Who Is Juan Valdez?

Coffee By Elizabetta Tekeste

That was the first question I had when I wanted to learn more about Colombian coffee. After all, the trademark logo of the handsome man, his mule Conchita and the Colombian mountains is recognized by tens of millions of people.

To my surprise- this is fictional character, the brainchild of a Manhattan ad agency. Mr. Valdez is officially the logo for the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia, a cooperative entirely owned and controlled by Colombia's 500,000 coffee farmers.

But what makes it special enough to have it's own icon distinguishing it as 100%-Colombian coffee?

In short, it's bright with great body. A description also suitable for a certain famous Colombian singer.

Colombia has been producing coffee for hundreds of years- you see the benefit of that experience in their micro-lots where exceptional batches are produced and picked with expertise. The European Union has granted protected designation to Colombia's coffee, recognizing its unmistakable quality.

The bean is the Arabica bean and seems to have reached Colombia by way of a traveler from Guyana who passed through Venezuela on route.

Today Colombia produces nearly 9 million bags of coffee a year so one individual really can make an impact!

Until next week, breathe well and be well!