Manhattan Coffee Roasters: Featured Guest Roaster - July 2022

Summer is really hitting its stride now, so this is a great time for fruit forward, lightly roasted, and sweet tasting coffee!

We featured Manhattan coffee roasters last summer and are delighted to be presenting their great selection and perfectly roasted coffee again!

It was great catching up with them and they had so much to share that we have included an excerpt printed for the boxes, and here on the website is the full version, enjoy!

Manhattan Coffee Roasters - Featured Guest Roaster - 2022 July

Feels like it has been a big year for you, how has this last year been?

 It has been a great year so far! We have grown a lot in a very short time, and it has been a nice challenge to keep up with the demand and adapt. Just over half of 2022 and we have done about the same volume as the whole of 2021. We also brought in more full-time staff, so we have a whole team here now, which is really nice. Time seems to fly by, but it’s been an amazing ride so far and we’re even more excited about what the future will hold. With growing so much, that just means we’ve been able to source more coffees and get to work with even more producers and their families, and that is really what makes us truly happy here at MCR. 

What are the highlights for you?

Obviously, Charly winning the Dutch Cup Tasters Champs and Ben taking 3rd was awesome, so that was a definite highlight.

But the best part about this year has been ability to get out of the roastery again and meet the producers we work with, go to coffee events, travel and get back into the coffee community. 

Dan has been able to pop over to LCF this year, Charly and Esther went to WOC in Milan and Esther has been out to Colombia again as well as the EXPO in Boston, We hope the year will bring more connection to the people of this amazing industry again.

Manhattan Coffee Roasters

What more do we have to look forward to?

Certainly more amazing coffee! I think we’re sourcing better than ever and we’ve made some very strong relationships with the producers we work with and that is hugely positive. A lot of projects are coming to fruition, and we’re really excited by our coffee offering and what’s to come. We have an endless hunger to push the boundaries of coffee and explore what is possible and we are only getting started.

The Dutch Cup Tasters Champion in your team….well done Charly! Clearly you are supportive of the team pushing themselves, is it personal pursuit or does Manhattan have a principle of helping support people like this?

As Ben and Esther have been competitors themselves, we know how much this means for your personal development in this Industry and a real acknowledgment for the growth you are having as an individual. We have both coached people before and of course want to help the team get further in their skills, confidence and careers.

Please tell us the story about planting a tree in the Field of Dreams at Las Margaritas farm.

To start, it was amazing to finally be able to visit the people and farms from Café Granja La Esperanza after sharing multiple coffees from them. Don Rigoberto Herrera is unbelievably passionate, and you can see that in everything they do at CGLE. He took the whole group on a walk on the Las Margaritas farm and when we got to the Field of Dreams it was a special moment.

He asked us all to pick a seedling. We chose the Mandela tree because it is a variety that is close to their hearts and quite the unique variety as well. It really established the partnership as we of course need to come back to share in the growth of the tree and with this the growth of the connection we have. He then asked to make a wish while planting the seedling.

We wished for coffee to connect more people and through that love for each other, the coffee and the connection to nature. This community can grow and play its part to sustain our planet and our lives, our futures, generations to come.

Are you enjoying being back out in the world, travelling, exploring and meeting people? Any nice story you would like to share from this?

So many moments and nice stories since we finally got to meet a lot of people again!

One to share, at the EXPO in Boston the US Barista Championships were also held. 2 of our partners there had a competitor, Elisabeth from Dayglow and Bryan from The Coffee Movement both made it into the final, which was amazing to see live! Bryan was also using a coffee from Diego Bermudez roasted by us, so to see him perform and share his passion about the coffee from Diego was quite special. 

Great selection for this month, please could you share some detail on the coffee we have?


Viani has a special place in our hearts here at MCR as it's a coffee that has been on our list since we started Manhattan Coffee Roasters. We've been working with DR Wakefield and Racafe to improve the coffee and in line with that also pay more for these improvements.

Viani is a small town in Cundinamarca, which is not too far from Bogota, a literal drive down.

The "Viani" coffee is made up from coffee from more than 400 small farm holders coming from 5 municipalities and delivered to 3 collection points.

The biggest collection point where about 70% of the coffee for “Viani” comes from, is in Sierra town, ran by Joseel. He gets wet and dry parchment delivered and has a mechanical dryer on site.

Due to climate change production has dropped massively over the last few years, making it even more important to increase revenue over lower harvest yields. The production in Viani is down 50% on what it was 2 years ago. The rain has almost doubled with it raining almost every day in the season. Even though rain is obviously important for the plants you need about 2 – 3 weeks of constant sun with no rain. 

Most farmers that contribute to “Viani” have multiple crops besides coffee, like plantaan and avocado. Avovado trees provide shade to the coffee trees as well as spread income risk. During the pandemic the price of avocado dropped a lot, so the income stream from coffee became even more important.

With a lot of these multi crop small farms one can imagine it is hard to improve quality overall as it requires investments on a lot of different farms. We’re looking at the next step at working together at improving this coffee like investing in greenhouses, raised beds covers and processing equipment.

We know a lot of you have supported this coffee from the start, thank you for joining on this ride!

The co-operative at Viani produce an old world and typical profile. It’s big, rich and has just a slight bit of acidity that’s perfect for anyone that wants an intense flavour experience from a coffee.

Genji Challa

This is our first fresh-crop Ethiopian coffee for this year and is exactly what we want from a washed coffee. It’s clean, juicy, floral and has a lot of jammy berry fruit as you’d expect from the region and varieties. The cherries are processed at the Telila washing station in Jimma, which is owned and run by Mike Mamo. Mike is working to improve the quality at the mill and we were very impressed with the lot’s we cupped.

For instance, where most washing stations build lots exclusively on the processing method and the location the cherries are delivered, Telila goes a step further and also separates lots based on the day the coffee cherries were delivered. Mike and the team also store all their parchment in hermetically sealed bags – which is a first for Ethiopia. 

Sweet Valley

This coffee is a stayer on our offer list and has been a huge favorite for the past 2 years. It’s a very big and sweet red-fruit forward coffee from Café Granja La Esperanza’s Potosi farm. We are big fans of CGLE and of course Esther was there recently as we mentioned. It’s a naturally processed lot of their Colombia variety and the cherries are fermented for 15 hours at a controlled temperature before being moved to a dehumidifier for another 72 hours until fully dried. It’s a definite winner for anyone who loves fruit-forward naturals!

Any closing remark you would like to make to our subscribers…a message of hope, joy, humour…or even how you want them to remember Manhattan!

We might be growing bigger and sending coffees around the world, the whole team started just as a lot of you did and we grew Manhattan all by ourselves. We all started as baristas from around the world. Remember, passion can bring you to a lot of places. Grow, learn, compete, and share and you can get far if you believe in what you do and where you want to go. Care about what you do, and all people involved. Stay true to your beliefs.

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