Cafe Grumpy: A Chelsea Review

This weekend Manhattan Roasts decided to venture out of the neighborhood and try something new.  We called up a friend and made the trek from our safe Upper East Side cocoon down into the trendier bowels of Chelsea.  The mission was simple:  2 coffee shops, 4 shots of espresso, and perhaps a croissant for good measure.  Stop number one, and the topic of today’s review, was Cafe Grumpy down on West 20th Street.  Incidentally, stop number one was also the best espresso we have ever had.

The Coffee:  Cafe Grumpy does a couple things different than most.  First, if you are ordering a coffee, you order the specific type of coffee you would like, by country.  Second, they make everything fresh for you, and I mean everything.  My friend ordered a Guatemalan coffee and I ordered a double espresso.  His coffee took as long as my espresso, because the barista had to tend to the . . . → Read More: Cafe Grumpy: A Chelsea Review

VIA Launches Today in Seattle and Chicago

Just a quick update on the new instant coffee VIA from Starbucks.  it launches today in Chicago and Seattle.  If you happen to be in one of those cities give it a try and let us know how it is.  Hopefully we will be receiving our sample in the mail some time soon, but you can beat us to it!

You can read about the . . . → Read More: VIA Launches Today in Seattle and Chicago

“I’ll take my coffee with cream and one sugar, hold the shirt”

The economy is affecting everyone, that’s something we all know, right?  Well maybe not everyone.  One coffee shop up in Maine is doing just fine.

Grand View Toplesss Coffee Shop has realized that in this economy they need to try something different, and something different they have tried.  The shop has hired both men and women to serve coffee shirtless to locals and visitors alike in the town of Vassalboro, Maine.

According to CNN.com the shop initially caused some consternation among locals, but those concerns aside business is now booming.  The company has opaqued its windows, hired a security job, and posted signs to keep out anyone under 18.  Besides that this is just your normal every day coffee shop serving coffees, lattes, and espressos.  Well, your normal every day coffee shop in which the waitresses get the occasional $100 tip.  Perhaps the Roasters should consider a . . . → Read More: “I’ll take my coffee with cream and one sugar, hold the shirt”

On the Ethics of the Bean

This post was written by Foodie Abroad.  Also check out Part I and Part II of her piece on decaf coffee.

During this time of economic uncertainty, it is easy to forget about the (other) important things.  However, now, more than ever, we cannot lose sight of the fact that amidst economic crisis, we are also facing both an ecological crisis and a crisis of humanity.  Indeed, setting these priorities aside is part of the reason why we got ourselves into this mess.

One of the reasons I study food (apart from loving all things delicious), is that food provides us a lens through which to study important questions.  It provides us with material grounding to take up inquiry into things that matter.  More than that, given the important role food plays biologically and socio-culturally, and the fact that real food cannot be disassociated from the ground upon which it is grown and cultivated (although we are doing our best to forget where our food comes from) studying food illuminates a direct link between social issues (hunger, obesity, labour) and environmental questions (water, soil, drought climate change).  I am simplifying here for reasons of time and space, but you get the idea.

Studying coffee is a great way to start tackling some of the biggest questions we face.  Following the supply chain from bean to beverage highlights important issues: monoculture agriculture, farm labour, food miles, distribution, fair trade, service industry labour, health and waste (how many paper cups have you thrown away today?).

Continue reading On the Ethics of the Bean

When Manhattan Roasts Runs Out of Coffee

Today the Manhattan Roaster ran out of coffee…  Well not exactly out of “coffee”, but out of roasted coffee.  We only roasted about 1/2lb this weekend and it was all gone by Thursday.

Rather than worrying too much we threw the snob out the window, stopped off at one of our favorite carts on the corner of 58th and Lex and got a deliciously sweet medium coffee, cream and half an equal.  It tasted more like dessert than a morning coffee!

So what better day than today to put up a little analysis on the cost of different types of coffee.  We will delve more deeply into this analysis at another time, but for now just enjoy this chart while thinking about how you can save money in a recession.  Have a great day, and I hope none of you ran out of . . . → Read More: When Manhattan Roasts Runs Out of Coffee

Want to Try the New Instant Coffee?

If you’re like Manhattan Roasts and you want to see what Starbucks has in store for us with its instant coffee, branded as “Via” you can order a sample here.

If you’re like most people and don’t drink instant coffee well… don’t order it?  We will let you know how it is as soon as we have gotten our sample, probably via a blind taste test or something exciting . . . → Read More: Want to Try the New Instant Coffee?

A Brazilian Naturally Processed Green Bean

Here at Manhattan Roasts we tried an interesting cup of coffee last week.  It was a Brazilian “naturally processed” coffee, whose roast and brew we did not get quite right (click here to see how we like our roasts).  We have a good excuse for destroying this coffee though.  It was a totally different variety of coffee from the normal bean we drink every day.

If you would like a little background on the differences between regular processing and natural process, which is becoming a hot new niche market in the United States, click here.  The resulting difference in process means the roasted beans have a strong, delicious fruit-infused flavor.

Now the problem with a coffee that has such interesting and exciting flavors is that these same flavors can be destroyed even more easily than flavors in most coffees with the wrong roast or the wrong brew.  This is not the post to . . . → Read More: A Brazilian Naturally Processed Green Bean

Short Information Pages

At Manhattan Roasts we are hoping to provide you with as much in depth information as possible.  For quick links and information please look at the “Pages” on the right side of . . . → Read More: Short Information Pages