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Juan Valdez

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Title: Juan Valdez  
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Subject: Colombia in popular culture, Economic history of Colombia, Juan Valdez drinks Costa Rican coffee, Gran Estación, Education in Colombia
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Juan Valdez

Juan Valdez
Juan Valdez stylized logo
Agency DDB Worldwide
Client Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia
Title ¡Disfrute de un buen café! (Enjoy a good coffee!)
  • Colombian coffee
Release date(s) 1958 to Unknown

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 adverts 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. He typically appears with his mule Conchita,[1] carrying sacks of harvested coffee beans. He has become an icon for Colombia as well as coffee in general, and Juan Valdez's iconic appearance is frequently mimicked or parodied in television and other media.

The Juan Valdez character is used as an ingredient brand, to specifically denote coffee beans that are only grown and harvested in Colombia.[2] Part of the advertising campaign includes educating consumers about the merits of Colombian-grown and harvested coffee beans, "including how soil components, altitude, varieties and harvesting methods create good flavor."[2] The National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia is entirely owned and controlled by Colombia's coffee farmers, (cafeteros) which number over 500,000 people.[3]


Juan Valdez was initially portrayed by José F. Duval in both print advertisements and on television until 1969. José Duval died in 1993 at the age of 72.[4]

Juan Valdez had been embodied by Carlos Sánchez since 1969 and voiced by Norman Rose. In 2006, Sánchez announced his retirement,[5] and Carlos Castañeda, a grower from the town of Andes, Antioquia, was selected[6] by the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia as the new face of Juan Valdez.[7]


There were 238 Juan Valdez coffee shops in 2013,[8] 135 in Colombia and 35 shops in other countries. Juan Valdez brand coffee is available in Chile, Costa Rica, Aruba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama, Spain, Kuwait, and the United States at supermarkets and Juan Valdez coffee shops.[9]


The name "Juan Valdez" is by no means unique, as both Juan and Valdez are common Spanish-language names and there are possibly thousands of men with this name alive today (although the Valdez name is hardly known in the coffee growing regions of Colombia); this became relevant in a 2006 lawsuit over the phrase "Juan Valdez drinks Costa Rican coffee".

The National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia sued cartoonist Mike Peters, creator of Mother Goose & Grimm, for a cartoon talking about Juan Valdez and Colombian coffee in January 2009. In a weeklong series making fun of various commercial products, he referenced violence in Colombia by having a character say: "Y'know, there's a big crime syndicate in Colombia. So when they say there's a little bit of Juan Valdez in every can, maybe they're not kidding." The lawsuit was dropped after Mr. Peters apologized publicly.[10]

On the Media

Carlos Sanchez portrayed Juan Valdez in the following sequence of the comedy/drama/fantasy movie Bruce Almighty:

Bruce: I'd better manifest some coffee. ¡Hola, Juan Valdez! (Hello, Juan Valdez!)
Juan Valdez: ¡Buenos días! (Good morning!)
Bruce: ¡Buenos días! (Good morning!)
Juan Valdez: ¡Disfrute un buen café! (Enjoy a good coffee!)
Bruce: ¡Gracias, señor! (Thank you, sir!)
Juan Valdez: ¡Adiós! (Goodbye!)
Bruce: ¡Adiós! (Goodbye!)
Bruce: Ah! Now, that's fresh mountain-grown coffee from the hills of Colombia.


See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Juan Valdez Travels the World, Sends Profits Home to Colombia from
  3. ^ Cafe de Colombia – 70 years of fair and ethical trading from Colombian Specialty Coffee
  4. ^ Jose F. Duval Is Dead; Actor and Singer, 72, New York Times, March 6, 1993
  5. ^ Juan Valdez going on permanent coffee break, MSNBC, June 1, 2006
  6. ^ Being Juan Valdez, Salon, October 17, 2007
  7. ^ Wanted: Actor. Must work with mule., CBC News, May 31, 2006
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Juan Valdez en el mundo". Juan Valdez. Retrieved 4 September 2010. 
  10. ^ [1],Columbia Reports, January 13, 2009

External links

  • (Spanish) Página oficial de Juan Valdez
  • (Spanish) Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia
  • (English) Café de Colombia
  • (Spanish) Juan Valdez Café Bogotá, Colombia
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