Cafe Devotion recently opened a beautiful new cafe & roastery in Brooklyn (called Cafe Devocion in the US), so when I learned that they’re based out of Bogotá, I had to visit when I was in Colombia. Serendipitously, just a few blocks from the hotel I was staying at, Devotion has a cafe at the Hilton hotel, decorated like an old apothecary with medicine bottles and an old fashioned cash register.
With white-shirted baristas and all the besuited business travelers at an upscale hotel, you might expect a stuffy atmosphere, but the duo behind the counter were full of smiles and laughter at my ignorant pointing and gesturing, trying to order with approximately zero Spanish skills.
Their menu is interesting – naturally all of the coffees are Colombian – and they are categorized by their Q grade score, with “Boutiques” that rank between 85-88 points, and “Grand Crus” that rank 88+. I had a V60 pour-over Grand Cru Geisha variety labeled “Villa Maria” that had a nice flavor reminding me of cacao and orange.
You can read more about Devotion’s history and admirable mission below, definitely worth a visit whether you’re in Bogotá, or Brooklyn:
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.
Located in the Hilton lobby
Carrera 7 No. 72-41, Bogotá, Colombia