By Nicole Bayne
The online store for Monument Coffee Roasters launches today, giving coffee lovers a first glance at owners Alycia and Ryan Otte’s plan to bring craft coffee to Manassas.
“There was a big void in local coffee roasters,” says Alycia Otte, who was 16 when she was hired to make coffee at her father’s coffee house in Oregon. “Coming from a coffee roasting family, I noticed a need for this right away.”
While the physical building is not ready for guests—it’s expected to open January 2015—they are roasting coffee for purchase on their web store, ground and whole bean.
Available for order is the silky and dark Colombian Popayn Supremo; the earthy Guatemalan Huehuetanango (fair trade); the fruity Kenyan Lenana (fair trade); the chocolate-y and tobacco flavored Sumatra Karo Highlands (fair-trade); the medium-bodied Brazilian Swiss Water Decaf; and Monument Coffee’s Batch 1: Warrior 360. This is a custom blend of light-roast coffees Kenyan Lenana and Sumatra Karo Highlands with darker-roast Colombian Popayn Supremo, giving it a bold upfront taste with a smooth finish of chocolate and orange notes. Fifteen percent of the profits form this batch go to Warrior 360, the nonprofit supporting troops and veterans.
Monument Coffee Roasters specializes in small-batch coffee, using a gas flame fire-roasting technique because, says Otte, “it brings out more flavor profiles in the coffee, giving it a smokey feel.”
Otte suggests buying whole beans and grinding right before brewing each cup. Each customer’s first online purchase will include a fact sheet on different brewing techniques with different beans and tips to get the best cup of coffee.
When Monument opens next year, it will work as a joint retailer and cupping room, or “a tasting room for coffee, set up like a wine bar,” says Otte. Eventually she wants to expand into a full-fledged coffee roaster with a drive-through and sell beans directly to other coffee shops and restaurants.
“Part of our service is giving people suggestions on how to make coffee right for you,” says Otte. “We want to help you make the best cup of coffee.” / For regular drinkers, there’s a coffee club with twice-a-month delivery starting December 1 and local customers can use the discount code localva for 10 percent off purchases; Monument Coffee Roasters, 7095 Gary Road, Manassas