Introducing the Stunning Concept Café, Orígenes de Juan Valdez Café in Bogotá

This new concept cafe has been so successful that the company is looking to open Orígenes de Juan Valdez outlets elsewhere in the country.

Barista Magazine’s publisher Ken Olson is in Colombia this week doing research for an upcoming article series we have planned for the print magazine—look for part one in the April+May issue! But before he got down to the zillions of interviews he’s doing with scientists and botanists, our friends at the Colombian Coffee Federation were kind enough to take him to visit one of Bogotá’s most beautiful coffeehouses, the Orígenes de Juan Valdez Café.

Opened in December, the new Orígenes de Juan Valdez Café is three stories, complete with a rooftop deck, with modern decor studded with natural elements.

Opened in December, the new Orígenes de Juan Valdez Café is three stories, complete with a rooftop deck, with modern decor studded with natural elements.

The new coffeehouse just opened in December, but has already been attracting coffee lovers in droves, who love relaxing in the space, which includes such natural elements as a living wall.

The awesome living wall, located in some of the extensive outdoor seating.

The awesome living wall, located in some of the extensive outdoor seating.

They might also be attracted by the extensive brew bar at the cafe—seriously, this place is pimped out. And the lead barista here is a guy who truly knows his stuff—2013 Barista Champion of Colombia, Ronald Harvey Valero Balaguera, who dazzled the crowd at the World Barista Championship in Melbourne, Australia, and went on to compete in other international events including the Angels in US competition in South Korea, where he made the finals.

Ronald is the lead baraista at the new cafe. He looks familiar, right? That's because he was the Colombian Barista Champion in 2013!

Ronald is the lead baraista at the new cafe. He looks familiar, right? That’s because he was the Colombian Barista Champion in 2013!

Man, that's one tricked out brew bar.

Man, that’s one tricked out brew bar.

The Orígenes de Juan Valdez Café—which is located in Zona G—was designed to be a tribute to the regions of Colombia and the work of farmers to develop and harvest great coffee. The architecture of the space leads customers on a journey of the senses through Caldas, Huila, Antioquia, Cauca, and Santander.

There are loads of educational displays about coffee throughout the cafe, including this vintage map (drooling).

There are loads of educational displays about coffee throughout the cafe, including this vintage map (drooling).

Ken told me how the tables are made from stumped coffee trees, and that the place was packed when he visited. Ken said that the Orígenes de Juan Valdez concept “has been so successful that they’re looking to build more in other cities in Colombia and maybe outside the country, too.”

A steady stream of customers ordered espresso drinks as well as manual brewed Colombian coffee when Ken Olson, Barista Mag's publisher, visited on Monday.

A steady stream of customers ordered espresso drinks as well as manual brewed Colombian coffee when Ken Olson, Barista Mag’s publisher, visited on Monday.

Juan Valdez has 250 stores in Colombia and abroad in countries including the United States, Spain, Ecuador, Chile, Mexico, Kuwait, Aruba, Panama, and Peru.

 

About the Author

Sarah

Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.