The fourth generation of horchata makers Iborra will celebrate at Poblenou the century of existence of the family business and stay faithful to their origins.
Their great-grandfather Joan Pere initiated it in 1912.
By Carme Escales, Barcelona
The goal was Argentina. Joan Pere Iborra arrived in Barcelona with his wife and his children from La Nucia, a village at the Marina Baixa (Alicante), with the goal to register at a ship that would take them to Argentina. It was there that this family envisaged its future. But the ship departed without them and while waiting for the next departure Joan Pere Iborra prepared iced drinks and horchatas and started with another future in the city.
On the ground floor in the Barceloneta –where the horchatería was located until 1933, before moving to Poblenou-, these drinks became so popular that it was no longer necessary to depart anywhere. Lemons and tigernuts arrived from Valencia to be squeezed in this modest but well-run business, with a friendly owner who invited everybody to try his products with a cheerful «Hey you, try this». The expression of Valencia ended up giving the ice-cream parlor its name El Tío Che.
Tigernuts from Alboraia
Today at the number 44 of the Rambla del Poblenou, in front of the Casino de L’Aliança, Alfons and Pepe, great-grandsons of Joan Pere, continue leading this saga of horchata makers iguen al frente de esta saga de horchateros that forms part of this barrio. «The grandparents have come, and the parents and now you see how they bring their grandchildren, who come with their girlfriends or their sons. You become aware of how time has gone by», explains Teresa Moreno, the wife of Alfons. He is the fourth generation of Iborra who produces in a workshop a milkshake with cinnamon and lemon, iced lemon and orange drinks and also some other products with wheat, malt, sugar, cinnamon and lemon, among others. But their main product has always been the horchata. «It is made from tigernuts of Alboraia (the Valencian region). We water them during 24 hours, we wahs them and mashed them with water and sugar or without sugar, for those who suffer from diabetes. Everybody loves it, says Moreno.
For her the fact that their customers remain with them is related to their long-lived business. «There are also many foreigners coming. We notice that now there are severla hotels closeby and that tourists arrive with guidebooks that mention us», indicates Terese, who with each glass of horchata that she serves also delivers a moment of pleasure. «It is fresh and tasty in the summer, and special and relaxing in automn and winter», describes Oriol Martí, one of the regular clients of El Tío Che, which is open all year lon.
«In Winter we also make turrón and serve all year vermut and sándwiches in the shop next door which also belongs to us », says Teresa Moreno. These are the formulas to create an exemplary company which prepares a celebration for the century of existence in June, «a tribute to work», in the words of Alfons, great-grandson of El Tío Che.