88: Amor Perfecto – Decolonizing Colombian Coffee
In this episode, we have Luis Fernando Velez founder of Amor Perfecto with whom our host Vidhya Iyer talks about their common love for a good cup of coffee – with its perfect aroma and complex flavors. Luis shares what is entailed in producing a rich and fragrant coffee. It starts from the coffee cherry picked at the exact ripeness using high-tech refractometers to find the optimal ripeness to pick each variety of dark red for one to purple for another. At Amor Perfecto each bean is hand-picked, unlike some other brands who prefer strip harvesting by machine, an efficient, affordable, but indiscriminate practice. The beans are then expertly processed and most importantly roasted close to where they are picked.
For over 200 years Colombia has been exporting green coffee beans to be roasted in consuming countries all over the world. In fact, it was illegal to roast quality coffee in Colombia until 2003. The government and the growers had been convinced that the consuming countries knew better than them how to perfectly roast coffee, robbing Colombians of additional revenues by adding value to their crop. Amor Perfecto fought to change the law and volunteered as guinea pigs to show lawmakers that their signature crop was not just for export. Grab a cup of coffee and tune in to listen to Luis’ fascinating stories.