Ritrovare: A bright light from Taiwan’s specialty coffee scene

Ritrovare: A bright light from Taiwan’s specialty coffee scene

Ritrovare, our first Taiwanese roaster, dazzles in July with a delicious 'baby' Geisha from Gummay Woreda estate in Ethiopia

In 2016, I visited Taiwan after just having been in Japan for two weeks. While in Japan, I discovered the drip bag concept that eventually led to the creation of my brand Freshdrip, I participated in cuppings and made new friends everywhere I went. Taiwan promised a continuation of this positive experience and I was excited to discover the so-called ‘heart of Asia’ as the island is often advertised abroad.

Only a few months prior to my visit, Taiwan’s Berg Wu had clinched the World Barista Championship title in Dublin, thereby drawing a sudden interest in the island’s specialty coffee scene, which had largely flown under the radar until that point. Though much of its action happens in the capital Taipei where I also eventually ended up meeting Berg and other coffee shop owners and roasters, a fine coffee scene has since developed in other cities like Kaohsiung, Tainan and Taichung.

You might not know this but I have had a strong connection with Taiwan for many years thanks to an enduring partnership with a local distributor who has been selling Coffeevine boxes there for years. Thus, when we launched the Global coffee roasters box in 2023, I wanted to feature a Taiwanese roaster as soon as possible. That moment has finally arrived because our July 2024 Coffeevine edition will include Ritrovare from Taichung.

This roastery that was founed by Ashton Huang in 2017 and that takes its name from the Italian word for ‘to find’ is an evolution of Ashton’s previous work as a coffee cultivator and processor. What many people might not know is that Taiwan is also a small scale specialty coffee producer thanks to its lush highlands that divide the island vertically right through the middle. It was there that Ashton built up his basic understanding of the coffee production process before setting up Ritrovare as a means to roast the finest coffees from around the world.

Though Taiwan’s specialty coffee output is small, Ashton continues to support local farmers by buying their output and helping to build an appreciation of Taiwanese coffee both domestically and beyond. Though, sadly, for its Coffeevine debut Ritrovare won’t be roasting a Taiwanese coffee for us. Now that would have been something!

No, instead, Ashton sent us a bunch of exceptionally delicious coffees to choose from that we absolutely loved. The winner is a ‘baby’ Geisha from Gummay Woreda estates in Djimma/Limu. This coffee really stood out to us on the cupping table thanks to its super delicate and floral cup profile, well-balanced mouthfeel and smooth aftertaste. It’s like a softly whispered summer song that reveals more and more layers as you listen.

We’re quite excited to bring you this delicious coffee that is part of our July 2024 Global Coffee roasters selection alongside a gorgeous Chiroso variety from September Coffee in Canada.

To receive this excellent coffee, order our Global roasters selections or our Total Package that also includes our European roasters for July from our shop.

Pre-orders close on 15.07.2024 / Ships globally on 22.07.2024

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