Colom­bia: A Coun­try In­fused with Cof­fee

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS -

Colom­bia is a beau­ti­ful coun­try sit­u­ated in the north­west of South Amer­ica. It is bor­dered by the Pa­cific Ocean to the west, the Caribbean Sea to the north, Venezuela to the east, Brazil to the south­east, Peru to the south and Panama to the north­east. It has the fourth largest ter­ri­tory in South Amer­ica, cov­er­ing ap­prox­i­mately 1.14 mil­lion sq. km, and is the only coun­try on the con­ti­nent with both Caribbean and Pa­cific coast­lines.

Indige­nous peo­ple have in­hab­ited the area since an­cient times. Colonised by Spain in 1531, the coun­try fi­nally gained in­de­pen­dence in 1819 af­ter a long strug­gle for na­tional au­ton­omy. In 1886, it was of­fi­cially named Colom­bia, af­ter Chris top her Colum­bus, the dis­cov­erer of the Amer­i­cas.

Colom­bia is blessed with ex­quis­ite nat­u­ral scenery, pleas­ant cli­mate, moder­ate sea­sons and clean air. With the An­des in its west and Los Llanos

(“The Plains”) in its east, the coun­try is char­ac­terised by a trop­i­cal cli­mate.

Rich in nat­u­ral re­sources in­clud­ing min­er­als such as alu­minium, ura­nium, gold, sil­ver, nickel, plat­inum and iron, Colom­bia's chief re­sources are coal, oil and emer­alds. Its coal re­serves are the largest in Latin Amer­ica and its emer­ald de­posits are the largest in the world.

Gold, emer­alds, flow­ers and cof­fee can be said to be the “four trea­sures” of Colom­bia.

One thing Colom­bians love to talk about, be­sides their world-fa­mous na­tional foot­ball team, is their cof­fee. In Colom­bia, this bev­er­age is some­thing to be savoured, which is why its cafes are of­ten packed from morn­ing un­til night.

The his­tory of cof­fee bean cul­ti­va­tion in Colom­bia dates back to the Span­ish colo­nial era in the 16th cen­tury. To­day, the coun­try is the world's sec­ond largest cof­fee pro­ducer af­ter Brazil, and the largest ex­porter of ara­bica beans and washed cof­fee beans. At present, the area of cof­fee cul­ti­va­tion in Colom­bia has reached 1.07 mil­lion ha and there are about 302,000 cof­fee plan­ta­tions in the coun­try, with 30 to 40 per­cent of the ru­ral pop­u­la­tion mak­ing their liv­ing di­rectly from cof­fee pro­duc­tion.

Colom­bian cof­fee is of­ten de­scribed as hav­ing a silky, smooth taste. It is the most well-bal­anced of all cof­fee types, with a mild, vel­vety taste that is suit­able for drink­ing at any time. The pure taste of Colom­bian cof­fee comes from the coun­try's nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment which is per­fectly-suited to grow­ing the beans. Its mild cli­mate, hu­mid air and nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment cre­ate a real-life “nat­u­ral ranch” for cof­fee, which gives the out­stand­ing flavour.

Staff at the Colom­bia booth of­fered their coun­try's de­li­cious cof­fee to vis­i­tors. Cof­fee lovers gath­ered around Columbia's cul­tural en­voy to find out more about this ex­otic as­pect of the coun­try's cul­ture.

In ad­di­tion to cof­fee, the Colom­bia booth also dis­played the coun­try's most tra­di­tional item of cloth­ing—the pon­cho. “They're made from cot­ton and li­nen pro­duced in our own coun­try and are ex­cel­lent at keep­ing you warm!” ex­plained a staff mem­ber wear­ing a tra­di­tional Colom­bian “to­tumo” on a neck­lace. Ap­prox­i­mately the shape of half a co­conut shell, this brown ac­ces­sory was high­lighted with coloured lines, look­ing ex­tremely an­tique and mys­te­ri­ous. As he spoke, he picked up a pair of mara­cas and per­formed an im­promptu dance, ex­plain­ing to those gath­ered that th­ese are the main in stru­ments in Latin mu­sic.

Through the win­dow of the “Colour­ful World—cul­tural Ex­hi­bi­tion of Coun­tries along the Belt and Road” event, Colom­bia brought their lo­cal cul­ture to wider au­di­ences, show­ing the coun­try's unique, ex­otic colour.

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