BOHRCAFÉ was born thanks to the tradition of the Bohórquez family in the coffee industry. In 1942 Mr. Luis Felipe Bohórquez Melo started exporting coffee to the most demanding markets around the world, as these required high quality, aroma and flavor rich coffees, activity that would become a family tradition. Today, BOHRCAFÉ maintains this tradition and makes the best Colombian coffee available to you.
WHAT IS COFFEE?
Coffee, a bean from Abyssinia, today Ethiopia, begins its conquest as beverage in the world. It arrived in Europe through Italy in 1645, spreading quickly to other European countries such as The Netherlands and France, from where it set out to the colonies in America. Soon, it expanded throughout the Southern part of the American continent. It arrived in Colombia through the province of Norte de Santander continuing its expansion to Santander where it found suitable soil and climate for its cultivation. This region is characterized for producing the best crops and an excellent quality berry recognized worldwide as one of the best specialty coffees.
The coffee variety Bucaramanga grows in the province of Santander, located around the Eastern region. This coffee region produces mainly the Arabica, Caturra and Typical varieties.
The coffee grows at altitudes between 1.000 to 1.800 meters above sea level, the so called medium-high levels. These altitudes allow for only two (2) harvests per year, from August to January and from May to July. The majority of coffee plantations grow under the shade and are located in small farms.
Here you will find detailed information on the coffee process, from sowing to care and finally harvesting.
Coffee shrubs take three to four years to mature. After the appearance of delicate white buds with a strong scent of jasmine, the shrubs produce berries in rows along the branches. The berry resembles a cherry and contains within the coffee bean or seed. It is initially green gradually darkening to a crimson red.
Arabica beans ripen in six to eight months. Robusta beans take three more months. This results in only one coffee harvest per year, although the variable climate of Colombia and Kenya allows for a second harvest.
The time of the coffee harvest varies depending on the geography of the land: those regions that produce coffee on the northern half of the Ecuador, typically harvest their crops at the end of the year, whilst on the southern hemisphere, coffee is harvested in the spring. Equatorial countries harvest throughout the year.
Despite some mechanized harvests, manual harvest yields a better selection of berries without causing damage to the shrubs. Most Arabica coffee is harvested manually.
Two methods are used to process harvested coffee berries. The most economical is known as the “dry” process method, where harvested berries are laid under the sun and raked regularly to prevent fermentation. Once “dry” (in fact they still contain some moist), they are stored in silos to lose the remaining moisture. The “wet” process method is used to preserve more the flavor of the bean. The flesh around the bean is removed as soon as the coffee is harvested and the remaining flesh is removed using water. While the beans float in the water, it is possible to separate the smaller ones from the bigger and most ripe beans.
After each one of these processes, the beans are dried in parchment like wrappings. They are then stored as parchment like coffee, ready to be transferred for clean-up and classification, depending on density and size, in set categories prior to going for sale. In the classification process, all black, rotten or imperfect beans are removed. Errors in this regard could result to the loss of an entire shipment.
When a coffee consign is offered, the coffee is tasted in the form of liquor by the coffee dealers who purchase the beans. They will then roast the coffee until it reaches a point that satisfies the taste of their local markets.
Roasting coffee is an art similar to blending a good wine or whiskey. Some chemical changes occur within the beans during the roasting process and the toaster´s experience lies in knowing how to process each bean to obtain the perfect the desired blend.
In theory, the beans are perfectly roasted when they stop moving around a gas heated drum. The smaller specialty coffee sellers utilize a simpler drum that revolves around a fire using a fan to blow the smoke away. The most important part of this process is that the beans are in motion during the roasting so that they toast and acquire a homogeneous flavor and do not burn.