Sergio Boppel and Carolina Jaar moved from Boston to Miami in pursuit of warmer weather and their longtime dream of opening a coffee roastery.
“We researched the coffee market across the country and Miami just made sense to us,” Boppel said. “We have friends here, and every chance we would get we’d come down, plus it’s a great place to raise a family.” Boppel and Jaar have been married five years and have a 2-year-old son.
Boppel comes from a lineage of coffee growers. Since before his great-grandfather moved from Germany to Guatemala in the early 1890s, his family has been involved in the coffee business.
“For us, it felt like it was now or never,” Jaar said. “We had always wanted to pursue our passion, coffee, and make it into our business.”
They opened Great Circle Coffee and began small-batch roasting in mid-2016. Located at 382 NE 56th St., in the heart of Little Haiti, the facility is organic certified.
“Our vision is to provide unique coffee and a fantastic service offering here in the U.S., and become meaningful players in growing the market for very special coffee, so we can support growers directly at origin and allow them to focus on quality, rather than producing volume,” Boppel said.
Great Circle Coffee sources from Central and South America, East Africa and Southeast Asia.
Boppel’s uncle, Adolfo Boppel, manages a farm in Guatemala called Finca Teanzul. This has allowed them to work closely with the growers in order to produce the final product they have envisioned.
“We just came back from Guatemala. It’s truly a remarkable experience,” Jaar said. “We get to meet everyone and to know exactly how our coffee is being made and all the hard work from people who make it possible.”
They have also partnered with Cafe Femenino, a foundation that supports and empowers women coffee farmers around the globe.
Great Circle distributes year-round handcrafted blends, single-origin coffees and cold brews. The product is distributed at The Wynwood Yard, One Hotel in South Beach, Perricone’s in Brickell or by order through Great Circle’s website.
“The coffee is wonderful,” restaurant owner Steven Perricone said.
“They are so knowledgeable and passionate about the brand,” Perricone said of Boppel and Jaar. “We’re doing their cold brew coffee here and it’s selling very well. It’s been very well received. They’re very cool people.”
Boppel and Jaar plan on offering tastings soon to educate the community on specialty coffee.
“Specialty coffee is very much nascent in the city, but is developing at a quick pace,” Boppel said. “We are super excited to play a meaningful role here.”