Due to open (hopefully) in a couple of weeks is PARAMO COFFEE ROASTERS in Embarcadero Four, a side project from Robert Myers (one of the founders of Highwire Coffee Roasters in Emeryville and Modern Coffee in Oakland; he has been involved in the coffee world since ‘91 and is helping with operations). The front man for the venture is Gabriel Boscana, previously a buyer at Sightglass Coffee, with roasting experience with Intelligentsia/Ecco Caffe and Ritual and will be leading the project.
Talking with Myers, he said that first and foremost they want to create a personable vibe with friendly baristas, and they are also changing up the way coffee is presented and sold. They want to tap into their Midwestern roots, bringing some sensibility and practicality to it all. He said, “How would I explain this coffee to my mom? That’s how we want to be able to talk about it, in the customer’s language.” They are going to be offering five different coffees, all single origin, and each will represent a different flavor profile, starting with the “light, ethereal, floral” group and another for “bright, expressive, citrus,” and so on (although don’t expect anything that’s roasted too dark). They beans will change with the seasons, but they will always be searching and fine-tuning what will fit each profile best. There will also be a decaf and one espresso to start (Journeyman).
They are roasting off-site (up in Healdsburg at Flying Goat) and will be buying beans from a variety of local importers to start. They will be pulling shots off a La Marzocco Linea PB (the 20th anniversary model), and they decided to batch brew the coffee instead of doing pour-over. They want to change people’s perspective of batch brewing, and found the coffees taste just as good. And they also want to respect people’s time (especially in the busy FiDi).
As for the name, a páramo is a pristine type of ecosystem found in very high elevations in Central and South America (above the canopy) that many coffee agricultural areas rely upon; check out this video to learn more. (Boscana was very struck by the beauty of a páramo he got to see.)
They hope to open in a couple of weeks or so—you can follow along on Twitter and Facebook. Hours to start will be Mon-Fri 6am-6pm, and weekends are possibly looking like 8am-4pm or thereabouts. The space is in Embarcadero Four, just off Drumm Street and the Sacramento alley that leads to Justin Herman Plaza.
The first staff cupping of Paramo coffees. Photo courtesy of Robert Myers.