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For many decades Colombia was world’s second leading producer of coffee behind Brazil. Recently, Vietnam surpassed Colombia in coffee exports to take number two seat and move Colombia into a close third. However, old adage of quality over quantity certainly applies here. The Arabica bean does not grow well in Vietnam. Only hearty, yet inferior, Robusta is suited for low, wet climate of Vietnam. Colombian coffee is far superior and is considered by many coffee experts to be finest in world.
Any discussion on Colombian coffee would not be complete without mentioning wildly successful marketing campaign created by National Federation of Colombian Coffee Growers in 1959 which introduced world to friendly and affable Juan Valdez. Though a fictitious character, poncho clad, sombrero wearing Juan Valdez gave a face to humble coffee picker and created a mystique and aura of romance that still survives today. A recent survey reported that 85% of Americans still associate name Juan Valdez with Colombian coffee. Quite an accomplishment, especially considering that only 75% acknowledged recognizing name Dan Quayle.
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