Coffee came to the Cundinamarca region circa 1860, both on the western slopes and down into the llanos (grassy, treeless plains) towards the Magdalena River, and slowly shifting northwest through the next decade or two. More and more farmers began turning from the failing indigo market to cultivation of this promising crop--so much so that in the past, giant estates--some with more than a million coffee trees--sprang up around the capital of Bogotá.
An area of great biodiversity, this region has unique microclimates ideal for endowing its coffee with juicy complexity of flavors. Temperatures average 21°C with a relative humidity of 75 % and a minimum of 1600 hours of sun annually. But even with the perfect soil and climate, many local families are struggling to make ends meet. One way they’re doing that is by improving coffee quality to bring better prices.