Colombia produces only Arabica beans. Considered to have richer flavour, a key of arabica coffee production is that the plants ripen continuously year round with two main harvesting seasons, every plant having flowers and unripe green and ripe red coffee cherries.
This means they have to be hand-picked, making it more expensive than machine-picked robusta plantations (common in Brazil), but because only red, ripe beans are iced, provides a much more consistent and superior taste and characteristic (versus machine picking that collects and processes everything, ripe and unripe).
Pickers are only paid the full amount per kg if they have nearly all ripe red cherries, ensuring quality.
The hand-picked focus and well-organised Colombian coffee collective allows the continuation of their small-scale family farms.