to tourism, allowing coffee-loving travellers the unique opportunity to stay in the Spanish colonial-style estates which embody the luxury and opulence of Colombia’s heyday. Plantation tours, educational roasting demonstrations, hands-on activities, and, of course, tastings are available to any thirsty guests. You’ll learn about the bean-to-cup process from start to finish, covering everything from growing to packing, and will gain a greater understanding about why the Arabica bean is considered to be the world’s finest, trumping the likes of the Robusta bean hands down.
Even if you can’t travel as far afield as Colombia, the recent reinvention of the country’s coffee plantations is still hugely advantageous to the typical coffee drinker in the UK. Arabica production has previously been at risk due to susceptibility to contamination, but the good news is that more than 70%of the new trees planted are immune to the most common forms of disease, which means we can fill our office coffee machines and expect to enjoy this fine-tasting coffee for many more years to come!