Behind the Bar – Daniel Choiseul Paguaga

Daniel Choiseul Paguaga, Co-Founder & Head Roaster, Relentless Roasters

In today’s Behind the Bar, we’re once ahead back behind the coffee bar. We are serious coffee people and love that Miami’s coffee culture continues to grow and thrive beyond the ever-surging prices at Starbucks. Daniel Choiseul Paguaga, co-founder and head roaster at Relentless Roasters is helping to lead that charge and we recently caught up with him for a quick chat about his thoughts on all things coffee, Miami, and coffee in Miami.

Daniel Choiseul Paguaga is a Miami native from a Nicaraguan coffee family who, along with childhood friend Andre Villarreal, founded Relentless Roasters, a Miami-based specialty coffee roasting company offering exclusively 100% Arabica craft roasted coffee. As the latest incarnation of four generations of Paguaga family coffee farming in northern Nicaragua, Daniel and the Relentless Roasters team goes beyond just roasting specialty coffee by infusing tradition, vision and passion for great tasting coffee into every brew. Fueled by the cultivation of long-lasting relationships with coffee producers and ensuring a quality standard of coffee unlike any other, Daniel believes in the notion that every coffee drinker deserves a more enjoyable and educating coffee experience and he’s sharing that philosophy all across the Magic City.

Why coffee?
To be honest I’m very fortunate, things lined up for me after college and I was able to move to Nicaragua to work on my grandfather’s farms and processing mill. Once I was there, being on the ground managing and working in all aspects of coffee production, I grew to admire all the passion and hard work that went behind creating an amazing cup of coffee. I also began to realize I was being exposed to a rare side of coffee and I wanted to bring back all this knowledge I had gained and share it with as many people as possible through Relentless Roasters.

What is your take on Miami coffee culture?
I believe its behind, I like to think we’re about 5 years behind most major coffee cities. I think there is a strong passion for coffee in Miami but we have yet to see its full potential.

Describe Relentless Roasters in 3 words?
Student of Coffee

What is “seed to cup?”
Seed to cup means tracing and playing a part in coffee from once its picked all the way up until you drink it. It sounds simple enough but there is actually an array of steps that coffee has to take before it ends up in your cup. Very few coffees can be traced back so eloquently and even fewer coffees have a family that plays a role in every step.

What is your all-time favorite way to drink coffee?
I love to drink coffees after I cup them, cupping is a standardized quality control method similar to wine tasting. It’s the purest way to drink a coffee and with a sophisticated enough pallet you can get a good sense on how different brew methods will affect that coffee.

When’s the best time to drink coffee – morning, afternoon, or night?
Anytime! I think once you establish a relationship with coffee it is hard not to enjoy it at all times of the day!

What type of coffee or coffee drink best describes you, and why?
I would have to say the best drink that describes me is a Natural single origin espresso shot. They are very complex and filled with flavors and characteristics unlike most traditional espresso shots and they are relatively new in the coffee world. Also as with any espresso it puts the coffee under a magnifying glass so if the shot is not pulled accurately it’s very easy to tell. I think like the Natural espresso shot I too am complex and new to the coffee seen but I’ve put a lot of preparation and behind the scenes calibrating in order to make sure our execution is perfect.

What is your favorite Miami restaurant right now?
I’m currently a huge fan of Barley In Dadeland. By far the best croquetas in all of Miami!

What is your favorite Miami bar right now?
That would have to be the Annex in Wynwood, it’s a very laid back lounge which allows you to enjoy some great craft beers alongside some eclectic music and antique furniture!

What does the way you take your coffee say about your personality?
I’m constantly trying new coffees and new ways of drinking them, similarly I love trying new things and experimenting with out of the box ideas.

What’s your favorite dish to eat with a cup of joe?
I would have to say I love a great coffee paired with an amazing croissant.

What’s your favorite spiked coffee drink?
Our Nitro cold brew coffee with some Rum, we’ve even had some people do a rum old fashioned with our cold brew. I think usually the coffee spiked route is one which goes paired with baileys or something creamy but with the specialty coffee world I think the coffees are very light and can actually be showcased alongside some lighter spirits.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Miami?
My favorite thing would have to be that its summer year round!

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