Tag Archives: specialty coffee

What is the Secret of Colombia’s Happiness?

“Why do you love coffee?”

I was in one of Bogota best specialty coffee shops, Amor Perfecto, with a tour group. Light came streaming in the café on that sunny Bogota morning, and the intoxicating smell of freshly ground coffee made us all a bit dizzy.

Over the sounds of coffee cups clinking against saucers and the typical chatter of a busy cafe, the tour guests crowded in to catch the barista’s answer to my question.  The barista thought for a few seconds before answering, and then…what an answer he gave!

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Your Guide to Tasting Specialty Coffee in Colombia

Grown on mist covered hills by successive generations of hard-working families, coffee from Colombia is considered some of the best in the world.

However, how can you learn to appreciate and evaluate specialty coffee?  Coffee experts often intimidate beginners with complicated questions and impenetrable explanations.

(Of course, they don’t do that on purpose). 

Here at Flavors of Bogota we used to feel intimidated. Listening to the experts was like trying to understand someone speak in a language we’d never heard before. Their lips were moving, but we weren’t understanding the info.

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Colombian Coffee Dreams: One Entrepreneur’s Vision

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.

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How to Brew Specialty Coffee that Impresses your Barista

So you’ve taken a tour of specialty coffee shops in Bogota. You were impressed with the skill of the baristas and the excellent brews you tried. Perhaps you bought several bags of Colombian coffee, and you are anxious to impress your friends with your new coffee brewing knowledge.

Now you’re asking yourself: “How can I brew specialty coffee in my kitchen?”

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What’s in our Cup: Urbania Cafe

Warning: If you’re not in Medellin, Colombia, or going soon, you may not want to read this post because it can create severe irritation at not having immediate access to this coffee.

What’s the best thing about working in the world of coffee? Drinking it. Of course.

And when you work with coffee, wherever you travel you feel impelled to search out the best coffee shops and down a few cups of joe. Alejandra, our marvelous tour guide for the Flavors of Bogota Coffee Shop Tours, recently did her own investigative research in Medellin, searching out the best coffee shops. As you can see from her satisfied smile in the picture below, she got a good find. The best part is that she brought us back samples from her investigation – a mighty tasty job, indeed.

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Coffee Fair in Bogota

Every year the coffee industry in Colombia has a coffee fair that gathers together everyone involved in the coffee industry – coffee growers, exporters and distributors, coffee shop owners and baristas. From around the world coffee importers come looking for the next specialty coffee to take back home with them.

The most exciting moment of the fair is the national barista championships, where the top baristas around the country compete to see who will be the king for the following year.

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How Coffee Changes Us

I grew up in a house with no coffee. There was no coffee pot on the stove, no coffee maker on the counter. There was no smell of coffee to wake us in the morning and no reason to sit around the kitchen table mid-afternoon. We ate our cookies with milk. And we considered ourselves normal.

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