Our Flagship Coffee- The story behind "La Familia"

Our Flagship Coffee- The story behind

Colombian coffee from our family to yours. Coffee isn't just about what's in the cup; it's about the story. Ours begins on our family farm in Colombia and ends with your family enjoying every sip. "La Familia" is our flagship coffee and is the reason that Santiago and Kristin started The Colombian. Here is the story...


In 2016 our coffee adventure began! Founders Santiago and Kristin visited Santiago’s home country of Colombia at the insistence of his Uncle Felipe who had purchased a coffee farm and wanted help to bring his beans to Canada. Santiago had left the country years earlier due to the conflicts so it was his first visit back in many years. After visiting the family farm, "Finca Santa Rita", Santiago and Kristin quickly fell in love with all things coffee and upon returning home to Edmonton started The Colombian

That first season, they attended over 100 farmers market dates where they introduced Edmonton to their family coffee, known at the time as "Santa Rita". Today, as The Colombian has grown to four brick and mortar locations, we continue to support our Uncle Felipe and buy his full production every season! We decided on the name, "La Familia" to represent that this is our family's coffee as it translates to "The Family". 


“La Familia” is truly our most beloved coffee, not only because it is delicious, but it is produced by our founder Santiago's Uncle and Aunt, Felipe Lopez Arroyave and Gloria Zambrano.  Finca Santa Rita is our family coffee farm and is located in the beautiful mountains high above the town of Chinchina in Caldas, Colombia. This is just a short drive away from Santiago’s home city, Manizales.

Felipe and Gloria bought this coffee farm with big dreams of semi-retirement in the mountains of Colombia. What they soon realized was that the farm they had bought had the potential to produce very good coffee and so they set to work improving the farm and bringing it back from years of neglect from the previous owner. Felipe was determined to bring his coffee to Canada, so offered the coffee to his nephew Santiago in Edmonton.

Felipe and Gloria have done so much work on the farm to make it better and better each year. The farm is 18 hectares with half of the farm being reserved for conservation. Felipe is very passionate about conservation and does not spray the coffee crops for bugs because of this. On the farm, these conservation efforts allow habitat for bees, birds, wolves and armadillos to flourish.

Felipe grows 4 different varietals of coffee at the farm, Castillo, CeniCafe, Tabi and Gesha. They have a wet mill, drying beds and a mechanical dryer where they process the coffee after picking. Year round, they employ a farm manager and his family and during harvest season they employ up to 15 pickers. 

They have learned through trial and error how to produce specialty coffee. This has allowed us to learn what it takes to make delicious coffee in Colombia and it thanks to this connection that us at The Colombian have a very different approach to how we source and buy coffee. It is not just about the coffee but about the relationships that we are able to build with producers.

From our family to yours, we hope you love our coffee as much as we do . We are honoured to share it with you!