Roaster of the Month: Gabriel Carol of PAGA Microroastery

This month we spoke with Gabriel Carol from PAGA Microroastery located in Bangkok, Thailand. Gabriel is from Giurgiu, Romania and has been in the coffee industry since 2012. He is 29 years old and the owner and head roaster of the beautiful PAGA Microroastery, where he works full-time. He has won the Romania Brewers Cup two times in a row in 2017 and 2018 and finished in ninth place at the Brazil World Brewers Cup in 2018, which he says was his best performance competing so far. Gabriel loves being in the industry and connecting with people all over the world, as well as sourcing high quality beans and performing lighter roasts. We interviewed Gabriel to learn more about his inspiration, his business, and his insights into the coffee industry.

What do you love about roasting coffee?

I think this love started a long time ago when I fell in love with coffee. First time it happened was when I discovered coffee is not bitter and is sweet and tastes like chocolate and caramel. Then, from that obsessed espresso drinker, I discovered filter coffee and started to have the addiction to learn more and find out more about this fruit with regularly two seeds. I’m always that kind of person who likes to dream high, so I remember when it was 2015, I was in Gothenburg and saw for the first time a Loring, so I said to myself that I want to learn roasting and own a Loring. So, there was kind of like always this curiosity mixed with this addiction to learn more and then I started to compete, and then I decided to learn more and focus on roasting to be able to give that coffee a touch of my personality.

What is your favorite part of being a coffee roaster?

I think my favorite part of being a roaster is the opportunity to connect with many people from different parts of the world, such as coffee producers and being able to roast so many varieties.

What are common mistakes coffee roasters make and how can these be overcome?

One of the most common mistakes that I observed here is Thailand and specially in Asia is that too many coffee roasters are roasting too dark. My personal opinion is that coffee should be light, sweet, and fruity.

If you could give roasters one tip to roast better coffee, what would it be?

If I could give to other roaster one advice that will be to move from conduction roasters to convection roasters.

What makes PAGA Microroastery a great place to work?

My main focus when I create PAGA was to be able to serve our customers only high-grade quality coffee, micro lots, and nano lots. To do that you also need the right people to work, so I’m trying my best to unify my team to be more just a regular, try to bring my staff together like a family. Once a month I take them out for a movie or any activity, regularly have a dinner at the end of the month, so this is what I think makes a great environment to work.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m dreaming to make PAGA a model roastery like other famous coffee roasters.

What new trends have you noticed in the industry?

The newest trend that I that’s been in the industry for quite some time, but right now it feels more present than then before and is very controversial, is this style of processing coffee infused, artificial or infused directly with fruit juice or pulp fruits.

What is your favorite coffee to roast right now?

I love to roast coffee and different kind of varieties, it’s very difficult to limit myself to name only one, I enjoy a lot to roast wush wush, gesha, sudan rume, pacamara and as I joke, I can say the least I enjoy to roast was mokka and peaberry.