The Coffees of Sierra Nevada, Colombia
Updated: Jan 21
Colombia is known for its unique ecosystems and year-round coffee harvesting schedule. In the southern region of Huila alone, you can drive through amazing scenery along the Tatacoa Desert while within a few hours find yourself driving up lush mountains into forested areas where some of the world’s best coffee is produced. Colombia is truly diverse.
Coffees of Sierra Nevada, Colombia
At any given time of the year, there is likely a region in Colombia harvesting coffee. According to The World Atlas of Coffee, written by James Hoffmann, there are 13 main growing regions within Colombia allowing for continual production, in addition to multiple harvests within the same year!
As our team at ElevaFinca shifts focus to Colombia, we are continuing to highlight areas where the team in Santa Marta continues to grow and develop the RIOSIERRA project, the second large-scale agroforestry origin project in Latin America funded by the Urapi Sustainable Land Use Fund. As mentioned in our previous article, the model supports the transition of degraded or lower-yielding coffee fields to generate a more sustainable and productive coffee agroforestry model throughout the northern region of Sierra Nevada.
As the main harvest approaches for producers located in Sierra Nevada, it is important to explore and understand the diverse flavor profiles and characteristics of coffee produced in the region. As The World Atlas of Coffee states, coffee profiles from the region develop a heavier and more rounded mouthfeel with a mild and approachable acidity. Although the altitudes of the region are comparably lower than other areas of the country (900-1600masl), the coffee remains particularly sought after for companies seeking a well-rounded component for blenders, while also supporting environmental efforts from producer groups in the area.
Our team based in Santa Marta notice different coffee profiles due to the geographical characteristics of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. Coffee cultivation starts at 900 meters above sea level and goes all the way up to 1900 MASL. Temperatures range from 13C to 30C. The Sierra Nevada Mountain range has one single harvest per year which takes place between the months of October and January.
A well-known flavor profile found in the region presents fruity notes of tangerine, blackberries, and dark chocolate, with notes of honey, cream, and a caramel finish. The quality ranges between 82-84 points. We are seeing a well-balanced cup with excellent uniformity. The scores show an acidity of (7.75) with an aroma of (7.75) and a body of (7.75). This balance presents the fresh and unique characteristics of coffee from the Sierra Nevada Mountain region of northern Colombia.
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