In the mid-1990s, Luis Fernando Vélez was busy selling flowers.
In Colombia that wasn’t uncommon, since the fertile land near Medellin is flower-growing country. In fact, the country is one of the largest producers of flowers in the world. So the next time you receive or send flowers, those gorgeous blossoms might be from Colombia.
You could imagine that those flowers would be from Luis Fernando Vélez’s flower export company. But they won’t be.
You see, Vélez didn’t get that far with selling flowers. The problem was the coffee.
Continue reading Colombian Coffee Dreams: One Entrepreneur’s Vision
When you visit Bogota, at some point you may find yourself on a chilly street wondering where to warm up with a good coffee. Now, if what you mean by a good coffee is that you need to find a specialty coffee shop, you and I have something in common.
When I began writing travel articles for international publications, I always had to include coffee shops. After all, this is Colombia, the largest exporter of fine Arabica coffee in the world.
It was only after spending large amounts of time with enthusiastic coffee shop owners, talented and generous baristas, and many cups of coffee that I realized I’d found something amazing.
Continue reading What Makes a Specialty Coffee Shop Unforgettable?
I met Karen Silva at a Juan Valdez coffee shop. She’s in her twenties. Serious. Shy. In a society that places quite a bit of emphasis on women’s physical appearance, there was no bling about her, no lipstick or flashy earrings. Her hair was caught back in a fine black net, a fashion that every other Juan Valdez employee was sporting. There wasn’t much about her that impressed me.
Until she made that coffee for us.
Continue reading Lighting a Fire under Coffee Culture in Colombia
100% Colombian coffee – that expression is known around the world. Coffee has been one of Colombia’s most steady exports for decades.
It is any different to taste a cup of coffee in Colombia?
Continue reading Drinking Coffee in Colombia
Around the world, coffeehouses have been important meeting places for centuries, and Bogota is no exception. Walk around this South American city and you’ll find busy coffee shops and bakeries at any time of day; walk by a Juan Valdez coffeehouse in the morning and you’ll see people doing business over a hot cup of coffee, and in the afternoon you’ll notice whole families gathered at bakeries to leisurely enjoy coffee and snacks during what they call onces, the Colombian version of tea time.
Over the last few years a new wave of coffeehouses has flooded Bogota. In addition to the Juan Valdez stores on nearly every corner of the city, more and more independent coffee shops are opening up, each one offering an in-depth look into coffee farms and farmers as well as the regions where coffee is grown. All of this adds up to tasting experiences you won’t get anywhere else.
Why is Colombian coffee in such demand?
Coffee is grown in Colombia on hundreds of thousands of small family owned farms. Unlike Robusta beans, Arabica beans (the only ones found in Colombia) are grown at high altitudes. Mountainous terrain means that beans are picked in a very labor intensive way (by hand, since machines are useless on those hills) and are often transported off the farm by mule or jeep. This hand picking means just the ripest, deep red cherries – not the green ones, not the slightly pink ones – are chosen. The beans are then sent off to get processed and roasted; freshly roasted coffee should be consumed as quickly as possible to preserve the characteristics of the bean. Of course, all of these factors increase the cost – but they also increase the quality.
Continue reading Foodie Hub’s Guide to Colombian Coffee and Coffeehouses in Bogota
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.
Continue reading Searching for the Perfect Cup of Coffee: Azahar Cafe
Ready for a coffee education? Welcome to the perfect coffee love created at Amor Perfecto.
Continue reading Coffee Perfection at Amor Perfecto