Dillon Mancuso: Coffee Insurrection Hero Chapter #48

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Dillon Mancuso: Coffee Insurrection Hero Chapter #48

Coffee Insurrection
1- Introduce yourself: who are you, where are you from, where do you work and what’s your job.
Hi, I’m Dillon and I’m from Williamsburg, VA.  I'm 19 years old and I'm an aspiring coffee shop owner with a dream. The startup cafe "" is founded by me, with a dream of bringing communities together over the simplest thing, a cup of coffee. Currently, (and unfortunately) I work at everyone’s favorite corporate franchise, Starbucks. I work as a barista, and I am looking to open up my own Specialty coffee shop as soon as possible, but there's a lot that goes into play with that.
2- When and why did coffee become important to you?

Coffee became important to me when I realized what it can do, for not just one person, but a community.  My journey started in Florida, around age 9 or 10. A local coffee shop was being built and it was amazing to see how rapidly a steady, growing, healthy community surrounded it.    

3- Do you remember the first coffee you had that was more than “just a cup of coffee”?

The first cup of coffee I had with significance, was the local coffee shop in Florida I described.  It wasn't that watery "cup of joe" we had at home. It was made with effort and kindness, all in a cup.  That kickstarted my ambitions to open my own shop.    

4- What’s your favorite thing about going to work in the morning?

My favorite thing about going to work, is having the ability to do what I love, even though it's quite restricted because it's Starbucks, I still can find efforts in small things like latte art in customers cups, or putting extra effort into a drink when we're in a rush.  The little things are important, that's what makes the cup taste so much better.    

5- What’s your favorite brewing method and why?

I'm pretty sure I speak for many people when I say this, pour overs are the best. I use my origami dripper the most for them. Having the ability to create my own recipe and manipulate how I want my coffee to taste at any point in the process is awesome. But it's also the whole process which makes it my favorite. From getting your dose, grinding, pouring, it's therapeutic and I don’t think I could go without it frankly.

6- Which is the best coffee you ever tasted?

Some of the best beans I've ever had, come from . For me, their Kenya Pea berry beans were too good to be true. Even someone who knows nothing about coffee could see how exquisite the aroma, the taste, the notes, the smell, everything about these beans. So for me, I have been a loyal customer of Onyx Coffee Lab.  However, I'm always open to find more fair trade roasters and sellers. But the "roast and ship same day" is a big thing for me. Fresh coffee is absolutely prime, no matter what.  
Carpe Noctem Café
7- Is there a country of origin that you tend to favor coffee from? Why?
I tend to love more fruity, floral coffees, as I think they provide an amazing experience.  Therefore, I tend to learn more towards Kenyan and Ethiopian beans much, much more.  
8- Suggest us a roastery to check (not the one you working at/you use at work).
Well as I mentioned before, Onyx Coffee Lab will always be my #1 recommendation, they have beans for those just wanting to start learning, and those who are considered experts.  Not only that, the coffee's always fresh, and that's a big, big thing.   

9- What’s the most important things you’ve learnt while working in the business?

Customer service is important, but nothing thrives truly without community. Sure a company may be financially profitable, but what's it worth if you're not impacting anyone around you in a good way. A truly successful business, works with its community to help for the better.  

10- How do you see the specialty coffee scene in 10 years?

I see it growing and flourishing, people are starting to care more about carbon footprints, and ethical processes. Which means fair trade coffee will see more light, and corporate stale coffee will not. Coffee brings people together, and we'll always need that.  

11- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I see myself with my family owning Carpe Noctem Cafe, bringing the community together to provide specialty coffee.  I see us making a true difference in the world by starting small. Carpe Noctem Cafe, see's itself flourishing not into a corporate business, but a community run business.  

12- Any last word? Any tip or suggestion you wanna share with someone?

Follow your dreams.  Cliché, sure.  But really.  Everyone's tired of 9-5 jobs, because they rarely make true impact on society.  As a society, we need to start pushing more for true, ethical, fair jobs.  Where people can follow their passions and help others to grow in theirs.  We only accomplish this through others help.   

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