Has anyone heard of that big company called Proctor and Gamble? We have one of P&G’s employees to thank for making coffee a huge deal in Columbia. It is kind of hard to believe that a million dollar industry was all due to one man’s work, but it isn’t hard to believe that he lived in our beloved Queen City! Hacienda Cincinnati is one of our medium roasts with flavors of chamomile, lemon, lime, and melon.
Mr. Orlando Lincoln Flye grew up on a farm in Maine in 1861. His great-grandfather, Josiah Hayden Sr., was a colonel in the American Revolutionary War. He received a high-quality education in electrical engineering and soon was picked up by the New England Telephone Company. After working for eight years, he chose to leave his current job and work for Proctor and Gamble in Cincinnati. Thirteen years later, he accepted a position at the Colombian Telephone & Telegraph Company in Barranquilla, Colombia. The thriving telephone industry soon became too much and he turned to coffee growing, thank goodness!
It took Flye years of costly experimenting before he realized that coffee needs a cooler and moister climate at a higher altitude to thrive. After understanding his mistake, he carved a small portion out of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains for his new company, called Hacienda Cincinnati. His plantation spanned over 4,780 acres holding over 700,000 coffee trees.
After finding the right methods, it took no time at all for Orlando to become popular and to do a lot of good in Columbia. He designed and built a mill, made sure the roads leading down to the closest city of Santa Marta were accessible, and even built a church for the hundred plus workers on his farm. In the 1800s, it took over seven hours on a donkey to travel to Santa Marta. To make it easy for the workers, he even minted coins for the workers to use at a convenience store on his farm. In response to his incredible work as an engineer and coffee innovator, he was named an honorary Colombian citizen.
The Flye family soon owned not only Hacienda Cincinnati but two of the other major coffee plantations including Quinta Bolivar and Vista Nieve. Flye soon consolidated all of the plantations into the famous Santa Marta Coffee Company in 1927 and helped to found the Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia to promote the coffee industry. The Federation created the famous symbol of Colombian coffee, a coffee grower and his horse, to help promote their plantations.
In 2010, the company was sold to the Cincinnati Coffee Company in the hopes of fostering the continued growth of the coffee trees in Colombia. The farms were in the hands of the Flye family for over three generations of growers.
The story behind this coffee is especially interesting especially because of the depth of knowledge we have about Orlando and his family. All of the pictures above are from one of his great-granddaughters and show both Orlando and his wife Eva Florence Adelaine Blanot Flye, along with his farms. History is so interesting, especially when it can affect your everyday cup of coffee. La Terza is incredibly grateful for the knowledge we have about the past and the privilege to continue to share Flye’s story with you – be it through words, or through a great cup of coffee.
Have you ever tried our Hacienda Cincinnati?
If not, you can order it here today!