What Makes A Good Colombian Coffee Souvenir
High-quality coffee is grown in Colombia from 900 to about 2,100 meters above sea level. Its grown all over the country, from north to south.
Almost 500,000 coffee growers produce some of the best coffee in the world. In the shade of avocado, walnut or fruit trees, small coffee plantations are normally a family affair, and the business is often passed down from generation to generation.
Those factors make Colombian coffee a fantastic artisan gift. And good coffee souvenirs in Colombia go beyond just bags of coffee at a supermarket.
What coffee souvenirs can you take home with you? You can purchase most of the following items at a coffee shop, farmers market, outdoor fair, or supermarket:
- Colombian coffee
Or learn about coffee in Colombia on our virtual Colombian Coffee Workshop an excellent way to prepare for a visit to Colombia or share your memories of Colombian coffee education with people you love back home.
Who Is Juan Valdez
- Reading time:10 mins read
Juan Valdez, the coffee guy with the donkey, is perhaps the most famous coffee grower of all time. You have probably seen his image on bags of coffee, or youve heard him doing his best to convince you to drink coffee on TV or even in the movies.
But who is Juan Valdez? Does this celebrated coffee grower represent something larger than himself?
Indeed, he does.
Let me walk you through the history of this well-known coffee grower and how hes affected the coffee industry for decades.
Juan Valdez Cafe Guayaquil
Cherry cheesecake in a cup is delicious, loving that they use biodegradable straws instead of the awful paper ones. A bit on the expensive side hence missing the full 5 rating.
Getting to the airport early for a flight to the islands, I didn’t have time for breakfast before I left. Coffee was a necessity and while I don’t usually hit the main coffee chains, I have enjoyed the Juan Valdez chain in several airports. I…also munched a delicious brownie there, it filled me up for my flight!More
Perhaps not the fault of the place but I got sick 90 minutes after eating there and it lasted for a week.
The prices at Juan Valdez Café in Guayaquil domestic airport terminal are not cheap, particularly for a poor nation like Ecuador, so to then be asked to pay an extra 20 for a splash of cold milk in a filtered coffee was a bit…rich, I felt.The coffee was good, but the principle of having to pay for milk or sugar on top of the published charge grated on me. Thus, I opted not to give them any more of my hard earned money for a pastry.More
I visited the airport location . The server wanted to charge me extra to substitute hot chocolate for cappuccino. .. even though hot chocolate is LESS expensive on their menu. The cheese empanada was fine and the hot chocolate was good.
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What Is The Name Of Juan Valdezs Donkey
She accompanies her owner to coffee events around the world. Mild-mannered and able to withstand pressure, shes a pleasure to work with. Juan Valdezs faithful companion is his donkey, Conchita.
Does the image of a coffee grower with a donkey seem like an antiquated vision? Actually, its not.
The donkey is still a permanent companion of Colombian coffee growers, both female and male. Although it has been largely replaced by the colorful Jeep Willys, there are areas that even those tough jeeps cant get to.
So the future employment prospects of Colombian donkeys seems well established.
Why Juan Valdez Coffee Is The Best
As Colombias leading producer of premium coffee, Juan Valdez excels in several aspects including
- Meticulous selection of coffee beans that are 100% Arabica
- The coffee beans are chosen based on the unique qualities and size
- Coffee beans are first treated under the utmost quality focused processes, which include washing of beans in spring water, crushing and sun drying them.
- Handpicked beans are ground to the right proportions and frozen, which helps to seal the flavor and freshness.
- Diverse coffee varieties are offered including single origin, certified and premium selection coffee
- The coffee is available as ground, instant and whole bean varieties to meet with different customer needs
- The coffee cup profile offered at Juan Valdez include mild, bold, balanced and espresso
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Where Can I Buy Juan Valdez Coffee
In Colombia, you will find more than 300 Juan Valdez coffee shops scattered all over the country.
You can also buy Juan Valdez coffee online while youre in Colombia.
If you want to buy some on your way home, youll find a Juan Valdez shop at all international airports.
If youre already back home, you can buy it on the internet or in some major cities worldwide.
Why Are They So Good At It
Regardless of all the fanciful names etched across bags and boxes on the coffee aisle, the world of java consists primarily of two types of beans: Arabica and Robusta. Colombia is one of a few countries that only produce Arabica, which means theyve gotten pretty good at it.
It all starts with the right environment, and Colombias is perfectly suited to yield bountiful harvests of premium beans. The moist volcanic-infused soil, tropical climate, and optimal elevation provide farmers with a trifecta of prime growing conditions.
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About Juan Valdez Coffee
Juan Valdez brand graces all types of specialty stores, dining rooms, online stores, airline and shopping centers. The chief mission of the company is to captivate coffee lovers all over the world with its premium quality coffee, while supporting the Colombian coffee growers. The company partnered with Colombian Coffee Growers Federation in 2002 and since then has covered over 32 countries. The stores deliver an exciting array of single origin coffees.
Amazonfresh Colombia Whole Bean Coffee
offers a light citrus aroma to start our day and will have you refilling quickly. It has sweet notes of chocolate and brown sugar with low acidity. With a favorable price and a flavor-rich conveyance, this is a good value for the money.
This medium roast has balanced flavor, yet does land on the softer side of spectrum. For those looking for a bolder, medium roast, this choice may not satisfy the craving.
Priced for those on a budget, this pick is noted as being an everyday choice for many. If youre seeking a go-to blend, subscribe-and-save is an option that will leave a few more dollars in your wallet.
Known to many as the father and face of Colombian coffee, Juan Valdez has a reputation for unmatched consistency and broad appeal to the masses. This Juan Valdez Organic Colombian Fairtrade Coffee is a medium roast with a strong aroma that is sure to get you moving in the morning. It has little acidity and bitterness making this a perfect match with the straight black coffee drinker.
If youre looking for a robust profile, you may be disappointed with the milder flavor of this medium roast, especially with its higher price tag. If you are underwhelmed by the flavor, at least its available in a ten-ounce size.
- Not suitable for those with sensitive stomachs
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Juan Valdez Instant Coffee
The instant coffee from Juan Valdez comes in an airtight package that helps to keep the flavor and freshness intact. Available in jars of 3.5ounces with resealable lid, the coffee is easy to brew with any type of coffee pot or coffee maker. The coffee is also available as single or two pack varieties.
The National Coffee Fund
The national coffee fund has served for several decades as the primary instrument of Colombian coffee policy formulation and implementation. The FNC has two main investment sub-funds, the stabilizer fund and the investment fund. The stabilizer fund manages resources for the internal and external administration of product, prices and commerce. The investment fund manages the resources for the investment in the Federation’s enterprises and, for the lines of credit and production financing for coffee growers.
During the 20th century, Colombia became the number one producer and exporter of premium mild washed coffee in the world. This has been a very significant achievement, attained by the combined efforts of the private sector, the gremial organizations and the Federation’s institutions. The successful model of Colombian coffee production and commerce is the outcome of a well balanced combination of efficient private enterprise and a well planned macroeconomic policy by the government. This economic model has become the organizational archetype for more than fifty coffee producing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
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Compaia Agrcola De Seguros
The “Compañia Agrícola de Seguros” was created in 1952. The Coffee Federation decided to establish this insurance company because the premiums being charged to its members to insure and protect the warehousing and transportation of coffee, by commercial insurance companies were ever increasing.
The company eventually extended its services to cover production risk and liability, hedging, calamity, auto, life and health insurance to all of the members of the Coffee Federation, offering if lower premiums and higher benefits. The company suffered heavy losses during the earthquake that destroyed , as this was a highly concentrated area of coffee growers.
What Impact Has Juan Valdez Made In The Coffee World
The Juan Valdez marketing campaign is admired as an outstanding success at promoting coffee.
Up until that time, roasters blended coffee from many countries, without highlighting any specific area. No single country, no single region, was given attention.
With Juan Valdez, that changed. For the first time, the world had a single-origin coffee.
This marketing campaign, and later the Café de Colombia seal, placed Colombian coffee on the map as a single-origin coffee.
A new image was born in the minds of coffee consumers. Now they could see, on their own TV, scenes of a coffee grower picking coffee in the high mountains of Colombia.
That was the beginning of a slow change towards focusing on origin as a promise of quality in coffee. Just as wine from certain regions or countries has been appreciated, now coffee was beginning to get its chance to shine.
It defined a coffee and a country. It even defined the coffee industry as a whole.
In my case, Juan Valdez had a huge impact on my concept of coffee. He was so present in my childhood , I thought all coffee was from Colombia.
As a coffee professor, I now realize thats not true. But back in the 80s, I couldnt have mentioned another coffee-producing country.
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How Do Colombians Drink Coffee
When you order a coffee in Colombia, you have two basic choices:
- tinto: a black coffee or
- café: a coffee with milk
In Colombia a black coffee is called tinto. That word can mean dark. A tinto is generally small, about 4-6 ounces. Its not usually intense, and its often heavily sweetened.
You cant ask for milk with your tinto. If you want milk in your coffee, ask for a café.
A word of warning: in Colombia a café is acoffee with milk. Here, it is not just the word for coffee .
If you want a black coffee and you order a café, you will be terribly disappointed. A café here is a big cup of milk with a tiny bit of coffee in it, often heavily sweetened.
Now that you know what coffee you want, how do you order it?
Urban Layout And Nomenclature
The colonial city, from 1539 to 1810, barely changed its urban layout and culture. Santafe was slowly leaving behind the colonialism after the independence revolution from 1810 to 1819. Entering the 19th century, the city of Bogotá was still the political and demographic core of Nueva Granada but remained a small city as compared with similar cities, such as Lima and Buenos Aires. At the year of 1801, the city had 173 blocks and 21,394 inhabitants marking a slow population growth during the 1700s. In the beginning of the 19th century, city life was marked by the lack of cultural activity and public services as well as by the excessive Catholic religiosity in its inhabitants, which almost controlled the whole life of people, as a journalist traveler wrote in 1822 .
Today Bogotá has 20 localities, or districts, forming an extensive network of neighborhoods. Areas of higher economic status tend to be located in the north, close to the Eastern Hills in the districts of , and the east of . The lower middle class inhabit the central, western and northwestern parts of the city.. The working-class neighborhoods are located in the south, some of them .
- Norte-Quito-Sur or NQS
- Autopista Norte-Avenida Caracas
- Avenida Circunvalar
- Avenida Suba
- Avenida El Dorado
- Avenida de las Américas
- Avenida Primero de Mayo
- Avenida Ciudad de Cali
- Avenida Boyacá
- Autopista Sur
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First A Bit Of History About Coffee In Colombia
Colombia is one of the major coffee-producing countries in the world. Coming in 3rd place in production , Colombia has been producing coffee since the plant was introduced to Latin America in the 1700s.
A unique aspect of Colombia is that the country is mountainous. The Andes mountains cut through the country, roughly north to south, in three parallel mountain ranges. Additionally, there are other mountainous regions such as the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
All those mountains create an ideal environment for growing Arabica coffee. Also, Colombia is entirely within whats known as the Coffee Belt or Bean Belt, or the area of the world where coffee can be grown.
Its a simple equation.
Mountains + latitude = great coffee.
However, most of that great coffee is exported. Colombian coffee is expensive . So whats left in Colombia is generally lower-quality coffee or even cheaper coffee imported from other countries.
Thus, the need for this guide. And the answer to the next question
Where Can I Drink Good Coffee When Im In Colombia
When I moved to Latin America I was blown away by the quality of coffee. I could get it freshly ground at the market, and I longed for those intense aromas and tastes.
Of course, this was back in the mid-1990s, when the quality of coffee in the United States was still quite pitiful.
So depending on what youre used to drinking at home and what youre expecting, you might be pleased or feel horrified by the coffee you drink in Colombia.
If you drink specialty coffee at home, you may be disappointed by the typical coffee served in Colombia. And if you mostly drink espresso back home, Colombian coffee will seem weak.
Have no fear, though, because in this guide Ive included links to excellent coffee shops that will not disappoint you.
Where can you drink good coffee in Colombia?
If youre used to drinking coffee from major coffee chains in your home country, you might be pleased with just about any coffee in bakeries, restaurants, and cafés in Colombia.
If youre looking for good espresso, stick to specialty coffee shops that are popping up around the country, even in small towns.
And if youre used to specialty coffee shops, search out the best specialty coffee shops in Colombia and you wont be disappointed.
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Should I Buy Colombian Coffee In A Supermarket
In our opinion, you should never buy any coffee in most supermarkets. Why?
You want the freshest coffee possible. You wouldnt want bread from a bakery if you knew it was five months old, would you?
Dont settle for old coffee, either. Often, coffee in supermarkets is months old. To get the freshest coffee, buy it from a coffee shop or online from a roaster.
Why Do We Love It
Because it tastes great!
It may seem like a no-brainer, but the wonderful flavor of Colombian finest coffee is why we keep filling our mugs with it.
Silky smooth and soft, with hints of chocolate, fruit, and caramel, Arabica black coffee brews are mild and easy to sip. Set foot in any major U.S. coffee chain and that latte with extra foam that keeps you bright-eyed and alert will more than likely have been crafted with Arabica beans.
Interesting to note is that while we down cup after cup in search of just enough of a kick to help us push through the day, Arabica actually contains only about half the amount of caffeine of Robusta.
While the notion of less caffeine may seem to fly in the face of more is better when it comes to stimulants, know that the more caffeine a brew contains, the more bitter itll generally taste. So while you may get less of a jolt from Arabica, you may find that youre able to drink more of it, in the long run, thanks to a much more palatable taste.
Is Colombian Coffee Good
Youre reading a website thats dedicated to coffee in Colombia. Obviously, were a bit partial.
But yes, Colombian coffee is often great. And its not just because we live here.
There are some solid reasons why Colombia has that reputation of producing great coffee. Find out in our Is Colombian Coffee Really Better? article.
Who Makes Juan Valdez Coffee
When we talk about the coffee producers behind the Juan Valdez brand, youre literally talking about the whole 550,000 coffee producers in Colombia.
These producers can, if they so desire, sell their coffee to the FNC. In turn, the FNC sells the coffee to a private company that manages the Juan Valdez brand, Procafecol.
So while all coffee producers in Colombia may contribute to the coffee in the brand, Procafecol is the company that owns and manages the brand.
Coffee producers in Colombia are not forced to sell their coffee to the FNC. They can choose to do so. And even more important, they are guaranteed the purchase of green coffee.
That green purchase guarantee is unique to coffee no other industry in Colombia guarantees the purchase of a farmers production.
The FNC generally pays market prices for the coffee. That may be well below what a coffee grower could earn if they sold a higher-quality coffee to a direct buyer or through a co-op with an international buyer. So coffee producers with better-quality coffee may choose to sell to other coffee buyers.
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