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FOOD + DRINK

Pergamino Coffee

The Colombian company sells beans directly from their farm to shorten the chain from field to cup

by Julie Wolfson
on 07 June 2016

In 2012, the Pergamino coffee bar in the upscale El Poblado neighborhood of Medellín, Colombia was one of our favorite finds in this vibrant city. Now Pergamino is available in North America through their online store, making it possible to order freshly roasted coffee directly from their farm.

The Echavarría family got into the coffee business almost 40 years ago when Pedro Echavarría bought a property and discovered abandoned coffee trees under the forest. Eventually he discovered he had purchased a small part of a great estate called Hacienda Jonás—an almost mythical farm, owned by a very rich and powerful 19th century family. Echavarría’s coffee growing hobby turned into a career, eventually leading to relationships selling green coffees around the world and developing an allied producers program with other farms. Their company is Cafè de Santa Bárbara and their coffees are known as Pergamino—meaning parchment.

Son Pedro Echavarría (who shares his father’s name) grew up in Colombia, then studied business at Tufts, and came back home to help run the family business. Later he opened the gorgeous coffee bar in Medellín, where we first met him. Both father and son are excited about this new division of Pergamino. “We are active members of the craft coffee movement in the US from the green side, providing many top roasters with their higher-end Colombian coffees, and now we want to be part of this from the roasting side as well,” Echavarría says. "By roasting and selling directly through our website we feel that we are helping bring good, traceable coffee to consumers both in Colombia and now in North America. It literary cannot get more direct, or more transparent than this.”

The team works with over 300 growers in seven different municipalities throughout Colombia, aiming to help develop profitable small businesses and improve their living standards. Almost every week they are either at their own farms or their allied producers, to access the wealth of information they can learn there and share it with the consumer. This isn't only entrepreneurship, it's also about sharing knowledge.

Adding to the family vibe, Pergamino deliveries are personalized. When the package arrives from Colombia the first thing to open is an exterior envelope filled with printed cards. The first one greets the person who had placed the order by name and is accompanied by beautiful postcards with images of farms and plenty of information about the coffee. “What we want is to provide our costumers with amazing coffee,” says Echaverria, "while sharing with them the most complete story possible, about its origin and the people behind it.”

Pergamino coffees are now available online.

Images courtesy of Pergamino Coffee

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