Different agroclimatic factors in Nariño explain the sensorial attributes of Café de Nariño, and make it one of the regional origins that have given rise to more interest and appreciation among specialists around the world. These attributes are primarily due to the altitude (up to 2300masl or 7545 feet) at which the plants are grown and to the ranging mountain temperatures that change radically throughout the day and night.
To produce coffee at such altitudes is only viable when the plants are grown very close to the Equatorial line, as this allows for abundant sunlight all year round. Sunlight values at this latitude are around 36.1 MJ/m2.day1. Secondly, the geography of the area creates agroclimatic conditions whereby the plants can survive nights free of frost and extreme temperatures thanks to the warm air that rises from the valleys. These conditions—linked to the development of the coffee plants and beans—generate the accumulation of certain acids and sugars which make the biochemical properties of Café de Nariño different to other coffees.
Another special characteristic of Nariño are its very particular cultural practices. Producers of Café de Nariño —approximately 40.000— own small production units, the vast majority of which are no larger than 2 hectares (less than 5 acres). They use their knowledge and their skills to produce a carefully selected coffee through a meticulous process. Nariño coffee growers are disciplined, dedicated, happy to work as part of a community to plant, fertilize, manage plagues and diseases and to hand pick the ripe beans, wet-mill and sun-dry the coffee. The hands, hearts and knowledge of coffee growers from this region combine to offer the world one of the best-quality coffees.
These coffee growers have built institutions in order to be able to act as a group and thus propel sustainability programs in their region, such as the Nariño and Cauca Coffee Growers’ Departmental Committees, as well as 22 Municipal Coffee growers’ Committees, whose members are elected in by the coffee growers themselves every four years. These Committees are all part of the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation, which represents all the coffee growers in the country and propels national and local Sustainability that Matters programs whose beneficiaries include the coffee growers in Nariño.
Some of these programs are aimed at maintaining and preserving the Biodiversity and Environment in Nariño. The northern and southern hemispheres meet in this department and in a stretch of very few kilometers the temperature can vary greatly. The Nariño coffee region is also surrounded by the Amazon basin and tropical forests of the Pacific coast that contribute an immense share of biodiversity that includes whales that visit the coast and birds migrating north to south.
We invite you to embark on a Coffee Journey - Virtual Trip to Origins® so that you can enjoy and understand what makes Café de Nariño different. By following the hyperlinks you can find out why Café de Nariño is a more expensive option appreciated and sought after by specialists around the world.