Colombia

Colombian Coffee History and Country

Colombia covers approximately 440,000 square miles in South America, lush land known for the abundance of life that it has sprung forth over the centuries. This is a country where idyllic landscapes are the rule and not the exception, a place where wonders thrive. The population is nearing 50 million, a milestone that will probably be hit within the next few years. Located in the northern part of the content, this is a country with a tropical climate, a major factor in the wildly successful tourism industry. Presenting in turns unbeatable relaxation and story-worthy adventure, Colombia is rich with history and personality, standing out among potential travel locales around the world.

Mountainous, Colombia is home to the Andes, which are widely regarded for their beauty and for their high altitude. There are, however, a wide range of climate zones in Colombia, including tropical rain forests, savannas, steppes, and deserts as well. Whatever you are looking for, you can find it in Colombia, home to landscapes that have been made famous for their inclusion on postcards and computer wallpaper collections. Imagine diving in and being able to say, “I was really there, that place people like to stare at in pictures, I really visited it.” This is the experience of seeing Colombia for yourself.

With the third-highest coffee production in the world and the second-highest in South America, Colombia is known for exporting a huge volume of mild and well-balanced beans. Coffee in Colombia dates back all the way to the 18th century, when a Jesuit priest named José Gumilla recorded its presence along the Orinoco River. In the many years since, the industry has turned into a thriving one, famous for quality as well as for quantity. When coffee is said to be from Colombia, the implication is clear: this is coffee that you can expect to be full of flavor and personality.

The oldest archaeological sites in Colombia date back more than 10,000 years, and because of Colombia’s northern position, it was commonly used as a sort of bridge between North America and the Amazon. It was Alonso de Ojeda, who had been a part of Christopher Columbus’s crew, who first explored the area on behalf of Spain, and the town of Santa María la Antigua del Darién was founded in 1510, the first operational town not only in present-day Colombia but in all of South America. Colombia has been independent from Spain in one form or another since 1811. Throughout the 21st century thus far, Colombia has taken a leading role in trying to solve South American political problems, including the crisis in Venezuela. All this history serves to make Colombia that much more captivating to those who take the time to see the country and take in its culture.

From the coffee to the sunshine to the people and Colombian coffee history that make Colombia what it is, there is never any shortage of things to do or fun to take in when you are in the country.

Bolivia

Latin America Coffee – Bolivian Coffee and Brief History

La Paz, Bolivia Cocotu Latin America Bolivian Coffee
La Paz, Bolivia by cocotu.com

A population of just more than 11 million and covering around 425,000 square miles of land, Bolivia is one of the more sparsely populated countries in South America. There are wide open spaces throughout, expanding this way and that way as far as the eye can see in every direction, making Bolivia a spot ideal for those tourists who want to reconnect with nature and get a better idea of just what South America can be like in its most natural form. The country is landlocked, surrounded by other South American nations on all sides, and the Bolivian population is more than 70% Mestizo.

There are dramatic shifts in the climate of Bolivia from one region to the next. In the western Andes, the climate can reach polar lows, while in the lower-altitude areas, the summers hit extreme temperature highs, a humid tropical climate throughout the areas that catch the winds of the Amazon rain forest. There are deserts, there are subtropical semi-arid areas, and there are desert-polar areas with winds that blow cold and strong. Discover the diversity that is endemic to Bolivia, the diversity that has afforded the plant and fauna in the country to boom into an endless number of varieties.

It was not until the late 19th century that coffee production really caught on in Bolivia. When it did catch on, however, it caught like a raging fire among dry kindling. There are now thriving coffee industries all around the cities of Bolivia, including La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, and El Beni, and the Yungas have become recognized for the outstanding quality of their beans. By 1908, Bolivia was producing 1.5 million pounds of coffee, exporting all around the world.

When the Aymara people first came to Bolivia around 2,000 years ago, they developed gradually into a powerful, influential civilization, and while estimates vary, some historians have recently suggested that they may have overseen an empire of more than 1.4 million people at their height. It was the Incas, through, who truly built up the area, overtaking the region from the 15th to the 16th centuries, when Francisco Pizarro, Diego de Almagro, and Hernando de Luque conquered what is today the entire western coast of South America stretching into what is today Bolivia.

Cocotu Latin America coffee Bolivian mountains
Yungas, Bolivia by cocotu.com

Most tourists come to Bolivia not for one thing but for multiple things. While La Paz offers all the comforts of a modern city, it is the natural sights that define Bolivia more in addition to its commitment to preserving its indigenous cultures, represented in the recognition of 36 indigenous languages with co-official status alongside Spanish. Take in the sights, witness the history, taste the coffee out of Yungas: this is all part of the Bolivian experience.

Latin America Coffee

Latin America History and Coffee Origins

Latin America consists of nineteen sovereign states and several territories and dependencies which cover an area that stretches from the northern border of Mexico to the southern tip of South America, including the Caribbean.

Latin America Coffee

Latin America describes the region that lies below the United States of America all through the continent of South America. These regions were home to ancient civilizations and were later invaded by several European countries that still influence the culture there. But one of the things that Latin America is famous for is their production of the finest coffee in the world. In this article we trace the roots of the most favorable morning drink by billions of people across the world and talk about what people really have to go through to get you that cup of coffee you crave.

History and Origins of Coffee in Latin America:

Although coffee didn’t originally originate in Latin America, the lovely and aromatic plant spread all the way from Africa and Arabia until it became one of the most famous plants cultivated in the Latin American region.

The geography of Latin America is very suitable for the growth and cultivation of this plant. Latin America is home to countries that produce the largest production of coffee in the world. Today more than 25 million producers rely on coffee production for their daily life expenses. In Brazil more than 5 million people are employed in coffee related industries. The cultivation process is not subject to automation and requires continuous attention. Coffee is a brewed drink that is made from roasted coffee beans. Coffee is acidic and has a stimulating effect on humans because it contains caffeine.

The drink was introduced to the European world in the 17th century by merchants who brought it from the Arabia and was first highly opposed by the Catholic Church. Later on, it gained popularity and the European invaders took the plant to their colonies in Central and Latin America where the plantation process proved to be successful.

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Which countries in Latin America produce the largest amount of coffee?

Brazil is the largest coffee producing country in the world with more than one third of the world’s coffee production. The country has been producing Arabica coffee, one of the most popular brands since the 18th century and currently 20 million bags of coffee are produced every year. Colombia is the second coffee producing country in Latin America and the third worldwide.

The country is known for its high quality Colombian coffee that is worldwide used in the most acclaimed coffee producing franchises and is preferred for its mild well balanced taste. Venezuela is another leading coffee producing country that contributes in the world production of coffee followed by Peru. All these countries offer unlimited work opportunities for people who take part in this industry, from taking care of the coffee beans to preparing the beans and packaging them to exporting them to several countries and coffee manufacturers across the world.

What does it really take to have that cup of coffee in the morning?

Every time you have your cup of coffee, you will be surprised to know the amount of effort it takes to make. Coffee cultivation requires a lot of hard labor work. It is still a man based farming technique that requires the full attention of growers. From paying attention to the beans to picking them up and processing them, a lot of people have to spend time and effort to ensure that you only get the best type of coffee. But unfortunately, coffee processing goes through a lot of stages that only a very small amount of the money you pay to producers and farmers will actually get to them.

Does fair trade coffee eliminate poverty?

Fair Trade is supposed to grant low income producers with the extra income they need to live a life away from misery and poverty. But despite the efforts that Fair Trade terms try to offer in coffee growing communities, the problem of poverty keeps on affecting many people. The issue is not just about pricing mechanisms. Most of the coffee production comes from small farms between 1 and 10 hectares. For most of these farmers coffee production remains to be their primarily source of income and so they are highly affected by the global fluctuation in coffee prices. Just the minor amount of change in the coffee prices during the harvest season will affect their ability to provide for their families for a whole year.

With Fair Trade ensuring that these small scale coffee producers are paid higher prices that will compensate them for the benefits big companies get by offering more desirable lower prices for mass production.  Fair Trade also aims at eliminating middle men between producers and buyers so that they gain the greatest amount of benefit.  It also offers great financial and investment opportunities to small scale producers who will be able to reinvest in their coffee production business and will be able to plan in advance.