We asked Paul Ross, Wholesale manager at KTH a few questions about the roastery and where they started out!
Paul won the 2019 UK Barista Champions, with the Head of Coffee at KTH Joshua Tarlo, who achieved the title in 2018. Joshua took home second place in 2018 so the guys at KTH are a highly decorated bunch
Who's behind KTH?
Can is the founder, he was travelling and fell in love with what specialty coffee shops could mean to the people who went to them. As spaces to connect and share he decided that he wanted to build a place like that himself.
Tell us about Kiss the Hippo and why did you guys start roasting coffee in Richmond?
We wanted to create a roastery in a neighbourhood which reflected what makes us passionate about cafes, which is vibrant communities. Richmond is just that and it between the park and the gardens up the road it has always had a special place in our heart when we think of London.
Where are you from and how did you get into coffee?
I got in to coffee at University. We had a talk from the founder of a coffee company and at the end I asked him for a job. The rest is history.
What is the best coffee experience you’ve had ever?
Last year we got to try the highest scoring lot from the Best of Panama auction. I knew it would be good, but wasn’t prepared for how good – it was incredible in every way.
What do you think about sustainability in the coffee industry?
Everyone needs to do their part. It is important to us at Kiss the Hippo and we’re making steps to be more sustainable all the time. For example, recently we moved all of our energy supply for the roastery and cafes to 100% renewable energy.
Tell us about the coffees featuring in this months Brew Box?
Los Liros – This coffee comes from the fantastic Miersch family and their farm in Honduras. It is a natural process, which is part of our ‘Unique & Interesting’ offering, with flavour notes of raspberry, pineapple cream & peach.
Las Flores - This is also a Honduran coffee and is from a collection of small farms. It’s a washed process, with flavour notes of green apple, peach and caramel. As a part of our ‘Mellow & Balanced’ series, we regard it as a session-style coffee.
Tell us something un-coffee related about yourselves?
Personally, I am massive fan of running – it’s my thinking time. Although not strictly un-coffee related as it turns out there’s a big running community in the industry!
What's the plan for the future?
We aim to make coffee more accessible. We want people to have access to specialty everywhere they go so they have access to coffee that is more sustainable, de-commodified and celebrates the people who create it, on the farm, in the roaster and behind the espresso machines.