Colombia is where it begins…
Devoción is the finest and freshest coffee, pure and simple. Our coffee beans are sourced from farms we hand-select from within the vast untamed regions of our nation. Deep in Colombia’s most inaccessible zones, we develop long-term relationships with coffee growers, paying fair-trade prices and above, while establishing social and environmental programs to help secure their future. We bring progress and pride to growers in regions that have suffered during Colombia’s long-lasting internal conflict. All our beans are dry milled in Bogota, and rapidly shipped to the USA via FedEx for roasting. This means we can guarantee newly roasted, ultra-fresh coffee so that the cup you hold in your hands still breathes the mists of the Colombian campo.
Devoción was launched in 2006 with a mission to change the way coffee is drunk around the world and an emphasis on the freshest coffee possible.
From the tree to the cup
To grasp why Devoción coffee is so exceptional, it is important to understand the process through which our coffee gets from the tree to the cup. Coffee is a berry. Some call it a cherry, and like that fruit the coffee berry can be red, yellow and even pink in hue. The goal of the master coffee producer is to pick the cherry at the moment of perfect ripeness, extracting and drying its seed, and finally roasting it to perfection. This is the essence of our art.
Colombia is the only country in the world where coffee is a year-round crop. Typically there are two main crop seasons annually that vary depending upon which part of the country the grower is in. Nevertheless, the knowledgeable roaster will be able to find a farm in harvest, or giving plenty of coffee, at any time of year. This is another reason why an intimate knowledge of the country, the climate, and the growing conditions is so important to Devoción, as it allows us to source cherries at their perfect ripeness year-round.
When the cherry is picked we extract its seed, which at this stage is covered by a yellow parchment. The coffee is therefore referred to at this stage as being in its parchment state. Once dried, the parchment is removed to reveal the green coffee “bean.” Processing the coffee is done in either the wet process or the dry process. In the wet process the cherry is opened and the seed, in parchment state, is extracted and placed in long, narrow pools of fresh water. Here the seeds ferment and the mucilage is removed. After 12 hours or so the seeds in their parchments are drained and left to dry in the sun for three to twenty-one days. Then the seeds are sent to the dry mill for processing to the green bean stage.
The dry process is actually a choice of two—the honey process and the natural process. The honey process is the simplest. The parchment seed is removed from the cherry and immediately taken to be sun-dried, before milling. In the natural process, the entire cherry is sun-dried for over a week. When the cherry is ready it is shipped to another type of dry mill that will remove the cherry husk and prepare the green bean for roasting. All of our coffee is dry-milled in Bogota. From the mills, we select the finest beans, place them in burlap sacks, and ship to the United States. They arrive at our Brooklyn roasting plant ten days later. Other coffee roasters take anywhere from four to twelve months to roast their beans; you will notice the difference in your first sip.
Devoción was founded by Steven Sutton, a native of Medellín, Colombia. His family, like many others in the time of Escobar, was forced to relocate from the increasingly dangerous region to Bogota, the Colombian capital, and from there Steven was sent to boarding school in the US. He pursued his studies at university in Boston and Orlando, and after several years working in the music industry, his journey in the world of coffee began. It was a journey that would bring him back home to Colombia.
While working for a coffee distributor in the US, buying Colombian coffee for sale to large retailers, Steven noticed that there was a gap in perception between the coffees of his home country and those of Africa and central America. Colombian coffees were not as well regarded. Steven knew that the coffee he had enjoyed at home was of the finest quality, and found that this coffee was not finding its way to international markets because the big coffee companies did not know how to purchase high-end coffee in Colombia. So in 2006 he decided to return to the land of his birth, with the goal of sourcing and promoting only the very finest Colombian coffees. He determined that he would do so with a social and environmental focus to help the growers of the remote, hazardous regions to establish better, safer lives and to be able to have pride in their noble work. This is at the heart of the “Nueva Colombia” philosophy of Devoción.
Since then Devoción has built a network of direct-trade relationships with growers all over the country, paying particular focus to the hard-to-reach places, where we believe the best coffee in the world is to be found. These are places where nature is raw, virtually untouched by commercial farming, and where the coffee varietals are diverse, fascinating, and delicious.
We work with over 400 micro lot farmers including farmers who belong to indigenous and African-descended communities on a consistent day-by-day basis, helping them develop sustainable practices and paying fair trade prices and above. 90 percent of our beans come from Colombia’s current “red zones,” areas with significant guerrilla activity, and our work helps bring about change and pride to people in the troubled regions of Colombia.
For us, Devoción is not just a pretty name. It represents our devotion to bring harmony to our country and the best and freshest coffee in the world to your hands and table.