It’s a search that has been going on for years. Back in 2010 Tyler Youngblood and Jayson Galvis were driving through South American on a road trip. They arrived in Colombia, and they fell in love.
But not with a girl.
They fell in love with Colombian coffee.
Since then, they have spent their time traveling around Colombia visiting coffee farms, looking for that perfect bean, that perfect taste in the cup.
When they find it, they work hard to get it into the hands of people around the world.
And they’ve been doing it right, because this year one of their baristas, Mauricio Romero won the national coffee championship here in Colombia.
Through their company, Azahar Coffee, they work directly with coffee farmers and coffee associations.
Coffee with identity
That’s obvious when you take a good look at the bags of coffee they sell in their shop near Parque de la 93, in Bogota. Their single origin coffees have a specific identity – you can know the exact farmer who produced this coffee on exactly what piece of land throughout the country. You can go to their website and see the name of the farm – and the farmer – that produced your coffee: you can locate them on the map, know where your coffee has traveled from.
This takes on importance when you consider that every coffee farm is different – different soils, altitude, climates, different shade and sun conditions – and all of those variations affect the coffee you’ll be drinking. Every farm is different, but also every lot. Are there orange trees planted there? Do banana trees shade the coffee plants? You’ll feel it in your drink. Every year conditions vary, every harvest is different, every roasting process creates a variation. So knowing where your coffee is from, who is picking the cherries at what stage of maturity, and who is roasting it is not just a matter for coffee snobs – it’s something everyone can learn to detect in their mug.
Azahar has a lab in Armenia where they cup coffee, searching for exact flavor profiles. At times, the coffee farmers don’t even realize what a special coffee they’re producing, the added value of superior quality that could bring them an increased income. Azahar works with them so they can improve harvesting techniques or how they process the bean, which benefits everyone, from the farmer (who can get more money for the beans) to the coffee drinker sitting in a coffeehouse thousands of miles away in a big city. Read about their process.
Love coffee? Come with us on a coffee adventure! Find out about our Coffee Shop Tours.
Regions and methods
At their coffee shop you can choose coffee from regions around the country – Nariño, Antioquia, Huila, and Quindío – and then choose the brewing method you’d like: French Press, Chemex, Siphon, V60 dripper or Aeropress. Sound confusing? The baristas can help you make the best choice possible (a hint – they recommend the dripper method for most coffees. Later I’ll be writing more about that).
And in case you’re wondering – Azahar is the Spanish name for that beautiful flower on the coffee plant.