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Why Colombian Huila coffee beans are so popular

February 25, 2020

Our Pure Colombian Huila coffee has become one of our best selling coffees. This blog explains some of the reasons Huila coffee is a popular choice.

There are few countries more famous for coffee production than Colombia. Coffee from Colombia is known for its rich, mild flavour which is a result of the perfect climate and beans that are grown. Colombia is one of the few countries that only grows Arabica beans, which besides climate and elevation, is why Colombian coffee is considered higher quality.

Within Colombia, Huila is the largest specialty coffee producing region. The Huila Department (State) is not only known for the quantity of coffee it produces, but also for the amazing quality of the coffees.  Farmers regularly produce Cup of Excellence-winning lots, the gold standard for coffee beans, and many roasters, baristas, and café owners will tell you that Huila is one of their favourite coffee origins, thanks to its bright acidity, sweetness, and strong fruity profile.  It’s the fruity edge and lack of bitterness to Huila coffee that really helps set it apart from other coffees from Colombia.

Huila is a mountainous region that lies in the southwest of the country between the Eastern and Central mountain ranges, in the Colombian Massif, where these meet. It is nestled on the flank of the Andes near the Nevado del Huila volcano, the second highest peak in Colombia.  The rich soils and lush climate are ideal for many crops including yucca, sugar cane, bananas, cocoa, and beans, as well as coffee.

Since the region lies relatively close to the equator it means that coffee harvesting happens almost year round, enabling high volumes of production.  Rich volcanic soils, lush climate, and ideal altitude all combine to make coffee from the Huila district some of the most exquisite in Colombia.  And in 2013, it received Denomination of Origin status for coffee, putting it on a parr with the status awarded to champagne, Roquefort cheese, and many other foods and beverages with unique, location-specific characteristics.

In the last decade, coffee production in Central and South America has been falling as more rainy conditions have set in, potentially as a result of climate change.  The humid environment has helped the spread of a fungal disease called Leaf Rust, which has been laying waste to coffee plantations across Latin America. While Guatemala, Panama and Costa Rica have reported more than 60 percent of production affected, Colombia has been able to plan ahead, breeding a hybrid Arabica bean that has helped ward off the impact of Leaf Rust for 30 years.

While not completely immune from the impact of Leaf Rust, ideal growing conditions in the Huila region have also helped farmers consistently maintain high volumes of production.  It’s this production reliability, combined with high quality and unique flavour, that has prompted the rise in the popularity of Columbian Huila coffee with discerning coffee drinkers around the world.

Spiller & Tait’s Pure Colombian Huila is a medium roast offering balanced flavour with full juicy body, and subtle tastes of blackcurrant and black forest berries.  It is available here in either freshly roasted 1Kg or 250g bags of beans or ground coffee.



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