Re blogged from: strollingsouthamerica
Cinda C. MacKinnon is a writer who grew up in Colombia and Costa Rica and wrote a novel…In this post she talks about something many of us love about Colombia: coffee – as well as an interesting tidbit about Colombia and the Panama Canal.
A brief History of Colombian Coffee:
Colombia is the second largest coffee producer in the world…second only to Brazil. The geography however made it difficult to transport the beans to market in the past, as most of the best regions were the least accessible. It is a boom-bust industry at the mercy of weather, politics and markets. Many growers fought to remain solvent in the last century and Latin American countries were asked to adhere to quotas – to which they bitterly agreed.
In 1975 a disaster in Brazil, the Black Frost, ironically aided the Colombian coffee market. When a terrible freeze killed over half of their coffee plants and ruined the crop, demand went way up for Colombian coffee. Brazilians quickly began planting the species because it grows fastest. The Arabica variety however, which Colombia is known for, is the higher quality coffee; this made Colombia the leader for the most sought after coffee. (I personally think Costa Rica is in the same league.) In more recent years Vietnam has become an equal contender in terms of quantity.
The Panamanian connection:
Everyone knows Colombia is famous for coffee, after all they invented Juan Valdez – but this excerpt tells a story you may not know about Colombia’s history with Panama and the United States over the canal….(click above for more)