Colombia: A Country Infused with Coffee
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.