Colombia is the second-largest producer of coffee in the world and the largest producer of washed and Arabica coffees. It's well known for the high quality of its coffee, and about half of its exports come to the United States. Annually, Colombia exports approximately 12.5 million bags and consumes 2 million bags internally.
Colombia only produces washed Arabica coffee. There are three primary varieties grown in Colombia, and the coffee is referred to by the region in which it is grown.
"Excelso" is a grading term for exportable coffee from Colombia, not related to variety or cupping profile. EP (European Preparation) specifies that the raw beans are all hand sorted to remove any defective beans and foreign material.
Excelso coffee beans are large, but slightly smaller than Supremo coffee beans. Excelso beans are a screen size of 15-16, versus Supremo beans, which are sized on screen 17. Colombian coffee is graded before shipment according to bean size. Supremo and Excelso coffee beans can be harvested from the same tree, but they are sorted by size. Excelso accounts for the greatest volume of coffee exported from Colombia.
Excelso beans are harvest from a variety of regions (here shown with their capital cities), including;
- Antioquia, Medellin (18% of total production)
- Tolima, Ibague
- Caldas, Manizales (29% of total production)
- Valle del Cauca, Cali (13% of total production)
- Huila, Neiva (5% of total production)
- Cauca, Popayan (4% of total production)
- Santander, Bucaramanga
Citrusy flavor, medium-bodied, rich acidity with a clean and sweet aftertaste.