The First Cherry!

Some super exciting news here in manhattanroasts land – we have our first ripe coffee cherry!  It’s been a couple years since we starting growing coffee plants in our sun-filled New York City apartment and we’ve had some trials and tribulations during that time.  Magnesium deficiencies, green scale, you name it!  But here we are with our first ripe coffee cherry!

I’ll be picking this in the next couple days and hopefully will have a few more to go with it!  We’re pretty sure we’ll be able to get about an espresso’s worth of coffee from this years yield ;)

Now that we’ve crossed this great milestone we have a couple other cool tricks up our sleeves, including doing some plant cloning!

We’ll report back on how the freshest cup of coffee we’ve ever had tastes… as soon as we can make it.

Behind the Scenes with a Starbucks Barista

I know I don’t post a lot these days, but in the theme of coffee and life, here’s a fun look at what it’s like to be a  Starbucks barista from a site called Jobstr, like why Starbucks is a magnet for homeless people, or a story about customers stepping over a woman who had fallen while in line and was being tended to by paramedics to get their coffee fix.

My favorite (and probably most ridiculous question):

“Because you can actually overdose and die from caffeine, are there policies about actually cutting people off at some point?”

Riiighhhhtttt… like Starbucks would EVER cut . . . → Read More: Behind the Scenes with a Starbucks Barista

How to Make Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

Summer’s almost here in NYC so it seemed like a perfect time to write a how-to on one of my favorite summer drinks – cold brewed iced coffee!  What is cold brewed iced coffee?  Well, it’s iced coffee “brewed” by sitting in cold water for an extended period of time, rather than brewed quickly with hot water.  Cold brewing your coffee will extract all the natural flavors of the coffee bean without the bitterness you normally get with hot brewed coffee.

This being Manhattan Roasts, a place where we do nothing half-assed, I decided to start with some green coffee beans (from Roasting Plant in NYC) and ended with a delicious glass of fresh cold brewed iced coffee!

Green coffee in the bag:

Roasting the green coffee in my Behmor drum roaster:

Wait ~24hrs for the roasted coffee to be ready for consumption, then grind it up in my Baratza Virtuoso grinder (affiliate link).  I . . . → Read More: How to Make Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

Coffee Plant Update

Just a short update on my experiment to grow coffee plants in a New York City apartment.  Both plants are thriving!  We’ve had some bug issues, but nothing catastrophic.  One plant is a little crooked and not growing as tall, but growing VERY bushy.  The other is growing nice and tall, but I need to work on the bushy-ness.  Picture of the taller . . . → Read More: Coffee Plant Update

Survey on Carbonated Iced Coffee

We’re working on something cool here at ManhattanRoasts and would love it if you would check out our survey below to help us out.  . . . → Read More: Survey on Carbonated Iced Coffee

Coffee Consumption Around the World

This is a pretty incredible graphic on coffee consumption across the world.

It is pretty amazing that the African countries that produce a large amount of the world’s coffee are some of the lowest consumers.  Also amazing that US coffee consumption is so much lower than the Scandanavian countries, Switzerland and even Canada!  Anecdotally I would think this is because of the exceptional amount of soda we drink, but wow… Imagine if you could create a company that would close the gap between the US and Canada (approximately 2.3kg of coffee per person per year…)

Thanks to Seb Roder for passing this along . . . → Read More: Coffee Consumption Around the World

Orouba Coffee

I recently had the pleasure of trying a new kind of coffee for me, an Egyptian. Now, this was not just “an Egyptian coffee”, like you would get a “Kenyan” at Starbucks (stay tuned for a Kenyan “from Kenya” post soon!) it was an Egyptian coffee that was “exported” from Egypt straight into my hands (well, with a few non-commercial handlers along the way – thank you Seb and Seb’s co-worker!).

The coffee had two interesting features, its taste and its consistency.

First, on the taste – this is a very dark roast that reminds me of an illy espresso. It is deep and full, with an aftertaste that coats the back of your throat up into your nose. There is no getting around the aroma of this coffee! Some of the Orouba coffees come with a hint of cardamon, but I was relegated to just the regular (yet still delicious and high-octane) version. A little cardamon would add a great flavor to this dark roast though… Maybe next time I will just add my own.

The consistency of this coffee, however, is unlike any western one. The beans came pre-ground, which I usually dislike (for freshness reasons), but in this case it forced me to drink the coffee how it is intended.

The grind is incredibly fine, so fine in fact that it will clog my Rancilio if I try to make an espresso, so the options are to make it as a traditional Turkish coffee or to prepare it in my french press. Being a lover of the french press (and a complete novice at Turkish) I chose the press, knowing that the mesh would likely not be fine enough to strain out any but the largest grinds. This gave me a thick, toothsome cup of coffee that is almost a meal unto itself. This, my friends, is the Guinness of coffees. . . . → Read More: Orouba Coffee

Growing Coffee Plants

We are very excited for something a little different over here at ManhattanRoasts!

Over the past couple years we have provided you with coffee news roasting information and coffee reviews, but now we are going to add something a little different to the mix. We have procured 2 coffee plants (these little guys are about 18 months old) and are going to take a crack at growing to see what kind of bean we can get!

Without further ado, here they are!

We have already shown how you can roast your own coffee out of a Manhattan apartment and now we look forward to sharing all of our new York City coffee growing trials and tribulations with you.

Hopefully you look forward to following our progress as we attempt to cover everything coffee from earth to cup. . . . → Read More: Growing Coffee Plants

The First Cupping

After a couple days of furious roasting we decided it was finally time to try all the new coffees and roasts. To pit them in a battle head to head, mano a mano, roast to roast! Well… nothing THAT exciting, but we did break out 3 different kinds of coffee, 4 different roasts, and one kind of weird concoction.

From left to right we have: Bali Kintamani, Ethiopa Yirga Cheffe Kochere, Brazil Cerrado (roasted to just past second crack), Brazil Cerrado (roasted just past first crack).

I will go into a little more detail on performing a cupping in a later post, but for now… the coffee!
. . . → Read More: The First Cupping

Bali Kintamani

First roast with the Behmor was a Bali Kintamani. Roasted a little light for the suggested roast on it (full city plus) so didn’t bring out as deep a flavor as I should have, but it was very bright and very fruity nonetheless.

Looks delicious…

And became.

. . . → Read More: Bali Kintamani