Coffee Triangle: Paisa Region (Colombia)
The Coffee Triangle, in the Paisa region of Colombia, is famous for growing and producing Colombian coffee, its steep-sloped valleys, and its historic architecture. Paisa is a cultural region noted for growing and producing most Colombian coffee, as well as for its landmark architecture.
The Coffee Triangle (sometimes referred to as the "Coffee Axis" and known locally as "Eje Cafetero") is located in the Paisa region, an area of Colombia that lies at the western end of the Colombian Andes.
Weather conditions in the Paisa region, with temperatures that range from 8 - 24 °C (46 - 75 °F), geographical area (Andean rainforest), and geological area, all combine to allow the production of high-quality coffee with relatively rapid harvest periods.
Not to be confused with the UNESCO World Heritage property "Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia," the Coffee Triangle refers to three regional departments (districts): Risaralda, Quindo, and Caldas. It also refers to their respective capital cities, which are the main urban centers:
- Pereira, capital of the Risaralda Department
- Armenia, capital of the Quindio Department
- Manizales, capital of the Caldas Department
Coffee production began in the east of Colombia and was brought to the Caldas district in the mid-19th Century. Due to the coffee quality and the amount produced in Caldas, this world-famous coffee cultivation spread to the nearby districts of Quindío and Risaralda.
Farmers in the area have developed specialized growing, harvesting, and processing techniques. Their "grain by grain" processing method has been retained despite new processes of mass agricultural industrialization.
The famous advertising icon "Juan Valdez," represented by a Paisa farmer wearing a carriel, aguadeño hat, and poncho, accompanied by a mule, became a successful advertising brand.
Juan Valdez is a fictional character who has appeared in advertisements for the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia since 1958, representing a Colombian coffee farmer.
The advertisements were designed by the Doyle Dane Bernbach ad agency, with the goal of distinguishing 100%-Colombian coffee from coffee blended with beans from other countries.
The Coffee Triangle region has developed major theme parks, such as the Colombian National Coffee Park located in the town of Montenegro in Quindio as well as other attractions throughout the area.
The Paisa region is a cultural region famous for growing and producing the majority of Colombian coffee as well as for its historic architecture.
In addition, the region is noted for the steep-sloped valleys that make much of the area quite challenging to reach, while the hot and rainy climate is ideal for cultivating coffee.
The departments of Antioquia, Caldas, Risaralda, and Quindío form the Paisa region. In addition, some areas of the Valle del Cauca Department (north) and Tolima Department (west) culturally identify as paisas. The main cities of the Paisa region are Medellín, Pereira, Manizales, and Armenia.
The name Paisa derives from the Spanish apocope of Paisano (countryman), but they are also known as "Antioqueños." Although many refer to Paisas as an ethnic group (raza antioqueña or raza paisa), they are a part of the Colombian and Latin American peoples.
Paisas can be found in other regions of Colombia and the Americas, where they have migrated. They have a particular way of speaking Spanish that some writers call español antioqueño.