Coffee Comes to Colombia

Not so long ago, Cesar Parra’s world changed with a cup of coffee — a freshly brewed, richly aromatic ambrosia served at one of this nation’s fast-multiplying quality cafes.
“It came as a shock, having a good cup,” said Parra, 47, a late-to-the-game coffee lover who spoke on the sidelines of a master class for baristas. “I was born and raised in Colombia. And all my life, I’d been drinking bad coffee.”
For decades, this South American nation harbored a dirty little secret. In the land of Juan Valdez and his mule, Conchita — the fictional characters from advertisements who have hooked the world on rich mugs of Colombian coffee since the 1950s — it was nearly impossible to get a good cup of Joe.

Read the whole article from the Washington Post to see how good coffee finally became more widely available at home. 

On Saturday we visited the Coffee Expo near where we live and tasted coffee from all over the country. According to Coffee Federation lore, the plant first came into Colombia from Venezuela, and was not popular. That began to change as a local priest started requiring peasants to plant coffee trees instead of saying penitential prayers, and the rest is history.