When it comes to my morning coffee routine, nothing gets in the way. I wake 30 minutes earlier than the rest of my family to savour a freshly brewed espresso and read the news. The rest of the day might spin out of control, but this blissful, uninterrupted time is my own.
Lately, nothing but Colombia’s Devoción coffee will do. These aromatic “farm-fresh” blends are sought-after by cold-brew connoisseurs and Michelin-starred chefs alike, and I’m now among the converted who can’t imagine starting the day without them.
I discovered this so-called “third wave” coffee – a designation for beans of the purest artisanal quality – through a friend who lives near the roastery and café in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and who raved about the brand. Founded in Bogotá in 2006 by Colombian Steven Sutton, Devoción later moved to New York and has since made quite a stir with its shop, two cafés and its home-delivery service.
The brand’s exotic-sounding Borbon, Caturra, Gesha, Wush Wush and Tipica beans are handpicked and dry-milled in Bogotá, and shipped at just 10-30 days old; the industry average is three months to one year, but Colombia is one of the few countries in the world where coffee is a year-round crop. When it reaches the Brooklyn warehouse, roastmaster Sergio Muñoz works his magic, creating both classic and quirky blends.
I started by ordering several packets online – as well as the blend, you choose the grind appropriate for your method of coffee preparation, be it AeroPress, cafetière, cold-brew, Chemex, pour-over or moka pot – and I must say that the difference in quality, complexity and freshness of these grounds was immediately obvious.
My first sip of Toro – a blend made with Caturra beans from the Cundinamarca region, which has tantalising notes of cacao, vanilla and almond – was really memorable. I’ve also become partial to the Wild Forest blend, which originates in the mountainous Tolima region and is loaded with aromatic hints of berry, cherry, caramel and cocoa butter; and the Citrus coffee, with its uplifting – and unusual – essences of mandarin and lemongrass.
The coffees are available in one-bag (from $18 for 340g), two-bag ($34 for 680g) and three-bag subscriptions ($51 for 1kg), or as monthly gifts (from $17).
Among my latest discoveries is the Gesha Villa Maria, a “grand cru” grown at 1,650m that fuses hints of citrus and orange blossom, as well as Devoción’s limited editions: the slightly floral and fruity Wush Wush (from $100, but currently sold out) and the spicy and floral Villa Flor (from $24.50) – which tend to sell out quickly.
I may not be able to control what lies ahead each morning, but I rest easier knowing that I’ll be off to a properly caffeinated start.