Climate and geographic location
Coffee requires specific climatic conditions for its growth and, although it is a tropical crop, its cultivation demands special conditions regarding soil, temperature, precipitation, and altitude above sea level.
- Geographic location:
- The ideal conditions for cultivation are found between 1,200 and 1,800 meters above sea level. In Colombia, most farms are located on the slopes of the three ranges of the Andes (Eastern, Central, and Western) and, to a lesser extent, on the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Colombian coffee zones are located in the departments of Antioquia, Boyacá, Caldas, Cauca, Cesar, Caquetá, Casanare, Cundinamarca, Guajira, Huila, Magdalena, Meta, Nariño, Norte de Santander, Quindío, Risaralda, Santander, Tolima, and Valle del Cauca. These regions possess optimal climate and atmospheric conditions for the growth of coffee.
Harvested coffee beans /Picture: 100 por ciento café de Colombia/
- The optimal temperature for coffee cultivation ranges between 19 and 21.5°C.
- Rain of between 1,800 and 2,800 millimeters per year, with a good distribution in the course of the year, is considered appropriate for the cultivation of coffee. A coffee tree requires at least 120 millimeters a month for adequate growth.
- Humidity of the air:
- This climatic component presents a high degree of variation between day and night, but in the coffee zone, the air must be humid.
Recolector del café en una plantación colombiana
- Generally, the most adequate zones for coffee cultivation are characterized by light winds.
- Sunshine and cloudiness:
- Sunshine in the coffee zone falls between 1,600 and 2,000 hours per year (4.5 to 5.5 hours of sun per day).
Thanks to these conditions, in Colombia it is possible to gather coffee year round. There are two harvests, a large one that is the main harvest, and a small one called traviesa or mitaca, which yields about a third of the main one.
Picture: 100 por ciento café de Colombia