Honduras-based specialty coffee company Cafetano opened its first outlet in the United States last weekend, making a farm-to-cup connection in Pittsburgh.
Cafetano owner Mirko Cuculiza brought the brand to Steel City in partnership with Pittsburgh-based entrepreneur Carl Allison. The two are now co-owners of Cafetano PGH, a technically separate entity from Cafetano, based in Honduras, but operating under the same brand and model.
A major component of this model is the use of high quality Arabica coffees grown on the family farm in Cuculiza in Honduras.
In Pittsburgh’s Strip District, these coffees are roasted by the vertically integrated brand on a 15-kilogram capacity Joper dressed in the city’s proud black and yellow colors. The roasted beans are sold direct to consumers online, to a growing number of wholesale customers, or they end up in drinks at two separate cafes in the new store – one for take-out and one for customers at the store. interior.
Quamar grinders and Astoria espresso machines are installed on both bars, including an Astoria Tempesta machine on a hexagonal bar covered in white tiles bearing the company logo.
The 3,200-square-foot location menu covers the entire range of espresso-based beverages while offering cold brews, hits, batch brews and a variety of manual brew options including AeroPress, French press, siphon, Chemex and Kalita and Verseurs V60.
Mirko Cuculiza spent his childhood at Finca Miravalle, a coffee farm located in the Francisco Morazán department in the central highlands of Honduras, owned and managed by his father, Miroslav Cuculiza, since 1984.
“We sell coffee produced on our farms, but as you may know, the coffee culture is a tight-knit community, so we take coffee from our neighbors,” Mirko Cuculiza told DCN. “Every variety of coffee is cup in Cafetano [Las Minitas location] and maintained to a high standard before being purchased and put into the range.
The Pittsburgh location is the brand’s fifth retail opening since the ribbon cutting of its first cafe in the town called 21 de Octubre on the northern outskirts of the capital Tegucigalpa in 2015. As of 2019, Cafetano had four bars serving customers in different cities. around Honduras, although two have closed permanently during the pandemic.
In 2015, Cuculiza also obtained his Specialty Coffee Association barista certification, and later became a Catador Cinco Estrellas (5 Star Cupper) certified by the Honduran Coffee Institute (IHCAFE).
“A grueling two-and-a-half-year program that only achieves 50 degrees; it was a very demanding school, ”said Cuculiza. “Corn [it] produces, as the name of the program suggests, five-star cuppers.
In Pittsburgh, Rosamaria Cuculiza, wife of Mirko Cuculiza, designed the interior of the store to create fun, comfortable and informative experiences. Chandeliers, natural wood surfaces, and comfortable furnishings encourage guests to relax and admire vivid artwork, including a wall-sized mural by Francisco Morazán that incorporates a scarlet macaw and deer of Yucatan Virginia, the national bird and the national mammal of Honduras, respectively.
“The pandemic is ending, but we are only just beginning,” Cuculiza told DCN. “In Honduras, we are expanding our operations and in Pittsburgh, we have coffee for yinz. “
Cafetano Pittsburgh is now open at 1601 Penn Ave. in Pittsburgh. Tell us about your new coffee or roast here.
Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.