In late June, I was in Antioquia, a large department of Colombia. Antioquia (the Spanish version of the name of Antioch, an ancient Anatolian city known for its holy hand grenades), is not as well known in specialty circles as some other areas of Colombia, such as Cauca and Huila.
However, the total arabica production there is huge. If Antioquia were its own country, it would export more coffee than the entire nation of Costa Rica! And a lot of that coffee, naturally, is very high quality. They have stupendous altitude... in many places you have to go down from the roads and towns to get to the coffee growing zone; and they have expertise, varietals, soil, and everything else to produce great coffee.
Here are some pictures from my trip. It's "fly crop" season in Colombia right now. That means that most fields are not in production, or only with very low volumes, but that there is still some fresh coffee being picked and processed in some areas. Most of the volume in this area is harvested in November and December.
I expect to be back in Colombia again soon. We cupped a lot of coffees while I was there, as part of a cup-profiling activity that is ongoing. There were some very good profiles we encountered: some real surprises to go along with some real classic Colombian profiles. The country is so beautiful, the people are so nice, and it's so big with so much to explore, I can't wait to go back.