Coffee was first introduced to Colombia around the same time Jesuit priests first began arriving from Europe in the mid 16th century. The leaders of Colombia encouraged people to grow coffee, but they met with resistance. Worried that a coffee tree takes five years to provide its first crop, they wondered how they were going to survive during this period?
Thank God for the Sinners.
In a small village, a priest named Francisco Romero had an idea, instead of the usual penance at confession, he told people that to redeem their sins they had to plant 3 or 4 coffee trees.
Upon hearing of this economic-stimulating approach to providing “forgiveness”, the Archbishop of Colombia ordered all Jesuit priests to use this penance and the seeds of Colombia’s coffee industry were planted.
Then Came Juan Valdez and His Donkey.
Colombian coffee is among the world’s most well known. This is largely due to the very successful marketing campaign created by the National Federation of Colombian Coffee Growers in 1959. They introduced the world to the fictitious character Juan Valdez. Today, 85% of Americans still associate Juan Valdez with Colombian Coffee.
Grown in the Shade of Banana Trees and Rubber Trees.
Grown at high altitudes and tended to with care intercropped in the shade of banana and rubber trees, Colombian coffee is known for its rich, full-bodied, and perfectly balanced taste. The rich volcanic soil in the arid mountains of Colombia produce ideal conditions for growing high quality coffee.
“Starting the day without a delicious cup of coffee is a sad start.” – Joseph Merceica