Roasting Guide

Generally speaking, you want to roast your Colombians to 2nd cracks at a minimum.At that level, a good Colombian will have a pleasant acidity, a traditional taste, and be very drinkable, though not memorable.A really nice Colombian at 2nd cracks will have hints of dark fruits and a sweet aftertaste, but this is the exception and not the norm.Colombian is not the best choice for espresso blends, but in a pinch it can substitute for the Brazil or Peru.For espresso, you want the bean to be 20 seconds into the 2nd cracks, and you’ll have a sweet shot and lots of crema, although not a lot of power.You can also drink it --or even better, blend it – at this level.For French Roast go ahead and take it the 50 seconds into rolling 2nd cracks.A pot of Colombian gets you a coffee that won’t wow anyone, but is nonetheless a solid mug of coffee most people would be willing to get a refill on.

Aside from special and rare lots, Colombian coffee is a washed process coffee.


A lot of generic Colombia on the market, simply graded by bean size. A 15 and 16 grade are the smaller size, classified “Excelso” and tends to be less complex.The 17 and 18 sizes are classified as “Supremo” which doesn’t mean Supreme, it means “Big”  Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better, but in many cases it is. The bigger beans lend themselves to having less acidity and more complexity.But if you’re drinking coffee because you love coffee, stay away from generic Colombia. You want an estate Colombia, which is not necessarily easy to find, and not necessarily a bargain, but it’s your best bet for a nice drip coffee.  Better yet, a microlot from the estate, meaning, a small amount of the crop was carefully sorted and processed by hand and set apart as the best coffee the farm harvested.