Colombia is among the largest producer of coffee in the world and was number two behind Brazil for decades. The Tolima growing regions are named after the Tolima district, which was home to Pijaos people before the Spanish arrived.
The Pijaos were known among the Spaniards as fierce defenders of their homeland, which they called “Dulima”.
Named after a famous native priestess, Yulima, the Tolima department was created in 1861 from part of what was Cundinamarca. Hugging the western slopes of the Andes mountains north of the Huila district, Tolima boasts snow-covered peaks, deep river valleys, and all-terrain in between. Coffee trees love the high hills while rice, sesame, and sorghum claim the lower regions.
The high altitudes and rich soil help put coffee from Tolima on the board for awards: in 2015, the district garnered three of the top four awards for the Colombian Cup of Excellence competition, securing 1st, 3rd, and 4th places.