When most of us think of Colombia, coffee is the first thought that springs to mind. Well, considering the country’s worldwide reputation for its high quality coffee, you’d be forgiven for not realising that the coffee plant itself isn’t actually indigenous to the area. It’s reported that the first seeds were brought from Jesuit priests travelling from Venezuela in 1723. From that moment onwards, coffee has become deeply imbedded in Colombia culture, and it now plays a role just about every part of the Colombian economy.
Growing Conditions and TasteAs it stands, Colombia is the world’s second largest coffee producer and the world’s largest producer of Arabica beans. The high altitudes provide the perfect temperature and humidity for growing, and the surrounding, volcanic soil is bursting with absorbable minerals. Often, the coffee plants are intercropped, meaning they’re deliberately planted alongside larger trees such as rubber and banana trees so they’re shaded.
All this, combined with the level of care and dedication the farmers are renowned for results in a bean that’s well balanced, and smooth. Exelso FNC beans from Medellin are famed for their sweet, fruity, non-acidic profile.
What does FNC mean?The Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia (FNC) translates as The Colombian Coffee Grower’s Federation. It’s a non-profit organisation, owned and controlled entirely by the coffee farmers who, without political influence, are able to work together to ensure the future of Colombia’s coffee industry is both ethical and sustainable. Primarily, the federation is concerned with improving the quality of life for farmers, reducing the cost of production and improving the quality of Colombia’s coffee.
What does Excelso mean?After milling, all coffee beans must be graded before they can be exported. The aim of this is to establish defined criteria so the beans can be priced accordingly and fairly. Colombia, like other coffee producing countries, has its own system of grading. The term Excelso refers to the size of the bean. These beans are the second largest of Columbia’s exports, behind Supremo beans.
Who is Juan Valdez?
In 1958 the FNC created the fictional character, Juan Valdez, to help promote Colombian-grown coffee beans across the world. The character, which was designed to represent the average Colombian coffee farmer, was often depicted alongside his mule carrying sacks of coffee beans. Juan Valdez has since become a Colombian icon, and the image of him and his mule has become synonymous with coffee worldwide.
Juan Valdez is a perfect symbol of Colombia’s love for coffee, and the FNC’s commitment to sustaining Colombia’s coffee industry gets a bit thumbs up from us.
That's why we have our very own Colombain single origin roast; Excelso FNC beans harvested exclusively from the hills of Medellin. Be sure to take a look if you'd like to try the unique flavour profile that the area offers.