Until recently, Miami, compared to other regions, wasn't considered a destination for quality java. But as the city's culinary scene flourishes, snagging a cup of joe in the 305 has become increasingly more enjoyable.
There's Relentless Roasters, a Miami-based wholesale coffee roaster which also runs an iced-coffee food truck; Per’La Specialty Roasters, which recently teamed up with the Setai in Miami Beach to create the hotel's first exclusive house blend; and an assortment of coffeehouses and hole-in-the-wall java joints contributing to Miami's unique coffee culture.
New to the scene is Great Circle Coffee, a small-batch, single-origin roaster that set up shop in Little Haiti. Founded by Sergio Boppel, the brand offers a variety of blends, including La Calle, a smooth espresso blend; Finca Teanzul, a Guatemalan-based fusion of orange, chocolate, and brown sugar; and Deep House, a cold brew with a cocoa and citrus aftertaste.
"Things have come a long way in terms of the specialty coffee scene in South Florida," Boppel says. "There is a growing community, and we're getting a lot of attention. Miami is so diverse, and is visited by so many people from around the world who love to try new things."
Many of Great Circle’s beans are sourced from Guatemala and Central America, where Boppel has strong family roots, as well as East Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia. Great Circle also offers blends designed for cold-brew-style coffees, perfect for Miami’s year-round warm weather. All beans are roasted on a Loring Smart Roast, an environmentally conscious roaster that consumes less energy and produces fewer carbon dioxide emissions than traditional machines.
Boppel says the Little Haiti roasting facility (382 NE 56th St.) is centrally located. "We're just about 10 to 15 minutes from Miami Beach, Wynwood, midtown, Brickell, and downtown," he says. "It is also becoming a new hub for culinary projects, restaurants, and wholesale specialty companies. The community is awesome."
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The company began roasting in August and wholesales to Perricone’s in downtown Miami, 1 Hotel in Miami Beach, and Steelcity Coffee at the Wynwood Yard. Brews are available for purchase online, and Boppel says new partnerships for wholesale and retail are in the works. The brand also plans to offer regular coffee tastings at its flagship warehouse. Coffees cost about $20 per pound, and a subscription service is available where beans are delivered on a regular basis (every week, two weeks, three weeks, or monthly) at a discount.
Besides offering java, Great Circle is focused on making a difference, which is why it supports the Café Femenino Foundation, a charity that promotes the integration of women as coffee farmers. Great Circle's Café Femenino roast, which is available online and at the 1 Hotel, features a deep chocolate taste.