Manzanita Roasting Company is a new coffee venture with some pretty deep roots in the culinary and beverage world. Manzanita celebrated their grand opening in December 2015. Manzanita was founded by Weston and Samantha Nawrocki, who found love over their common bond of wine and good food. Weston is a classically trained chef and sommelier while Samantha coordinates marketing for Bernardo Winery, which has been in her family for 125 years. Manzanita is wholesaling their beans to some local cafes in the San Diego area as well as making online sales, and you can visit them for some coffee (and wine!) at their roasting facility, which is on the Bernardo Winery property.
Weston and Sam’s roasting philosophy is to develop coffees on their Loring (imagine the biggest and most hi-tech popcorn popper, ever! It’s a “fluid bed” roaster, meaning it uses hot air to roast the coffee rather than a metal drum) so that their single origin beans are delicious both as pour over or espresso. I did not try today’s coffee as espresso, but I will rectify that for the other coffees I’ll be reviewing from Manzanita!
The first coffee from Manzanita that I’m looking at today is their Guatemala Antigua Hunapu. This coffee is sourced from Bodhi Leaf ad comes from the Santa Clara & Anexos farms in Antigua, Guatemala. It’s a washed coffee grown in the 1500-1800masl range and consists of Bourbon and Caturra varieties. Manzanita offers tasting notes of, “Caramel, apple, syrupy” for this coffee as a pourover and “marzipan” when used as espresso in a milk drink. You can buy this coffee directly from Manzanita for $16/12oz bag.
I love dual use coffees, so I will rip into this with the espresso machine, too, and will update the review next week. For this review, I prepared all my samples using my usual 1:15 ratio in my notNeutral Gino pour over with Kalita 185 filters. I got around a 3:30-3:45 total brew time from this coffee.
This is a bright example of a Guatemalan coffee. There is overall sweetness in the cup and the mouthfeel has a slick, coating feel to it. The coffee has a nice malic acidity to it, like a crisp apple, so the brightness is more like apple juice, not a citric brightness that scares off some coffee drinkers. The body is medium to light and it has quite a dry finish for my palate. As the sip finishes it gives off some spicy, almost vegetal flavors, too.
Overall this is a pretty nice cup. It’s clean and it’s bright and it has nice flavors that work well together. For my taste, personally, I found it a bit too lightly roasted. I really like Guatemalan coffees that are roasted a little darker and end up being sugar bombs, but that’s just my personal preference. The dryness of the finish reminded me a bit of the feel of a too-greeen coffee, but the flavors weren’t grassy at all. I definitely wouldn’t take this coffee any lighter, but I would love to taste it a bit more developed, too. It should be a wild ride in the espresso machine, so I can’t wait to put it through its paces!
**Sorry for the lack of photography on this review. Manzanita’s bag order got pushed back by their printer and so they shipped my coffee in plain white bags. Bummer!