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Colombian Medellin Excelso Coffee Beans

Brewing Hints: Brew for 3 – 4 minutes in a cafetiere

Roast Depth: Medium Roast Coffee

Origin: This coffee is contributed to by literally hundreds of thousands of smallholders throughout Colombia. The Colombian Government is very strict about what is exported, and so Medellin Excelso is a good quality, consistent coffee.

Characteristics: Well balanced in aroma, acidity and body. Very popular!

Serving Suggestions: Drink at any time of day or evening



The rich volcanic soil in which Colombian Medellin Excelso Coffee grows produces a coffee that is very well balanced in aroma, acidity and body.

First written about in 1730, coffee cultivation, culture and commerce in Colombia are now entwined absolutely in its people who are devoted and passionate about the coffee their beautiful country produces.

I have been lucky enough to have spent time in Colombia visiting small-holders, large coffee estates, coffee mills and trading centres. At each level I was consistently impressed by the commitment the whole nation has to its most famous export.

Colombian Medellin Excelso Coffee is similar in principle to Brazil Santos, Ethiopian Djimmah and Sumatra DP1 in as much as they are an amalgamation of coffees from literally thousands and thousands of small-holders. However in Colombia there are some essential environmental differences. These being 1) the Andes, 2) Colombia’s second harvest or fly-crop of coffee ((which accounts for about 10% of its total production) which is almost unique in the coffee growing world) and 3) the Colombian governments’ policy of only allowing coffees above a certain quality to be allowed for export.

  1. The Andes effectively split Colombia into two due to the fact that passage over them is generally done by aeroplane. Historically this has meant that similar agricultural products produced on either side of the Andes foot-hills retain their individual, artisanal characteristics.
  2. The second fly-crop gives a small but welcome financial boost in the arm to the 500,000 coffee farms and the families they support.
  3. The Colombian government has a strict export policy that is rigorously enforced thus ensuring all export coffee is above a minimum quality level. Characteristics assessed include bean size, defects in the coffee and flavour when brewed. A better price is paid for export coffee thus incentivising coffee farmers to produce quality all of the time. The governing body that oversees all of this is called FNC or the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia (Spanish: Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia) and represents hundreds of thousands of small-holders. It was initially devised to protect the Colombian coffee industry, to identify its problems and barriers and to promote the business interests of its members. The mascot of the FNC is Juan Valdez and his mule Conchita and represents 100% Colombian coffee. Juan Valdez now holds iconic status throughout Colombia and has become a legendary figure-head of the FNC.

Our Colombian Medellin Excelso is processed, milled and exported by Racafe who is the second largest miller of coffee in Colombia after the FNC. Owned by Rafael Espinoza, at Northern Tea Merchants we believe that Racafe’s state of the art milling facilities located in the best coffee producing areas of Colombia offers us a quality that is hard to duplicate. We are pleased to have been their customers since 2009.

When we receive our Colombian Medellin Excelso from Racafe I am always pleased by the even sizing, consistent water content and brisk bright flavour, year in year out, which goes a long way to proving that what I saw when I visited the mills was not an exercise in flannel.