Course Launch: CBG Colombia

BH Unlimited Update, May 18th 2022.

This week we launch our newest course, all about coffee production and sourcing in Colombia. Colombia was perhaps the first country in the world to establish a reputation as a single-origin coffee producer, long before the birth of specialty coffee.

For most of the last century, Colombia was second only to Brazil in the amount of coffee grown — despite being one seventh the size. In the 1990s the growth of Robusta production in Vietnam nudged it into third place, but it is still the world’s largest producer of fully washed arabica — in fact, Colombia produces more arabica than the entire continent of Africa.

Colombia’s wet climate and volcanic soils are ideal for growing high-quality coffee

Colombia is also one of the few countries that can provide freshly-harvested green coffee all year round, because it has two major harvest seasons. For this reason, and because of the huge volumes it produces while maintaining consistent quality, Colombian coffee is one of the mainstays of espresso blends all over the world. Yet Colombian producers are also pushing the envelope with growing and processing, creating new technologies that have led to some incredible new flavour profiles.

Like we have done with our Buyer’s Guides to Guatemala and Brazil , the goal with this online course is to produce the web’s most comprehensive guide to Colombia’s growing regions, varieties, and production methods. We will continue adding new lessons and videos to this course across the middle of 2022, and BH Unlimited subscribers have advanced access to each new chapter as the production progresses.

Continuous Roasting

You know when you go to a pizza place and they have one of those conveyor belt kind of ovens? The ones where you pop the raw pizza in one end, and a few agonisingly slow minutes later a sizzling, okay pizza emerges from the other end. Well, believe it or not, there are coffee roasters that use the same principle. Here’s one by NEPRO:

The hopper (1) was designed to continually feed beans onto a conveyor belt. The beans passed through four different roasting zones (2–5) which were then heated and fluidised by hot air at different temperatures. But unlike the pizza analogy, there were no sizzling beans coming out of this roaster; a cooling zone (6) was appointed to quench and cool the beans before they finally dropped out the end of the conveyor belt.

For efficiency, it’s quite hard to fault the idea — the concept first described by Carl Alexander Otto’s 1889 patent for a continuous roaster which implied that a roaster would ‘leave the tap running’ all day, creating an endless stream of roasted coffee. But somehow things didn’t turn out this way. There are roasteries operating at such a scale that they think nothing of emptying 20 shipping containers of coffee on a single roasting day. But if you’ve ever visited a massive roastery, you will most likely have seen a couple of enormous versions of the drum roasters you see at your local independent.

This week in our brand new online course entitled Roasting Science , we explore the history of the continuous roasters and find out how we ended up where we are today.

The Comb and Ring

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of two new products in the BH Tools catalogue. They’re now shipping worldwide from our Hong Kong warehouse.

The Comb is our take on the Weiss Distribution Method, with a number of unique features never seen before on a WDT tool.

The Ring is a complementary magnetised dosing ring; handy for keeping a WDT workflow tidy, or as a welcome addition to any espresso preparation.

An Ad-Free Learning Experience

At BH we never do ads for other company’s products on our website. There’s no product placement in any of our courses, newsletters or blog posts. Our only income comes from what you pay for your subscriptions. When you see machinery or coffee gear mentioned in any of our educational material, or featured in our course videos, we have chosen to use that equipment because we like using it, because we think it’s historically significant in the evolution of the espresso machine, or because it shows you something you need to see about modern coffee culture. It’s as simple as that.

Roasting Science

Roaster Types
RS 1.12 • Other Roaster Designs
RS 1.13 • Recap and Glossary
RS 1.14 • Comprehension Test — Chapter 1

The Coffee Buyer’s Guide to Colombia

CBGC 0.01 • About This Course
CBGC 0.02 • Introduction

As always, we're just an email away if you have any queries! Have a great week and we look forward to seeing you next time.

To the Boundaries of Coffee,
Team BH