FEW cafes are lucky enough to be able to serve up coffee made from beans they have grown themselves.
The family of Gravesend Cyclocafe managing director Julian Ramirez has been growing coffee in Colombia for three generations.
As well as his own beans, Julian handpicks suppliers from across his homeland to make sure his drinks are aromatic and pleasing to the palate.
The 30-year-old, who has run the cafe at the Cyclopark for two years, has just come back from Columbia where he was checking on his farm.
He said: “My coffee does not just come from my farm, it comes from four different regions of Colombia.
“Colombia is known as a place for the finest coffee but not all good coffee comes from the same place. It depends on the altitude and the quality of the soil and the region where the coffee is grown.
“The higher it is grown, the more body and the lower, the more acidic.”
That individuality of approach has already gained the cafe a growing reputation for fine coffee.
Julian said: “You have got Costa, Caffe Nero and Starbucks, and these people spend a lot of money and they know what they are doing. But as a consumer people tend to like something more unique.
“People come from Canterbury, from Chatham, Rochester and Maidstone just for our coffee.
“There is a man who comes here on his bike every Monday and Wednesday, just for a latte.”
He added: “I want people to just come here and relax, just to chill and not worry about anything else.”
As well as a unique coffee, the Cyclocafe also does cakes, pastries, smoothies, ice creams and hot food. From the end of February, Julian plans to start serving tapas takeaways.
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