With so many coffee brands available to fill your cup, it can become a bit difficult to sort through the noise. In places like Carulla, Exito, MerCaldas, Super Inter and more you can find a plethora of options. Let’s learn more about Coffee in Manizales, and how to find the BEST of local coffee!
Pasilla to Specialty Coffee – Quality
Coffee in Colombia comes in three basic levels of quality.
- Pasilla, which is essentially the throw away coffee beans/trash of the production process.
- Commercial, which may or may not have a high level of attention given to the general cultivation and will generally have a cupping score of 80 or less.
- Specialty, an export quality which is selected at every stage from picking to washing to packing and in some cases – even after roasting, with a cupping score of 85 or more.
Determining quality is not always as simple as it seems. You can immediately discount common brands like Sello Rojo and Mariscal, these are essentially low quality production beans.
Mid-range commercial brands include Juan Valdez and Buen Dia. Unless labeled specifically, these are commercial coffee beans. This is the coffee served in restaurants and receptions.
Specialty coffee will tend towards the smaller local brands purchased at your favorite cafe, organic shop and some supermarkets. Look for scores of 85 or higher. Keep in mind that each brand will see a variance according to the quality of their harvest. These scores will go up and down according to weather patterns and farm happenings.
It is not unusual to change coffee brands periodically according to agricultural fluctuation.
Be sure to smell your coffee and check the date. Roasted coffee always has a vent hole allowing the release of gases which are produced over time. The best flavor profile will not be in full effect until 2 – 10 days after roasting. It should not be on the shelf for more than 15 – 30 days as it begins to lose aroma and freshness very quickly after only one month.
Colmountain Coffee – A Small Local Brand With a Passion for Quality
For a small family-owned local brand – try Colmountain Coffee. Owned by Laura Banesa, the coffee is produced by Nelsa Mesa Cardona (aunt) and Dario Duque Salazar (uncle) who have a small farm on the outskirts of Manizales.
Si uno hace las cosas con cariño, con empeño y con amor, todo fluye. / If everyone does things with care, determination and love, everything flows.Nelsa Mesa Cardona
Coffee is grown in small lots and with a lot of love and passion for quality. Laura, a food engineer (ingeniera de alimentos), is dedicated to the study of coffee from field to preparation. She is a local entrepreneur who is invested in the entire process from bean to cup.
Extra time and attention is dedicated to fermentation and drying which helps to develop the natural flavor and quality. Her average time for drying is 10 days – prior to washing and roasting. To ensure maximum flavor/aroma profiles all coffee is sold at a medium roast unless she receives a special request.
Characteristics: Colmountain Coffee uses Castilla Variety – of the Arabica species. Altitude: 1,650 meters above sea level (5,413 feet). Typical flavor profile: Chocolate with yellow fruits. Cupping Score: average of 86/100 pts – export quality. Cost per pound: 24,000 COP Discount: 20% off when you buy 6 pounds or more! ENGLISH SPOKEN Call: +57 311 389 9405Be sure to mention that we told you about Colmountain Coffee!!!
For a small-lot coffee that has seen a great amount of care and attention, Colmountain Coffee is a brand that is meant to be small and personable. Here in Manizales you will see Laura Banesa at local entrepreneur fairs, regional events and private events. She speaks English – so don’t hesitate to introduce yourself and ask questions.
At 1,650 meters above sea level (5,413 feet), Colmountain Coffee is grown at an altitude which will often tend towards a slightly sweeter taste and a fragrant aroma that may include chocolate and yellow fruits flavor notes.
We spent some time with Nelsa, who told us a bit about her family culture and its relationship to coffee cultivation. She even showed us this really handy contraption called a Garrucha, which is a type of cable car that can run coffee, lunch and even workers (one at a time), up and down the mountain.
Farmers by traditions, Nelsa and her husband work the land, harvest the coffee and replant while trying to ensure they create a quality product. Laura oversees her portion of coffee, from fermentation to drying to ensure that each and every bag delivered to her customers is the best quality possible.
Coffee in Manizales by Local Farmers
When you buy Coffee in Manizales, whether it is Colmountain Coffee or any other locally grown brand you are supporting local families and a strong local economy.
For more information, contact Laura Banesa to order your next bag of coffee at 311 389 9405 (Colombia).
Specialty Colombian coffee seeks to reduce the amount of chemicals and pesticides by using ancestral techniques to control plagues. By drinking this coffee you are also helping the local environment too!