How was the Roastery founded, what was the inspiration?

Long-time coffee professionals Esther Maasdam and Ben Morrow founded Manhattan Coffee Roasters in 2017 in the harbor city of Rotterdam. After years of meeting up at Barista competitions and a long-distance relationship Ben moved to the Netherlands from Melbourne and they started Manhattan together. At the time they had both already achieved so much in coffee that starting their own coffee company was always going to be the next step. The inspiration for the name comes from the harbor of Rotterdam and the history of the Holland-America line that sailed from Rotterdam to Manhattan in the 19th Century. The city’s skyline has coined the nickname “Manhattan at the Maas.

What's your favourite part about working at the Roastery?

We’d all have a different answer because we all have our own role but collectively I’d say probably cupping the ridiculous amount of coffee samples we get in. We have an awesome little crew of coffee nerds here and we all come from a hospitality background, so we love sharing great coffee and making people happy. We always cup together and help each other and we’re also great friends outside of work, so it’s a fun environment.

What's your proudest accomplishment?

Well Ben and Esther have a trophy cabinet full of barista comp trophies but I think we’re definitely most proud of our work with our producer friends. It’s amazing what we’ve achieved together with our partners at origin and it’s super rewarding to see how far we’ve come. Some of the coffees we’re getting in are scoring 3-4 points higher than previous harvest and it’s awesome to be able to showcase their hard work.

What three words best describe your Roastery?
Community - Ambition - Mind-Blowing
    What’s your favourite place to enjoy a coffee, and what coffee would that be?

    I think at home, first thing in the morning is where I enjoy coffee the most. This time of year is always exciting and we love the fresh crop African coffees that are rolling in. We’re always anticipating the first Kenyans of the year and the Kianjege is everything we love about Kenyan coffee.

    Finally, what Dog & Hat combination would you choose?

    Probably a Husky in a sun hat. You know, for the irony.