Last Friday Folkestone’s Old High Street welcomed a new kid to the block. Manifest Coffee is very unassuming, very understated; it’s also very small. But the close quarters give warmth to the minimalist furniture and raw wood finishes and it provides the perfect atmosphere to sit and contemplate what you’re consuming.
This is a place where the many layers and nuances of the coffee bean are taken very seriously. If what you want is a cup of vaguely recognizable, sweet, milky liquid to help you make it through to elevenses, Starbucks may be the more relevant option. This is coffee at its most involved, café culture at its most thoughtful.
Specifically selected espresso blends with names like Sweet Shop and Red Brick are offered with milk or without, because it really does make a difference. Filter coffee − and by that I don’t mean something percolated to within an inch of its life, we’re talking reverse osmosis-treated water here − and interesting teas are also on the menu.
It’s obvious from the word go that Tom has taken every decision to heart in bringing Manifest to life and I can honestly say the tasting flight offered some of the most interesting and complex flavors I have ever experienced from a drink of any kind, let alone from coffee. There are no frills here, you’re not going to get a pumpkin spiced latte or a hot chocolate drowned in marshmallows. But if you’re looking for somewhere with a passion for good coffee and a place to enjoy it, this is it. From the handmade totes by a local textile designer to the hand-picked reading material selected specifically for the particular moods evoked by each beverage on the menu, going to Manifest is as personal and tailor-made a coffee experience as I’ve ever had and I can’t wait to go back.
Looking for somewhere to eat out in Folkestone? Come try my supper club!