The Antioquia region in the central northwestern part of Colombia is the place where coffee first put down roots, quite literally. But it is not just a birthplace. It grows the most coffee of any other region in Colombia, where both small producers and large estates co-exist. Coffee trees love the volcanic soil and stable climate (year-long temperatures average between 75-80 degrees F.), while the warm valleys temper the cold Andean nights higher up.
As the famous Juan Valdez commercials pointed out, mountain-grown coffee is rich in flavor (coffee ripens slower at this high altitude, resulting in a denser, richer bean), but he failed to mention the steepness of the Andes and the significant physical difficulty of tending and then harvesting coffee cherries while clinging to the hillsides. But the farmers are willing to do just that to bring their coffees to our cups, and for this we are very thankful.