Colombian Coffee Farmers, Basking Ridge Family Expand To Open 2nd Shop

BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Growing and harvesting coffee beans from the Colombian mountains is a passion that has been passed down for six generations for Ridge High School senior Natalie Ramirez Porras.

“We grew up around coffee. When I was younger, one of the first words I knew was ‘coffee’,” said Porras to Patch. “We are very passionate about it.”

Porras and her family opened their first coffee shop Rey Sol Coffee in Ridgewood in 2020 and are now getting ready to open their second location at 140 Morris St. in Morristown this month.

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While their shop has only been open for almost 4 years, their family’s passion and dedication to the artistry of growing and roasting 100 percent single-origin, microlot Colombian beans have been a part of their lives for much longer.

In 1966, Porra’s father Arley “Gazapera” Ramirez took over Rey Sol Coffee Farms in Balboa Risaralda, Colombia, and has dedicated his life to coffee since then.

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About four years ago, Porras and her sister Linda Valentina Ramirez became more involved in the farm and helped sell their coffee beans to friends and then online before eventually opening their first shop in August 2020.

The sisters’ goal is to help their dad continue his legacy of bringing Alto del Rey’s mountain coffee to the area through Rey Sol Coffee shops.

Ramirez is the farmer, Porras handles marketing and social media, her sister is the manager, and their mother Johanna Porras oversees everything.

“We are farmers,” said Porras. “We harvest the beans and export them here. We grind them and brew them in-house. Everything we do, we always come back to it being ingrained in our family story.”

Rey Sol Coffee offers a variety of light and medium roasts. Their main barista Jorge is nationally known in Colombia for his note-tasting. He has helped to create coffee mixtures that are infused with ingredients such as whiskey, rum, Portovino, and more.

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“We put the beans in a barrel for five months and it just sits there and saturates,” said Porras. “After the roasting process the alcohol percentage that was once soaked within the bean literally gets burnt off. Yet the notes/flavor of the coffee beans stay making it delicious for all to try and consume.”

While the family is passionate about coffee farming, Porras said they are more passionate about sharing their Latin culture.

“It’s not just about the coffee but about bringing that community together,” said Porras.

Porras is currently a senior at Ridge High School. She plans to continue in her family business after graduation.

“Since opening Rey Sol Coffee when I was 13 it switched my life around in a way I never would’ve imagined,” said Porras. “I love coffee, the community that it brings and also breaking language barriers… You don’t have to speak the same language but just by drinking coffee you find each other together.”

For more information on Rey Sol Coffee visit reysolcoffee.com or follow instagram.com/reysolcoffee or facebook.com/reysolcoffee.

Have a news tip? Email alexis.tarrazi@patch.com.

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