Meet Rolando Ramirez Moreno in Ataco
During our time in El Salvador back in 2016 we were really fortunate to meet Rolando a new producer for us and also for our importer Mercanta. Coffee has been in his family for three generations and in 2005 Rolando decided to commit himself further into the coffee world by taking on new farms trading under the company name of Cayro.
We spent the day with Rolando being driven around in Mitsubishi Sport Shogun I believe (sorry not that it enhances the coffee but it adds to the off road charm). We started by visiting Montes Urales a coffee which we were roasting late last year.
Sourcing Coffee in Apaneca Ilamatepec - El Salvador.
Our day starts in Guatemala City as always on these trips at 5:30 am, a solid and classic breakfast of eggs, re-fried beans, black coffee and the nearest thing to yoghurt and muesli I can find! Kas is ready and waiting for our short three hour drive across the boarder to El Salvador. This is a common route for lots of coffee producers as they may have farms in both Guatemala and El Salvador. We were heading to El Carmen Estate where we would cup 2 tables of coffee take a short tour of the farms and stay for the night in the farm house. This was so very welcome as El Carmen is more of palace than your classic farm house.
Sourcing Coffee in Coban, Guatemala.
Finca Santa Isabel is a farm in Guatemala and one which we have bought from for the past few years.
I first discovered this coffee about four years ago at a cupping with one of our suppliers, Mercanta based in London. On a table full of Kenyan samples sat this coffee from a producer from Guatemala it had all the characteristics of Kenyan coffee, fruity aromatics bold acidity and a rather winey flavour profile. I chose the coffee as my favourite without knowing where it was from it just really stood out. We have bought this coffee every year since and I always get excited when summer comes and it arrives in the roastery.
Sourcing coffee in Coban, Guatemala.
Pablo José Ferrigno Figueroa, a third generation coffee grower, decided to embark on a new venture in 1991 growing only speciality coffee. Pablo’s roots are in coffee, his family comes from Italy and had established several farms and an export company. However these farms and businesses were in the coastal areas and at low altitude flavour was less important and so Pablo was really embarking on something completely new. I should mention at this point that this farm is not really in the region of Coban but is in Tactic 20km up the road.
Sourcing coffee in Huehuetenango, Guatemala.
Before I start on my time in Huehuetenango, I want to explain a little about Guatemala (in my view) and my reasons for taking a trip there. Guatemala is relatively small but diverse country for coffee as well as climate and culture. As with any coffee producing country there are many regions and sub-regions all of which produce excellent coffee. All these areas offer different flavour profiles and cup qualities. This being said my general view of Guatemalan coffee is nutty, sweet, balanced, chocolate. I love to buy Guatemalan coffee as this general flavour profile makes for fantastic espresso and milk based drinks as well as super moreish filter coffee.
We are proud to present our new bags. Same roast style, new look.
Bright, sweet, juicy, clean, fruity, aromatic. All words we use and get excited over when we taste and drink coffee today. I remember my first taste of coffee as a child, an espresso on holiday in Europe, the experience was one of bitterness. Years later it was one espresso which changed everything and was the driving force in setting up Round Hill Roastery. We chose to fully embrace colour some months ago when we designed our new bags, we wanted to reflect this transition from bitterness to sweetness with colour.