We at Boxo had the distinct pleasure of catching up with Joe Palozzi from City of Saints Roasters for a nice chat about the roasting that City of Saints does how they got into the coffee roasting business.
What was the catalyst that took this from an idea to reality?
After the first coffee shop opened in Hoboken, Matt (Founder) quickly saw the interest and demand of excellent coffee and knew we would be expanding. With some small prompting from me about the necessity of vertical integration, we started planning our new roasting plant.
What is one adventure that made it all worthwhile?
My personal ethos is to enjoy every day anew and find the joy and happiness in living and the world around me. That really makes each day a fun adventure, and memorable in it's own way.
What are your motivations for doing what you do?
I have been in the coffee business my whole life. I constantly strive to learn more, improve what I do, and find the way I can connect our coffee to the people around me.
What is your happy place? (Your favorite activity in your favorite place, your favorite food, music, etc)
I enjoy music and food (making and partaking in both) and the great quiet time I have in my head on long cycling rides.
What is your relationship with your growers - how has visiting them changed your perspective on the roasting process?
As with most roasters, it's always sad to see the disconnect between what the coffee farmers and their workers drink, and the quality of the coffee they export. I wish there was more of a back and forth between the farmers and the roasters, the same way baristas can communicate with us roasters.
What's your vision for the coffee industry?
Hopefully we can sequence the genome for Arabica and start to have more effective breeding to really get what we want out of new coffee (and save it from borer beetles, and roya).
What’s your differentiation? Why be a “roaster”?
Roasting coffee is but one step in making sure the coffee I drink is great. I'm lucky to be in the position to choose the green, the roast profiles, and how it's brewed. That also means if it doesn't taste good, it's all my fault.
What’s your favorite roast right now, either for sale or “in testing”?
I love our Ethiopia Hambela Estate Guji. It is such a refined delicious coffee with such depth of flavor new nuances are always coming out.
Check out more from City of Saints Roasters - and stay tuned for our next roaster profiles.