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Colombian coffee is everywhere in American grocery stores, but why is that? Is it better than other coffees? Is it cheaper?
In this article, I’ll do a deep dive on what Colombian coffee is, how it go to be so popular, and what it tastes like compared to coffees from other countries. I’ll also highlight some of the best Colombian coffee brands and some of the best coffees from Colombia that you can buy online.
Quick Answer: Best Colombian Coffee Brands
Best Colombian coffee beans
|Colombian Supremo Coffee, Whole Bean, Fair Trade, Fresh Roasted, 16-ounce||Check price|
Best dark roast Colombian coffee
|Dark Roast Colombian Coffee Single Origin Whole Bean 12oz||Check price|
Best Colombian coffee blend
|Juan Valdez Coffee Organic Gourmet Medium Roast Whole Bean Colombian Coffee 17.6Oz/ 500Gr - Café Premium en Grano||Check price|
Best budget Colombian coffee
|AmazonFresh Colombia Whole Bean Coffee, Medium Roast, 32 Ounce||Check price|
Best Colombian coffee k-cups
|San Francisco Bay Compostable Coffee Pods - 100% Colombian (80 Ct) K Cup Compatible including Keurig 2.0, Medium Roast||Check price|
Best Colombian decaf coffee
|Colombian Supremo Decaf Coffee, Whole Bean, Swiss Water Processed, Fair Trade, Fresh Roasted, 16-ounce||Check price|
A Brief History of Colombian Coffee
The first coffee plant was brought to Colombia sometime during the 18th century. However, significant cultivation of Colombian coffee beans didn’t take off for several decades. In 1808, the first commercial coffee production in Colombia was registered, and Colombian coffee exports didn’t become significant until the latter half of the 19th century.
The turn of the century brought setbacks to the growing Colombian coffee market. The Thousand Days’ War caused a lull in production and depressed international coffee prices led to a rethinking of the Colombian farming system.
From those struggles arose a new coffee sector, driven by small, rural farmers. These farmers were protected and boosted by the 1927 creation of the non-profit National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia. This organization launched several masterful marketing efforts, including the famous Juan Valdez campaign.
Colombian Coffee Bean Production Today
Over the last century, the Colombia coffee industry has grown incredibly fast, rising as high as second place amongst the world’s largest coffee producers, although they never quite overtook the production levels of Brazilian coffee beans. Colombia has recently fallen back to third, having been overtaken by Vietnamese coffee brands.
Colombia produces over 750 thousand metric tons of coffee every year, almost all of which is Arabica. Unlike Costa Rica’s coffee producers, they don’t go as far as outlawing lower quality types of coffee beans, but Colombia’s excellent coffee growing conditions make Arabica a natural choice given its higher price point and consistently high worldwide demand.
What Does Colombian Coffee Taste Like?
Colombian coffee tends to be well-balanced and mild. The flavor typically has Fruity notes of red berry and apple as well as caramel, chocolate, sugar cane, and floral notes. The aroma is also commonly fruity along with hints of citrus and spice. Bright acidity is typical in Colombian coffee, as is a medium body.
The mild, balanced flavor of Colombian coffee is a huge reason for its popularity. It’s a coffee that is easily accessible and enjoyable for even casual coffee drinkers, without the harsh bitterness that drives newcomers away from some other coffee sources.
Colombia’s Coffee Regions
Colombia has 22 coffee growing regions which are grouped together into four larger zones: Central, Northern, Southern, and Eastern. These regions each have their own flavor and aroma profiles as well as their own harvesting schedules — allowing Colombian coffee to be enjoyed nearly year-round.
Northern coffee zone
The Northern region has only one dry season and one wet season per year, and their coffee is harvested in October and November at the end of the wet season.
The growing conditions are more similar to those of Central American coffee countries than the rest of Colombia, with lots of low altitudes and high temperatures. Shade-growing is commonly employed to accommodate these differences.
Coffee from Colombia’s Northern zone tends to have less acidity and a heavier body than most Colombian coffee. These beans also exhibit more chocolate and nut flavor than is common in the other zones.
Central coffee zone
The Central zone contains some of the largest and well-known coffee-growing regions in Colombia, including Antioquia and Tolima.
Since there are two wet and two dry seasons per year in the Central zone, they are able to have a main harvest from October to December and a secondary harvest from May to June.
Southern coffee zone
The Southern zone is close to the equator and allows for higher altitude coffee growth than most of the rest of the country. These features allow Southern zone Colombian coffee beans to achieve very high quality and distinct acidity.
Three of the Southern regions — Nariño, Cauca, and Huila — make up what has been called the new Colombian coffee triangle. These regions, Nariño and Huila in particular, have become incredibly popular in the specialty coffee industry. Huila even achieved the coveted Denomination of Origin distinction in 2013.
The Southern zone has only one wet and one dry season, with a typical harvest between April and June.
Eastern coffee zone
The Eastern zone is the smallest production zone, partially due to a history of conflicts in the region. There is significant investment happening to bring production numbers up for future years, but you probably won’t find much coffee from this region for now.
Colombian Instant Coffee
Instant coffee is just coffee that has been brewed and dehydrated. During this process, it typically loses much of the flavor — and especially the subtle, distinct characteristics — of the coffee beans. For this reason and because of their price, most instant coffees are made from Robusta beans.
Why, then, am I even bringing up instant coffee when talking about a country that specializes in Arabica?
Well, because Colombia simply wasn’t content letting Robusta dominate that important part of the coffee market. They’ve managed to get their beans into some of the most popular brands of instant coffee. I don’t want to devote too much space to them, but here are a few of the best Colombian instant coffees.
- Waka Coffee quality instant coffee
- Nescafe Taster’s Choice instant coffee
- Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Colombia instant coffee
Best Colombian Coffee Brands
Back to our main event. Here are the best Colombian coffee beans that you can purchase online right now.
Best Colombian Coffee Beans: Volcanica Coffee Colombian Supremo coffee
- Loved by people all over the world, Colombian Supreme Coffee beans have the perfect balance of sweetness, acidity and a heady nutty aroma. It has all the characteristics of your favorite cup of gourmet coffee but at the same time, it is not overpowering. This Colombian Supremo Estate Coffee is shade grown
- Flavor Notes: Bittersweet, Chocolate, Caramel, and Hints of Orange
- Medium roasted whole beans allows the true flavor characteristic to come through for a remarkable taste.
- Fresh roasted then immediately packed and sealed to assure freshness
- 100% Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed
Where there is volcanic soil, Volcanica is sure to produce a hit coffee. These single-origin beans are grown on a coffee estate in the Colombian Andes mountain range. The altitude and volcanic soil produce an incredibly high quality coffee that is a perfect example of what Colombian coffee can be.
This medium roast coffee produces a balanced cup with a smooth finish and a delightful aroma. You’ll find notes of dark chocolate, fruits, and nuts in the flavor profile.
It’s organically grown, Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance certified, and shade-grown — making this a Colombian coffee that you can feel good about purchasing.
Best dark roast Colombian coffee: Cooper’s Cask dark roast coffee
- Highest Grade Coffee: Colombian Single Origin dark roast coffee beans. An incredibly vibrant boutique of aromatics and smooth full body flavor!
- Smooth Taste Profile: Rustic sweetness, a hint of cocoa and dark fruit notes
- Small Batch Roasters: Our premium coffee beans are artfully roasted in small batches to ensure fresh delivery of recent roasts. This gives us full control of the profile and creates a bold, smooth, flavorful coffee.
- We’re as tired of bland, low-quality coffee as you are. So if for any reason you’re not satisfied with our imported, high-end coffee beans, just let us know within 30 days for a full refund. Order our single origin coffee today, and taste the difference for yourself!
- Small Family Business - Roasted in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.
Dark roasts aren’t typical from Colombian coffee brands, but Cooper’s Cask makes it work — defying the mild flavors that most would associate with coffee from Colombia.
These single-origin beans have a low acidity with hints of cocoa and dark fruits. They’re roasted in small batches to ensure that you get only the freshest beans.
Best Colombian coffee blend: Juan Valdez Coffee Organic Gourmet Colombian coffee
- DESCRIPTION: Enjoy a Organic Gourmet Roast Ground coffee selected with the highest quality standards, with particular characteristics and attributes, which make them unique in flavor and aroma, characteristic of the Colombian brand Juan Valdez.
- ACIDITY: Medium
- BODY: Medium
- FLAVOR NOTES: Moringa Tea and roasted Walnut
- FRAGANCE: This 100% organic coffee was grown and harvested by coffee families that have embraced the principles of organic farming, which gives it a pronounced aroma.
Juan Valdez may be fictional, but his coffee is as real as it gets. This organic medium-roasted coffee is their most popular choice, but I highly recommend trying a few of their other options as well.
This particular blend has a medium body, medium acidity, and a balanced, mild flavor that is contrasted by its intense aroma. It’s cerfied organic by the not only the USDA but also the JAS and EU.
Best budget Colombian coffee: AmazonFresh Colombia coffee
- Balanced, full-bodied medium roast with a smooth finish
- One 32-ounce bag of whole bean coffee
- 100% Arabica coffee grown in Colombia
- Roasted and packed in the U.S.A.
- Shown as a serving suggestion
- An Amazon brand
No, not the river; it’s the other Amazon. This is the first blend on our list, and it’s one made for people that want good Colombian coffee that won’t break the bank.
The citrus aroma and notes of chocolate and brown sugar in this coffee are great, but they certainly aren’t strong. If you like your flavors more subtle and mild, this medium roast might be a good place to start — and the price is certainly right.
Best Colombian coffee k-cups: San Francisco Bay OneCup Colombian Supremo k-cups
- 100% Colombian premium beans. Medium roasting results in a coffee that is aromatic, smooth and full of flavor
- KEURIG COMPATIBLE: Our OneCup Coffee Pods are specially designed for use with K-cup style single serve brewers including Keurig 2.0. SF Bay Coffee is not affiliated with Keurig Green Mountain.
- QUALITY COFFEE: San Francisco Bay Coffee uses only 100% arabica coffee and certified Kosher coffee beans. Hand picked and grown in high altitude. We're so confident you'll love it, we back it with a satisfaction guarantee.
- ECO-FRIENDLY, COMPOSTABLE: OneCup pods, including the outer bag and one-way coffee valve, are made from plant-based materials and are certified commercially compostable by BPI.
- SF BAY COFFEE is a family owned, American made company with a rich tradition. Our reputation reflects on us as a family so if you're ever not happy with your purchase, call us and we'll make it right.
The best coffee tends to be found in whole beans, with single-serve often being an afterthought if it even enters the minds of coffee roasters. Then there is San Francisco Bay, who consistently deliver high quality coffee in a form that Keurig fans can enjoy.
Their Colombian Supremo is another hit, bringing flavors of cherry and dark chocolate together with a mildly sweet taste and a smooth finish. All of this is contained in a reasonably-priced k-cup that is fully compostable and much more eco-friendly than the typical k-cup.
Best Colombian decaf coffee: Volcanica Coffee Colombia Supremo decaf coffee
- 100% Pure Colombian Supremo Decaf Coffee is the perfect balance between medium-sweet acidity and smooth-light body.
- Fair Trade Certified, Rainforest Alliance Certified and Shade Grown Coffee to help the people and protect the earth.
- Medium roasted whole beans allowing the true flavor characteristic to come through for a remarkable taste.
- Swiss Water Process - Chemical free and all natural
- 100% Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed.
This is really just the decaf version of my pick for the best coffee from Colombia. If you are going to drink decaf, it really should be Swiss-water processed. This method is more eco-friendly than the typical decaffeination processes with their harsh chemicals. It also maintains the flavor of the original beans better than most decaffeination methods.
Just like Volcanica’s other offerings, these beans are organically grown, Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance certified, and shade-grown. Combined with the Swiss water decaffeination process, this makes them a very eco-friendly decaf option.
Blackwelder Coffee Colombian Supremo Bucaramanga single-origin coffee
- Roasted 06/22/2021 | 100 percent Arabica roasted Colombian coffee beans | One-way degassing valve to ensure maximum freshness
- Single Estate Coffee (Single Origin) | Bucaramanga is a region in Colombia that prides itself on its coffee
- Medium Dark Roast | Sweet aroma, a very rich flavor, and excellent balance of acidity and body
- Wonderful smooth breakfast coffee, perfect for holiday and coffee presents
- Roasted fresh in small batches by Blackwelder Coffee, a full service Californian micro artisan coffee roaster
Blackwelder sources their single-origin beans from an estate in the Bucaramanga, Santiago, in the Northern Colombian coffee zone. This coffee is balanced, smooth, and sweet, with notes of chocolate and orange. They roast their beans in small batches and ship them fresh, giving you the opportunity to try Colombian coffee at its finest.
Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC dark Colombian Supremo coffee
- DARK ROASTED COLOMBIAN SUPREMO COFFEE Is A Bolder, Richer-Bodied Coffee with Tasting Notes of Honey and Cherry. A Darker Take on the Classic Colombian Supremo.
- CATURRA AND CASTILLO VARIETALS. Grown at 1,300 meters ASL. Washed and Dried on Raised Beds. Medium-Dark Roast.
- COFFEE FOR EVERYBODY - sustainably sourced and Proudly Roasted, Blended, and Packaged in USA.
- ALL OUR COFFEES ARE ROASTED in Our Environmentally Friendly Loring Roaster to Reduce Our Carbon Footprint.
- AVAILABLE IN WHOLE BEAN AND GROUND AS 12 OZ, 2 LB, and 5 LB Bags.
This is very far from being a mild coffee. With a smoky flavor and hints of cherry and honey, Fresh Roasted’s beans are some of the darkest in this list. The earthiness of the brew is something you’d expect more from Sumatran coffee than Colombian brews, but it’s delicious if you like your coffee dark and smoky.
Koffee Kult Colombia Huila coffee
Now entering the Southern Colombian coffee triangle, home of some of the finest coffees the country has to offer. Our first stop is Huila, the soure of this Koffee Kult option that is made only with specialty-grade, organically-sourced coffee beans.
These beans have a chocolatey aroma, sweet and chocolatey flavors, a bold body, and a clean finish. Although the flavor might be a bit milder than some coffee connesuirs would prefer, it’s a great intro to the Colombian coffee triangle.
Peet’s Coffee Colombia Luminosa coffee
Let’s get away from the medium and dark roasts for a minute with some of the best light roast Colombian beans on the market. If you were asking for brighter acidity or a more delicate profile, Peet’s must have heard you. Their brew is smooth and sweet, with hints of caramel.
Cubico Coffee Single Origin Nariño coffee
- 100% Colombia Nariño Coffee - Cultivated in the mountain region of Southwest Colombia
- Freshly Roasted Colombian Beans - Cubico Coffees are roasted in small batches and our roasters sign and date each bag to ensure freshness
- Cupping Notes - Medium-bodied with intense lemon and lime flavor, maple-brown sugar, sweet and nutty notes that finishes on a smooth mouth-feel
- Premium Colombian Coffee - Medium Roasted to preserve the coffee’s complex flavors and intense aroma
- 12oz. Whole Coffee Beans - Packaged in bags with a one-way valve to lock in the freshly roasted taste
Back to the coffee triangle we go. Next stop: Nariño, home of high altitudes and rich, volcanic soil that produce very high quality beans.
The flavors in this brew are unique, with vibrant lemon and lime accompanied by maple and brown sugar sweetness and nutty notes. It’s produces a more complex cup of coffee than some of the options we’ve discussed thus far.
Java Planet Single-Origin Colombia organic coffee
- Great Tasting Low Acid Coffee! This coffee is our most popular coffee adored by our customers seeking low acid and great flavor. While 3rd party lab tested as low acid, this coffee may not be suitable for individuals with certain digestive sensitivities.
- Peace of Mind! In addition to being certified Organic, our Colombian is also Rainforest Alliance Certified. This safeguards fair pricing, workers' rights, protects wildlife and the environment.
- No Pesticides or Mold! We use only 100% organic specialty grade arabica coffee beans that are independently tested for mycotoxins. In drinking our coffee you will only absorb beneficial antioxidants naturally found in coffee grown at high altitudes.
- Whole Bean is Better! We only package whole bean coffee for the best flavor and so you may grind your coffee for any brewer - regular drip, pour over, French press, espresso etc...
- Family Owned and Operated! We want you to be happy! If you are not satisfied with your coffee please contact us so we can make it right!
Java Planet’s coffee offers the quality that you would expect from a premium, single-origin Colombian brew — featuring balanced flavors, a full body, and medium acidity.
However, they assume you can find good coffee anywhere, so their focus is much more on what happens behind the scenes.
They ethically source their beans from USDA Organic Certified, Fair Trade certified, and Rainforest Alliance Certified sources. They also focus on wildlife safety, including the difficult-to-achieve Bird Friendly status — a feat that only the most eco-friendly coffee companies achieve.
Volcanica Colombian peaberry coffee
- 100% Pure Colombian Supremo Peaberry Coffee has the selections of the rarest coffee beans in the crop with an intense flavor of Colombia for the perfect balance between medium-sweet acidity and smooth-light body.
- Medium roasted whole beans allowing the true flavor characteristic to come through for a remarkable taste.
- Fresh roasted then immediately packed and sealed to assure freshness
- 100% Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed.
Every best-of coffee list should have at least one peaberry entry. Peaberries are an anomaly in coffee plants that results in a coffee cherry growing a single bean where it should have two. This only child is able to sop up the extra nutrients, growing denser and sweeter than a standard coffee bean.
Volcanica’s Colombian peaberry is full-bodied, with floral notes, a fruity flavor, and hints of cocoa and cinnamon. It’s also Fair Trade certified and shade-grown.
Don Pablo Colombian Supremo coffee
- Mild, sweet, and rich with a very smooth cocoa toned finish
- 2Lb Bag - Medium-Dark roast - Whole bean Arabica coffee - GMO Free
- Medium bodied with low acidity
- Artisan Roasted in Small Batches for Optimum Freshness
- REFUNDABLE - Try Don Pablo Risk-Free: Buy now, and if you don't love our coffees, contact Burke Brands LLC directly through our Amazon Seller page, and we will happily refund your order.
Don Pablo has been in the coffee business since 1989, and they consistently deliver high quality brews. Their Colombian Supremo is full-bodied and sweet, while still maintaining the mildness that is characteristic of Colombian coffee.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Colombian coffee?
Colombian coffee is often confused with a type of coffee bean (like Arabica), but it’s really just a description for coffee from Colombia. When people try to compare Colombian coffee vs Arabica, it’s really just a misunderstanding. Almost all Colombian coffee is Arabica, as one describes where the beans are from and the other describes the species of the bean.
Is Colombian coffee strong?
Strong can refer to either the flavor of the beans or the amount of caffeine. The flavor of Colombian coffee is milder than many other coffee origins. You can still get stronger flavors if you buy a dark roasted Colombian coffee, but you might be better off looking elsewhere (like Italian coffee brands) if you don’t like your coffee mild.
When it comes to caffeine content, Colombian coffee is similarly strong to any other Arabica beans. If you want more heavily caffeinated coffee, you should be buying Robusta blends, lighter roasts, or brands such as Death Wish that are specifically formulated for extra caffeine.
Is Colombian coffee good?
That depends on your preferences. If you like mild balanced coffee that tends to be flowery and fruity, then you’ll likely enjoy Colombian coffee. On the other hand, if you prefer your coffee to be strong, earthy, etc., you should probably look at other coffee origin countries.
The world’s third-largest coffee producer has a lot to offer to coffee newcomers and coffee lovers alike — as long as you like your coffee relatively mild. I’ve highlighted the best Colombian coffee beans I’ve found, but feel free to comment with new suggestions for the list. Coffee exploration is a group activity, after all.