Miami native Daniel Choiseul Paguaga graduated from Florida International University in 2010 and decided to relocate to the rural town Ocotal, a hub for specialty coffee farms where his family has produced java for generations. In seven months, he learned everything from how to pick coffee beans to handling production and management. "It was a giant learning curve for me," Paguaga says. "The only thing I knew about coffee before was my grandfather had been in the business for over 80 years."
When Paguaga returned to Miami, he brought some coffee back for friends. After taking just one sip, longtime friend Andre Villarreal "instantly knew," Paguaga says. "I had talked to him for so long about the coffee, and when he tried it, we both knew we needed to make this happen."
In 2013, they created Relentless Roasters, which delivers coffee, seed to cup — literally. "Not many people know coffee is a fruit," Paguaga laughs. "It's a seed inside a cherry... That's what makes a quality cup of coffee, which is something we're really concerned about." The name was inspired by his grandfather, whom Paguaga describes as "relentless."
"He started from nothing," Paguaga explains. "And now he's 90 and still goes to his farm."
Because his grandfather had the production side of the coffee down, Paguaga wanted to do something unique, which is where roasting came in. The RR warehouse (11965 SW 142nd Ter.) is designed as part roastery, part coffee lab where the public can sample brews, which right now is by appointment only. "We want to teach people about coffee," Paguaga says. "Education is a huge portion of the specialty coffee world, and we want to help bridge the gap."
Since the creation of Relentless Roasters, Paguaga and his partner have pushed hard in the wholesale sector and handcrafted three warm brews and two cold brews. "What we try to do is find that perfect balance that showcases everything in a coffee without robbing or adding unwanted flavor," Paguaga says. "We don't just run every bean through the same roast. We do a bunch of different quality and taste tests."
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If you're not a coffee guru, don't worry — Paguaga will easily break down each brew. The three warm brews RR offers are Pacamara Natural, a rare and currently limited batch of naturally dried coffee from Nicaragua, where the natural drying process gives the coffee a powerful, fruity taste; Pacamara Washed, also from Nicaragua, where the flavor is a bit more citrusy with hints of orange tart, cherry, and chocolate; and Ace Espresso, a creamy, bold, and balanced blend that embodies all the good qualities an espresso should have. Their cold brews — Awaken Classic and Nitro — are a little different and much colder. The Classic is brewed overnight and has a balanced taste with hints of citrus and nutty flavors. The Nitro is the Classic but with a kick, leaving a heavier aftertaste with fragrant orange and caramel aromas. Paguaga describes the Awaken line to be like a pseudo-beer.
Relentless Roasters brews are available at Threefold Cafe, Miami Smokers, the Annex, Wynwood Warehouse Project, and Barley Miami. Though warm brews are available for purchase online, the Awaken cold brews are offered only at select locations, with bottling to come in the near future. Paguaga is optimistic about one day opening his own café, but for now, to get your hands on this speciality coffee, visit relentlessroasters.com for a complete list of brewing locations, with more to be added later this year.
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