A los 50 años, honor para Juan Valdez

06 Oct 2010

La recia estampa de bigotazo y sombrero, de un blanco impoluto aun en la exigencia de la cosecha, recrea la imagen del hacendado paternalista, siempre acompañado por su fiel mula Conchita: Juan Valdez cumple 50 años y, si hay que hablar de “creación” y no de “nacimiento” para contar el parto de aquellos días de 1960, muchos todavía se defraudan al saber que no es persona sino personaje.

juan-valdez-manoLa inquietud de la Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia era unir a los miles de campesinos dispersos y procurarles una identidad común que posicionara su producto en los mercados del mundo. Así, la comisión a la agencia yanqui DDB podría ser un capítulo histórico de Mad Men, la serie que disecciona la publicidad de los ‘60, y justo desde ahí, de la mismísima Madison Avenue, salió uno de los íconos latinoamericanos más reconocibles en el mundo, caso de estudio en Harvard y sello de calidad para los cafés de Colombia: por excelencia, el país de la bebida suave, con baja acidez, casi nulo amargor, escasa persistencia en boca, de un gusto perfumado y afrutado como el de un vino ligero, pero sin demasiado cuerpo. Riquísimo en sus aromas chocolatosos y catalogado en dos grandes variedades (Supremo y Excelso), es el café gourmet más vendido del mundo, con sus tipos Medellín, Armenia y Manizales, que se pueden degustar en las mesas de los bares más entendidos de Buenos Aires y de las cafeterías con la marca Juan Valdez que se levantan en las principales avenidas de las grandes ciudades, con enormes dibujos del bigotón como custodio de un espresso bien tirado: el colombiano llena la taza con la infusión suave, siempre de la especie arábica, acaso leve para el que prefiere las emociones fuertes. El ícono del patriarca, entre las montañas y su mula, resume el orgullo de su país.

Todavía recio en los 50, sin un síntoma de crisis de la mediana edad y ni una cana, Juan Valdez fue interpretado por varios actores que aceptaron el papel vitalicio de un caso raro en Latinoamérica: según el presidente Juan Manuel Santos, que también se sumó al festejo, “el símbolo de un campesino próspero”.

Publicado hoy en Clarín

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