Why I founded Colibri Mountain Coffee

Maria Mafe

I founded Colibri Mountain Coffee in the middle of a global pandemic because I wanted to connect my origins in Colombia with my life in the United States to make a positive social and economic impact in both countries. Just as the globe was battling with an invisible enemy that was challenging to stop the world, I found myself battling with a fractured hip that was urging me to slow down and connect my body with my soul. I refused to sit down and watch how the world economy melted at a time when hugging a loved one had become a fatal weapon, so I decided to reach back to my origins and embarked on a journey to learn about coffee.

Unlike most women in their mid-thirties, I do not have a husband, I do not have kids, no pets, and most of my family lives in Colombia. My job in the energy industry is a great source of personal satisfaction and a huge part of my identity. Founding a company was not my goal. I became an accidental entrepreneur as I sought to find good Colombian coffee for friends and colleagues that often asked me to recommend a good coffee. For years, I searched for a coffee to recommend in the aisles of supermarkets and online stores only to find bright packages with catchy words like “single origin,” “organic,” and “fair trade,” that seemed mass produced, with little to no connection to their source.

The pandemic signaled it was time to find good Colombian coffee and I took on the challenge personally. I received samples of Colombian coffee delivered to my door in San Antonio and I did not know where to start to figure out if they were even good so I signed up to learn about coffee with Coffee Project New York and the Texas Coffee School in Dallas. After months of networking, studying, tasting, and experimenting, I evolved from a non-coffee drinker to an accidental entrepreneur able to produce naturally sweet coffee that tastes good without cream, sugar or artificial sweeteners. These findings were too good to keep to myself, so I engaged my best friend from childhood to create a brand and a package to share the results of my hard work with the world. These results are called Colibri Mountain Coffee.

Please join me on a movement to disrupt the way we fuel our mind and body by demanding coffee that tastes good, feels good and does good. Let’s highlight beauty, not just in coffee, but in humanity – a beauty that is too often hidden by our own internal battles. Let’s leave this world sweeter than we found it!