Ben Morrow: Coffee Insurrection Hero Chapter #56

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Ben Morrow: Coffee Insurrection Hero Chapter #56

coffee shop
1- Introduce yourself: who are you, where are you from, where do you work and what’s your job.
 
 
I’m Ben Morrow and I’m the co-founder of , which is a small specialty coffee roastery based in Rotterdam, NL. I’m originally from Melbourne, Australia. Besides being one of the founders I’m in charge of green sourcing, producer partnerships and the head roaster of the company as well.
 
 
2- When and why did coffee become important to you?
 
 
Probably around ’06-‘07, at that point I was working in a café doing FOH service and thought that coffee was a part of the business I found really interesting. I liked the idea of making espresso for customers and it looked like a skill that would both be a lot of fun and interesting.
 
 
3- Do you remember the first coffee you had that was more than “just a cup of coffee”?
 
 
Yeah I don’t think I’ll forget that. The first time I thought “wow, why isn’t everyone drinking this” was a milk drink at the east Brunswick project in 2007. It was a Brazilian single that pretty much made the milk taste like candy floss. I was blown away with how sweet it was.
 
 
4- What’s your favorite thing about going to work in the morning?
 
 
Probably that I get to roast coffee from farmers that I love working with the way that I like it, and that we have customers that love it as much as me. It doesn’t get much better than that.
 
 
5- What’s your favorite brewing method and why?
 
 
Probably V60 because I use it so much at home. I’d like to think that our roasts are consistent enough that once you’ve got a recipe down you can use the same grind repeatedly (which I do) with almost the exact same result in the cup.
 
 
6- Which is the best coffee you ever tasted?
 
 
Jeez, there’s been many that have definitely been up there since I started in coffee so I’m going top four.

 
2011 Don Pache natural geisha, Panama
 
2015 Cerro Azul Café Granja washed Geisha, Colombia
 
2020 Letty Bermudez thermal shock anaerobic washed geisha, Colombia
 
2022 Janson X 959 Los Alpes natural geisha, Panama

Manhattan Coffee
 
 
7- Is there a country of origin that you tend to favor coffee from? Why?

 
I try not to pick favorites, wherever our partners at origin are is the where we like to work ;)
 
 
8- Suggest us a roastery to check (not the one you working at/you use at work).
 
 
Right now I’m really liking the coffee selection and roasting coming from in Rotterdam which is also a really small roastery here.
 
 
9- What’s the most important things you’ve learnt while working in the business?
 
 
Probably that if you’re not good at something learn about it and ask a professional to help you build what you need. Asking the right question to the right person is one of the most useful skills you could have in coffee.
 
 
10- How your work and the specialty coffee world are coping with Covid and the new challenges for hospitality?
 
 
The pandemic has been challenging to everyone in different ways, for us when it hit hard our clients basically were forced to close a lot of their shops so that means we’re not going to be selling any coffee. Right now the green coffee supply chain and café staffing are probably the most critical problems that people are going to be facing this year I think.
 
 
11- How do you see the specialty coffee scene in 10 years?
 
 
Probably a combination of exclusive and expensive hyper café’s with vintage freezer vaults of 90+ coffee’s and regular café’s which all the coffee is made by a semi-robotic system.  
 
 
12- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
 
 
I’m not sure exactly, hopefully working more in the field on coffee with the people that grow it, maybe even having  a share of a plantation too. Whatever it is, it will involve coffee in some way haha.

Manhattan Coffee
 
 
13- Any last word? Any tip or suggestion you wanna share with someone that want to start this path?
 
 
Probably start asking about it, you have access to every coffee professional in the world directly through Instagram or another social platform. Whatever it is you want help with the community it there to help you with it.
 
 
Pro tips for education

 
Lance Hedrick for equipment (youtube)
 
Barista Hustle for general coffee reading (www.baristahustle.com)
 
Scott Rao roasting Instagram @scottrao
 
Lucia Solis coffee farming @lluciasolis


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