Last week, I hosted a lovely cupping at Relax na Wilczej in Warsaw. This cupping was attended by a group of friendly coffee professionals and passionate home baristas from around the city who helped me to cup, score and choose the coffees for the upcoming July 2023 Coffeevine boxes.
The cupping table offered a really exciting bunch of coffees and during the reveal later, a lot of surprises, both positive and negative. In the end, the winners for our European roasters and Global roasters boxes were picked pretty unianimously and it’s my pleasure to introduce them to you now.
As you may be aware, we launched a new Global Coffeevine box last month in an effort to bring you one step closer to the world’s best roasters. Over the years, we have had the honour to work with nearly 300 roasters from all over Europe and some overseas roasters too. Yet, the excitement of reaching out beyond our continent on a more regular basis has been omnipresent this entire time. After a weeks of planning and speaking with many fantastic roasters, we finally went ahead and launched the first edition of our Global Coffeevine box.
This additional monthly selection of roasters will from now on be offered alongside our regular European roasters and give our existing subscribers a chance to add these extra roasters to their monthly boxes and to non-subscribers, it will give access to a whole new range of roasters that are otherwise hard to find in Europe.
For our European roasters box, our cupping team selected three really delicious coffees from The Coffee Collective, Manhattan and Formative, marking the first time the latter will ever have been roasted in any of our boxes. For the Global roasters box, we selected two beautiful coffees from Metric and Archers. Learn more about these fabulous roasters below.
Coffee Collective led the way in direct trade and transparency practices
When Klaus Thomsen won the World Barista Championships back in 2006, he was fourth Danish national to win this prestigeous competition in just seven years. Nordic Baristas were dominating the field in those days and many went on to found highly successful roasting companies like Kaffa (Norway), Tim Wendelboe (Norway) and Coffee Collective (Klaus Thomsen, Peter N. Dupont and Casper Engel Rasmussen).
Since the early days, Coffeevine Collective put a big emphasis on sourcing exceptional coffees from talented producers and it led the way in direct trade and transparency practices. In addition, Coffee Collective together with other Nordic roasters like Tim Wendelboe, Koppi and Drop Coffee played an instrumental role in establishing the Nordic roast profile, a practice that employed a much lighter roast than was commonly used in those days, with the aim of highlighting the floral, fruity and more acidic flavour notes in each coffee.
These days, Coffee Collective is a well established coffee powerhouse that continues to innovate where it can and its Fredriksberg roastery has become a pilgrimage destination in its own right. It runs various cafés in its home city of Copenhagen and works with leading coffee businesses around the world. This feature will be its first since 2019 and we’re excited to have them back in one of our boxes, this time with a washed Colombian coffee from Planadas.
Grown by a group of smallholder farmers from the Tolima region in Colombia, this coffee has a mellow and balanced cup profile with subtle notes of citrus and caramel.
Manhattan Coffee Roasters is dreaming big. Real big.
When I was at the Paris Coffee Festival a few weeks ago, El Salvadorian coffee producer Rodolfo Rufatti Battle walked past the stand where I was guest brewing and pushed a few bags of coffee into my hands. “Just give these a whirl and tell me what you think,” he said before he walked away. Little did I know that a short while later, I would be cupping one of his excellent coffees courtesy of Manhattan Coffee Roasters.
Manhattan Coffee Roasters, it must be said, sort of came out of nowhere a few years ago and are now one of the most omnipresent roasters anywhere in Europe. No matter where I’ve recently been, Paris, London or Warsaw, I saw their bags in cafés. Ben Morrow and Esther Maasdam, the power couple behind the brand, have worked incredibly hard to build this stunning business from the ground up and are now reaping the benefits.
The first time I featured Manhattan, they helped us launch the limited edition GEMS series featuring competition level microlots from the best producers around the world. This was in 2020. Since then, Manhattan has grown at a breakneck speed, hiring new staff, moving to a bigger space and installing a bright pink Typhoon coffee roaster.
It’s quite an exciting time to be working with these guys and for us, having another great coffee from Rodolfo in one of our boxes is a great honour. Rodolfo even once joined one of our cuppings in Amsterdam to help us choose some coffee and for the upcoming July 2023 European box, Manhattan will roast one of his washed Red Bourbons. This coffee has a bright and juicy cup profile with notes of red apple, citrus and cane sugar.
Formative’s Ian Kissick is going for gold. Might he be the next World Barista Champion?
One of the London cafés that has been on my wishlist for ages is Formative. When I was last in the British capital, I wanted to drop by on a Sunday only to realise that Formative is not open on that day of the week. Maybe it was telepathy, maybe it was Maybelline but shortly after coming back from London, I was contacted by Nicholas Pastellopoulos, co-owner of Formative and coach to the the other co-owner and current British Barista Champion Ian Kissick.
Nicholas was super keen to get involved with The Coffeevine and to have one of their coffees featured in one of our upcoming boxes, and since Ian was preparing to compete in Athens for the World Barista Championship title, it seemed like a no-brainer to get them involved in our July 2023 box. Because, who knows? Maybe Ian will bring the crown back to the UK this month!
Whatever the outcome next week, both Nicholas and Ian are super chuffed that one of their outstanding coffees was chosen for our upcoming July 2023 European roasters box because it will allow them to raise their roasting profile internationally. A fun fact is that they roast on PLOT’s equipment in south London and PLOT was just featured in our June 2023 European roasters box. It’s all coming full circle, isn’t it?
The coffee that Formative will roast for us is an extraordinary Castillo from Wilton Benitez in Colombia. Wilton is quite well known as a visionary coffee producer who has been raising the bar in coffee processing and by sharing his knowledge with other producers in Latin America, he has helped many to fetch better prices for their own coffees. This coffee is vibrant, exotic and fruity.
Metric is Chicago’s coolest roaster and first to represent the windy city in The Coffeevine
Now that you’ve met all of the fabulous roasters that were selected for the European July 2023 box, it’s time to put the magnifying glass over our set of Global roasters. The first to appear in the upcoming Global Coffeevine box is Metric from Chicago. This roaster is extremely determined to get coffee right by paying producers a fair price and by being super transparent about its sourcing and roasting practices. After a rocky start in 2012 that almost broke them thanks to the infamous Probat debacle, Metric eventually found its feet and has been going from strength to strength ever since.
Founded by Darko Arandjelovic and Xavier Alexander, Metric wants coffee to be delicious and fun while also having a clearly defined policy to help farmers live better lives. They regularly collaborate with cool local brands and stores in the Chicago area and are currently building their latest outlet, an espresso and wine bar with a bigger roasting space in Avondale.
We’re super chuffed to have Metric on board as the second US-based roaster to participate in our newly launched Global Coffeevine box following Proud Mary from Portland in June. There are so many incredible specialty coffee businesses in the US and with this new box, we will hopefully bring a fine selection of them closer to you.
For their first-ever Coffeevine feature, Metric will roast for us a really yummy and jammy Honduran coffee from Remigio Castellanos with whom Metric has maintained a direct trade relationship for over five years. Our friend Benjamin Paz was instrumental in helping the two parties work together. This is a great example of the outstanding coffees grown in Honduras.
Archers takes aim at a global customer base
I first learned about Archers during my podcast interview with Charity Cheung of Moklair Coffee Roasters who received a lot of coaching from the guys during her Brewers Cup run. She ended up winning the French championships while her partner Kevin David became the French Barista Champion in the same year.
Until that point, I had not really given much thought to roasters in the Middle East since I wasn’t sourcing from there but when Charity mentioned that Archers was a really a great roaster to watch and it became clear that our Global Coffevine box was going ahead, I thought this was a great opportunity to reach out.
Archers was founded in 2019 by six friends from different walks of life. Their common goal is to make great coffee more accessible to people in their local communities and with Dubai being a global trading hub, getting access to some exceptional coffees was not that difficult. Roasting and serving it well was the challenge. Archers rose to the occasion and has since become a flagbearer for the United Arab Emirates’ specialty coffee scene.
For their Coffeevine debut, they will be roasting a stunning H1 variety from our friend Alejo Castro in Costa Rica. This variety is a cross between Rume Sudan and Sarchimor and delivers an incredibly sweet cup with notes of rhubarb and strawberry.
Your box, your choice. All you need to do is start.
We offer a few different boxes to suit every taste. Our European box is the most established box we have and offers the most options for customisation. It’s available as a subscription, a one-off box or a gift box and you can choose your ideal roast profile and number of bags. The Global Coffeevine box is our newest baby and currently only available as a one-off box with two bags roasted for filter.
But the best part is, you can buy these selections together or simply add one bag of the Global roasters’ selection to your European box. It’s totally easy.
Get started by visiting our shop today.