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