Inspired by the history of the harbour of Rotterdam – but with an eye toward international inspiration – Manhattan Coffee Roaster was born, created by the coffee champions Esther Maasdam and Ben Morrow.
“Coffee, people, ambition. This is what makes us thrive for unparalleled flavour.” Quotes Manhattan Coffee Roasters website, and this is what it’s all about: sharing with the whole world a selection of competition coffees, focusing on mind blowing and exceptional beans, unique and small lots born from close cooperation with producers.
Founded in 2017 in Rotterdam, the name of Manhattan Coffee Roasters is strictly connected with the history of the harbour of Rotterdam. Back in the day, Rotterdam was one of the largest harbours in Europe, and from here many large ships sailed to New York; but there’s more: the city is located near the river Maas and being the only modern city with a gorgeous skyline in The Netherlands, it is locally named “Manhattan aan de Maas”.
But who are the masterminds behind the roastery?
Esther Maasdam – often referred to as ‘El Patron’ – is an absolute coffee veteran who was slinging coffee way before hipsters invented flat whites. In the years since her career began in 2005, she’s become a seasoned coffee competitor (multiple time Dutch Latte Art Champion, Dutch Cup Tasters Champion, just to name a few), and nowadays she runs Manhattan Coffee Roasters with her straight up positivity and her long time expertise in everything coffee-related.
Ben Morrow, Esther’s partner in crime, started working in coffee in 2009. Formerly known as “Latte Art Cowboy”, although his cowboy days are behind him, he’s still very much a maverick and has created somewhat of a cult following with an innovative approach to roasting and an unrepentant push for better coffee.
Former Latte Art Champion, Coffee Masters Champion in both the New York and London editions (and if you still don’t know anything about the Coffee Master Competitions give them a look…They are some of the toughest coffee competitions in the world, that test baristas in seven different challenges that emulate the fast-paced work environment of a professional barista), Ben is now not only the man behind the roasting of every batch at Manhattan Coffee Roasters, but he’s also the lead man when it comes to green acquisition, buying and planning.