“The ability to make connections over a simple cup of coffee is amazing!

After working for Starbucks for 6 months, I was over it. Then I tried my first latte drink that had latte art in it from Cafe Moto. It was then that I wanted to learn how to do latte art myself. I wasn’t necessarily trained, but I learned just by sitting here at the bar like we are right now and watched how Adriana trained the baristas.

I love the story behind coffee – from farmer to cup.

It’s being able to be here [Cafe Moto] that I got introduced to specialty coffee that changed my life and from there I knew I wanted to pursue coffee for the rest of my life. Handing that drink to someone and seeing them enjoy the first sip of coffee is so rewarding and as a barista I get that instant gratification first hand. The fact that I get to meet amazing people, hear their stories, and be a barista is pretty amazing.

I can honestly say I don’t feel like I work a day in my life because I love what I do.

Taking it back to my first throwdown, I had no idea what I was doing and I went up there and choked. My first pour, there was no art whatsoever. The next one, I made it to the top 16/61. No one took me seriously because I was a barista at Starbucks and didn’t know much about specialty coffee at the time. I truly believe that because of that, coffee is the career that found me. Because that is how my friends at Por Vida and Westbean discovered me where and that is the reason why I am where I am now.

You can tell the difference of a good cup of coffee with the care and passion the barista pours in your cup. And I want to be that person to deliver a good cup of coffee all the time.”

We had the honor of meeting Manny at Por Vida in Barrio Logan when he poured us the prettiest of lattes with the biggest grin on his face. He’s been an amazing barista and continues to educate us about coffee each time we engage with him. We had the pleasure to sit down and enjoy a Cubano cortado from Cafe Moto with him as he shared his journey with coffee.

His humble demeanor and love for coffee is unparalleled and we cannot wait to see him compete this year at the different TNT events! Find him at some of your favorite coffee shops, WestBean in Liberty Public Market or Por Vida, and be sure to say hello! He’s one of the friendliest people we’ve had the chance to sit down with, and we are so honored to feel the love with every cup of coffee he pours for us!

Where to Find Him

WestBean Coffee inside Liberty Public Market or Por Vida

Follow Him

Instagram: @baristocrat619