Origin Update: Colombia

An update and quick review of the 2023 coffee harvest in Colombia

Courtney Smith
March 8, 2023

As we're excitedly setting up our new office and lab in Bogotá, we thought it would be a great time to do a quick review of the coffee harvest in Colombia and what we can expect for 2023. You can check out our current list for 2023 here.

Before we get into that, some quick news updates:

  • Yes, we have a new office and lab in Bogotá, Colombia! Having a physical space to sit down with coffee suppliers and clients will prove invaluable in building and facilitating relationships and a sense of community. It also will allow us to set up the lab to better control the parameters around coffee cuppings (water, grind, roast, etc.) and consolidate cuppings from different suppliers in one space to see the true value of the coffee across each region.
  • The third edition of Feria de Especialidad con Café (Specialty Coffee Fair) will take place from March 29th to the 31st at the different facilities of the Cooperativa Central de Caficultores del Huila. The event was co-developed by our Colombian partner COOCENTRAL (in collaboration with Tropiq) to train Huila coffee farmers and their families in post-harvest coffee processes. Visit the initiative page to learn more about the program, its goals, and see outcomes from past events.
  • In February 2023, the amount of coffee produced in Colombia saw a 10% increase with 1,025,000 bags produced in comparison with the 928,000 bags produced in February 2022.

2023 Colombia Coffee Harvest

Harvest start

It's expected that we have volumes between the second and fourth trimester—we're starting to see some now.

  • Northern Huila and Southern Tolima will have their main harvest during the second trimester, and a fly crop in the fourth trimester.
  • Regions like Antioquia, Quindio, Risaralda, Central Huila, Southern Huila, and Valle del Cauca will have a "Mitaka" (or fly crop) during the second trimester, while the main crop will be during the fourth trimester.

Coffee cherry picking

The weather conditions over the last year and the flowering season have been very unpredictable. Picking used to be done during the peak of harvest, but current unpredictable conditions have forced Colombian coffee farmers to pick cherry throughout the whole year.

Coffee cherry processing

Coffee processing for excellence in Colombia has traditionally been via the washed method. We can expect to have washed coffees throughout the whole season, while naturals and other processing methods need to be planned and requested beforehand.

  • Natural coffee can take from two weeks to a month to be processed after it's been requested.
  • Timing of other processing methods may vary.

Coffee samples

We can expect samples to begin arriving in our offices later this month into early April, and also in late September into early October. We'll constantly be selecting and filtering offers.

Coffee origin trips to Colombia

When to visit Colombia depends on what region you're planning to buy from.

  • If you're looking to buy coffees from Huila, it somewhat varies (especially within the last couple of years). Production is ongoing, but traditionally coffees are available to cup from April until May. We're open to schedule trips for the upcoming second trimester.
  • If you're looking to buy coffees from the north (Antioquia), plan on being there sometime within October to November for production and around January for cupping.

You can read more on our tried-and-true recommendations for planning a successful coffee origin trip here.

Courtney has 10+ years of experience in creating, building, and scaling strategies, brands, and content.