Our Story


 

Café de Santa Barbara is a family-owned company dedicated to the production and export of Colombian estate coffee. Our family’s beginnings in the coffee business date from the early 20th century when our second great grand father, Don Alejandro Angel, became the first mayor exporter of Colombian coffee. Foreseeing the enormous potential for the Colombian crop, in the times when our country’s coffee did not have the reputation that it holds now, he sought to convince the European and American traders that the distinctive qualities of our Arabica coffee made it worthy of recognition and admiration by the coffee roasters of the world. He succeeded beyond his contemporaries’ imagination, opened new markets and became the largest Colombian coffee exporter of his time. It is with great honor then that we embrace the legacy that Don Alejandro left in our country’s history as a quality coffee producer.

Furthermore, it was inspired in his memory that Pedro Echavarria, husband to one of Don Alejandro’s great grand daughters, ventured into growing coffee three decades ago. Knowing the intimacies of what the international roasters desired for their blends, and mixing industrial rigor with artistic craftsmanship, he built a coffee estate from the bottom up. Mr. Echavarría understood that the most important step was choosing the region where to grow his coffee. After much deliberation he ended up deciding for Santa Barbara, a small county encroached into the Andean mountains in the state of Antioquia. Other than its picturesque charm, Santa Barbara offered a land with distinctive and crucial qualities, such as microclimates (do to the combination of altitude with warm air from the Cauca river valley), singular volcanic soils, perfect altitude, and a tradition of excellence in the production of coffee. Mr. Echavarria started then with a modest amount of land, but throughout the years he has constantly increased production capacity. The main estate, by the name of Santa Barbara, now counts with 350 hectares (860 acres) in coffee fields, a size which has proven to be perfect, as it provides the production volume necessary to afford a state of the art beneficio (wet mill) and an industrial and logistical infrastructure crucial to maintain consistent levels of efficiency without being large enough to sacrifice an inch in the pursuit for the highest quality.

Our Story
 

Santa Barbara is our principal estate, but we have also developed another estate by the name of San Pascual. This last hacienda is smaller in size but grows only shade coffee. Now Mr. Echavarría manages the company not only with the help of his three sons, Nicolas, Camilo and Pedro Miguel, but with an extended family of 1000 committed workers that see growing coffee not as a job but as a way of life. Its with this history and experience that we come to offer you our coffee.