Most mornings around the offices of PillartoPost.org we’re content to grind Italian Roast beans from Starbucks or via the beans from the two-pound sack of generic darker roast Kirkwood brand available at Costco. But every so often we come across a coffee roast that knocks us off our perch (aka coffee comfort level described here). That coffee is from a San Diego County husband and wife team, who founded/run Manzanita Roasting.
Q: Who are you?
A: We’re Weston and Samantha, owners of Manzanita Roasting in San Diego, are a coffee roasting couple that sprung from wine backgrounds. Weston was a Classically trained Chef and WSET 3 Sommelier in Canada, Samantha, a winery marketing director from a winery family in San Diego. The transition from wine and food to coffee roasting in 2015 was an easy one for Weston. A somm turned roaster, he turned his palate from quaffing fine wines to sourcing and roasting the best coffee he can find. Since then, we've turned up the heat so to speak, winning national awards, competing nationally in cupping and roasting, scoring 90+ on our coffees, making headlines and recently being named one of Thrillist USA 21 Best Roasters in the United States. We're small but growing, and definitely not hip and trendy... just quietly doing the right thing.
Q: Where do you get your beans?
A: Manzanita buys beans that taste delicious. period. We find the juiciest, sweetest beans we can. We don’t buy based on certifications or fancy stickers… sometimes our beans may be fair trade or organic but honestly... buying direct trade is more important, there is traceability, communication, transparency, and quality beans from small farmers. They can't always afford fancy certification but we know how they farm and the way they take care of their beans. Also, much as good wines represent the terroir they are sourced from, our small batch coffee beans represent the unique farms, climates and countries they come from. We're going to let the beans speak for themselves from there.
A: We practice sustainable methods of roasting from start to finish. By roasting our beans using the most innovative, environmentally friendly coffee roaster on the market, made in California by Loring, we’re able to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 80%. That’s pretty darn cool, we think. We light to medium roast our beans, depending on what they like and where they find their sweet and delicious happy place. After roasting, all of our by-product, chaff and coffee waste gets composted and put back into the soil of the family vineyards our roaster is located on. Even the biodegradable filters we use in testing our coffees, the cupping waste and coffee gets composted along with the grounds. Happy coffee, happy farmers. Happy planet. Cheers to that. :)
Q: Where is your operation?
A: We're pretty lucky to be located on the 128-year-old Bernardo Winery in North County San Diego. It's serene, beautiful and a happy place to roast happy beans. And at the end of the roasting day, a nice glass of wine from the winery is awesome.
Between the wine tasting, cafes, shopping, artists galleries, historic buildings, vineyards and gardens, you can pretty much stay for the day. Some people do :)
Manzanita Roasting Company and Coffee House is located at 13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte S2, San Diego, CA 92128.
Hours: Open 8am to 4 pm Mon. thru Thu; Fri 8 am to 7:30 pm and Sat and Sun. 8 am to 4 pm
Phone: (858) 376-7335