Colombian coffee thanks to Juan Valdez is known as “The Richest Coffee in the World”. How did Colombia become one of the world’s largest producers of coffee? What makes Amrita Certified Pure Colombian Santander Mesa de Los Santos so special? In this blog we will explore the history of Colombian coffee and Mesa de Los Santos.
No one knows for sure how coffee arrived in Colombia. Many believe Jesuit Priests introduced coffee to Colombia in the mid 16th century. It wasn’t until 1808 when the first commercial production of coffee began. In 1835 was the first time coffee was exported to the US. By 1860 coffee was the dominant crop in Colombia.
Coffee production in Colombia did not come by easily. Even though Colombia with its three Andes Caldileras (mountain ranges) provide ideal growing conditions for growing coffee, farmers had to be encouraged to plant coffee trees. With a five year lapse between planting and first harvest farmers quickly gave up on the notion of becoming a coffee farm. It wasn’t until a priest Francisco Romero during confessions started offering penance by requiring the sinner to plant 3 coffee trees. These plantings helped propelled Colombia to the second largest producer of coffee in the world up until the late 1990’s. Today Colombia is the world’s third largest producer of coffee and the largest producer of quality Arabica coffee.
Colombian has a strong coffee infrastructure that was created by coffee growers in 1927. The growers created the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia (FNC), National Coffee Federation of Colombia. The purpose was to represent the growers both nationally and internationally, defend grower’s rights and seek ways to improve their quality of life. Today the FNC guarantees growers a fair and transparent price for their coffee, technical field assistance, carry out programs that positively impact coffee farms, communities and the environment, and an international marketing program to promote Colombian Coffee. The FNC projects in Colombia’s rural areas improve community and domestic infrastructure as well as offering credit access and social programs, healthcare, education, food aid programs, and transportation. FNC is the sponsor of the Cup of Excellence program which recognizes outstanding coffees where the winning farmers are awarded high auction prices for their coffee. With over 540,000 member growers the FNC is one of the world’s most successful NGO not for profit organizations.
Juan Valdez was created to promote Colombian coffee in 1959. Today the majority of international coffee consumers associate Juan Valdez and his donkey Conchita with “The World’s Richest Coffee”. The messaging of quality coffee in from Colombia was enhanced in 1995 with the labeling of specialty Coffees of Colombian and recognition of the unique flavor profiles from different regions in Colombia.
It was in 1995 that Anne Valdez, President of Amrita Certified Pure was first introduced to Colombian Mesa de los Santos Coffee. Anne had the honor of tasting the coffee with Oswaldo Acevedo the owner of Colombia Mesa de Los Santos farm. Today the aromatic, chocolaty coffee with an apple acidity is still and perfectly balance coffees is one of Anne’s favorite coffees.
This stunning estate is home to migratory birds and a sanctuary for wildlife. Over 145 different bird species have been identified on the estate by the Smithsonian Migratory Institutes. The coffee is grown under a canopy of native shade trees. Portions of the estate are undeveloped and left in as a natural tropical forest. Coffee is grown in harmony and sustainably with nature
The quality of the coffee continues to be worthy of the “Table of the Saints” over 175 years after it’s founding. The coffee was first tasted by Amrita Certified Pure®’s president Anne Valdez in 1995 is still just as good and memorable today has it was in 1995.
The 800 acre estate founded in 1840 was named La Mesa de Los Santos by the founder Telmo J. Dias after priests tasted the coffee and declared it to be so good that the coffee was worthy of being served at the “Table of the Saints”. Telmo managed the estate with generosity, integrity and the search for perfection.
Today Telmo’s principles are carried out by his grandson Oswaldo Acevedo. Oswaldo is a proponent of human welfare. He pays his worker’s wages well above minimum wage, offers them free health care, education assistance for workers children, housing assistance, insurance for temporarily or permanent work disability and retirement pensions. The farms organic practices protect the health of the workers and environment.