The craft coffee cult brings a coffee roasting facility and tasting room to Manassas this May.
By Natalie Manitius
The coffee business has always been a family affair for Alycia Otte, and it’s now coming to Manassas. Otte’s Monument Coffee Roasters will open in Manassas this May, extending her family’s java obsession to NoVA.
What began as a daily trip to the local coffee house in Oregon became a career for a former Hewlett-Packard employee and the generation that followed. After her father quit his tech job to start a small coffee cart of his own, Alycia Otte entered into a bean-driven career. With a cart came a roasting facility, which blossomed into a storefront called Java Connection, located in Corvallis, Ore. Otte was hired for coffee-making by her father at 16, and is now one of two owners of Monument Coffee Roasters of Manassas.
Java Connection’s biggest customer also happened to be Alycia’s future husband: Ryan Otte. Otte would often find himself behind the counter, and he went on to be a coffee apprentice under Alycia’s father. The java joint connected the two coffee lovers, who married, moved around for the Coast Guard and finally got settled in a place where they could carry on the trade that brought them together. Monument Coffee Roasters seeks to foster an appreciation for coffee and educate the NoVA crowd how to prepare the caffeinated cult beverage.
Monument plans to hosts educational ‘cuppings,’ following a format similar to wine tasting. Rather than having full-fledged food options and serving coffee on the go, the Ottes wants to teach their customers how coffee is grown, how Monument roasts its beans on site (which customers can watch) and how this affects the body and flavor of a cup. Beverages will be prepared using the sophisticated methods of chem-ex pour over and syphoning.
As for the beans, the Ottes plan to source single-origin coffees that are both Fair Trade Certified as well as organic. Monument’s initial offerings will be varieties from Central America, South America and Africa. The pair has spent the last year making sample roasts to perfect the cup, and plans to roast in less-than-30-pound small batches to better manage the flavor and quality.
Coffee education will happen both on site and at other Manassas locations. The roasters will begin with 1-2 roastings per week, and will then proceed via a posted schedule for cuppings. Alycia and Ryan are also currently working with Manassas java joints to host coffee tastings at their sites.
Coffee snobs who can’t make it to the Monument site can expect to find the beans throughout Manassas. Though no names have been mentioned, Monument plans to serve its coffee in locally-owned restaurants, and will partner with breweries to infuse darker brews with craft coffee.
Get a taste of what’s to come at Badwolf Brewing’s Beards, Brews & BBQ event on April 6, from 2 to 7 p.m. Monument Coffee Roasters will be onsite to do tastings and to talk coffee. / 7095 Gary Road, Manassas; monumentcoffeeroasters.com