How many of the things that you eat and drink can you trace back to its very beginning? Are you a part of the "eat local" movement? Are you proud of fact that you met the guy who grows your kale, the gal who gathers your eggs, the folks who brew your beer? How about that cup of coffee (or three) that you drink every single morning?
We think it is a big deal to know where your coffee comes from and what it takes to get it to your cup in the morning; that is why we are beginning a series of coffee education events like the one we had last night in partnership with SlowFoodRVa and Alchemy Coffee.
Take a look at some of the pictures from the event!
We started the evening off with a tasting of the first recorded coffee blend, Mocha Java - a blend of Indonesian and East African beans - as Eric Spivek of Alchemy Coffee walked us through the historical origins of coffee and how it came to be a beverage enjoyed worldwide.
Stephen Robertson of Blanchard's Coffee Co. walked us through farming, harvest, processing and procurement practices and how that all relates to the Slow Food Movement and the world economy.
We then took the class down to the Roast Lab where Stephen demonstrated coffee roasting and Eric talked about brewing techniques. With Press Pots, Chemex, Clever Drippers and Melitta Drippers, we tasted Ethiopian Harrar, Papua New Guinea, Guatemalan Huehuetenango and Sumatra Mandheling.
There were tons of questions, answers, laughs and everyone went home with a bag of freshly roasted Dark Roast Ethiopian Harrar; and hopefully a better understanding of how they get that cup of coffee that starts their day.
Sign up for our email newsletter
, like us on Facebook
and follow us on Twitter
to get information on our next Coffee Ed. event!
Virginia is going to have some freakishly warm weather for the middle of January this weekend. It is a foregone conclusion that some folks may be thinking about a nice refreshing glass of iced coffee after enjoying the beautiful weather outside.
PRO TIP: Go ColdBrew. You'll be glad you did.
Here's your handy how-to for an easy, delicious batch of ColdBrew for the weekend:
Pick your favorite fresh roasted coffee and grind it as you would for your French Press--you're going to use about double the amount of ground coffee as you would for a normal press pot of hot coffee.
Put your ground coffee in your press pot and stir in cold or room temperature filtered water until the press pot is full.
Cover the press pot with plastic wrap and let it steep in the refrigerator over night.
In the morning, insert the press pot's plunger and plunge as far as you can.
Pour off the coffee you have brewed into a separate pitcher and then add cold, filtered water to double the volume. Now you have delicious, low acidity, high-test ColdBrew to pour over ice and enjoy until its gone!
Happy brewing everyone!
There are so many coffee lovers out there who are drinking several cups of pricey specialty coffee a day and have absolutely no idea what it takes to get that coffee from where it was grown to their cup.
I'll be the first to admit, I spent the first several years of my career in coffee not knowing that information, and when I finally learned, it was an eye opening experience that totally changed my outlook on this product that is so deeply intwined in so many of our lives.
Please join us Tuesday, January 15th at 6:30pm in the Blanchard's Coffee Co. Roast Lab
as we team up with Slow Food RVA
and Alchemy Coffee
to present Coffee: Farm to Cup; an exploration of what it takes to get our morning coffee, who is affected and how to make the best of the whole process for everyone involved.
We'll also have roasting and brewing demonstrations with some samples for you to take home as well as any of our coffees available for purchase if you're looking for something specific.
Please RSVP here
as space is limited and we need an accurate head count to make sure the event is best for everyone who attends. We hope to see you there!
Well folks, not only have we survived another holiday season, but a Mayan Apocalypse as well; we'll call that an overall success!
We truly hope you all have had a wonderful holiday full of friends, family, good food and, of course, great coffee.
We couldn't be more thankful for all of our family and friends who support Blanchard's Coffee Co. and all of the awesome businesses and coffee lovers who help people enjoy a great cup of fresh roasted coffee every day. With all of your help, we can proudly announce another record breaking year here at Blanchard's, including over 2,100 pounds roasted in a single day during the week before Christmas! Yes, if you're wondering, that is a ton of coffee--literally.
Its easy to fall into a deep winter slump after all the excitement of the holidays wears off, so we're working on a few things to keep you pumped, in the least, about coffee.
First up, this was a HUGE year for our seasonal Holiday Blend, but even good things must come to an end. Before we wrap up the Holiday Blend for this season, we wanted to offer you the chance to pick up a few more bags at a great sale price as a thank you for all your support. Starting January 1st, for a limited time, you can pick up as many bags of Holiday Blend as you like from our website for $7.00 per bag--as a loyal blog reader, you can get a head start by buying here:
Holiday Blend 12oz Bag
We're also going to start a Blanchard's Newsletter to which you can subscribe for email alerts about cool happenings at the Roast Lab and beyond. You can subscribe here
--we promise, we will not spam you.
We'll be announcing stuff like new blog posts, coffee events, featured coffees, coffee specials and awesome partnerships like the ones we have with the James River Association
or Road Holland
, so be sure to sign up!
If your home is anything like mine, a morning isn't complete without a great cup of coffee--especially during the holidays. Coffee has a social, conversational effect that brings people together in that soul and body warming kind of way, so its a great treat to share when the family is around.
Coffee also makes a great gift, not just for family and friends, but for officemates, clients, business contacts--even the mailman!
Blanchard's Coffee Co. has everything you need for holiday coffee, starting with our yearly release of our Holiday Blend. The 2012 Holiday Blend is a delicious blend of Indonesian and African coffees that is bold and spicy with a slight hint of dark fruits.
We also offer a wide range of gift options from single bags of a coffee of your choice to our Signature Gift Boxes to custom gift sets for corporate giving.
You can order Holiday Blend 2012 along with the rest of our coffees and Signature Gift Boxes here at the online store.
Contact Stephen at 804-516-5213 or firstname.lastname@example.org for custom corporate gift questions and/or orders.
There is no question, a great cold-brew coffee over ice on a hot summer day is hard to beat. It is a refreshing treat whether you take it black, or "the set-up" (you know you have a certain set-up for your cold-brew).
As the winter month's start to sink in we often forget our obsession for a tall glass caffeine punch and move on to traditional hot coffees to combat the cold, but I submit to you that cold-brew has a place in your winter-time line up--consider:
Unless you're working for a Dickens-esque miser who skimps on the climate control, or your job keeps you outside in the elements, chances are you have a healthy HVAC system keeping you toasty no matter the temperature outside. When the post-lunch doldrums hit, you need two things: some energy and some refreshment. Hot coffee is tougher on the tummy and likely doesn't help wash down that double cheeseburger, but a quick iced coffee would do the trick just nicely.
Blanchard's Coffee Co. has the solution: ColdBrew Growlers. They're attractive, refillable, but most importantly, full of awesome Blanchard's ColdBrew Coffee! We're taking special orders right now and we'll refill them at your request.
If you couldn't make it out to our open-house at the end of June, you missed a great party! We'll post some pictures soon so you can see all the folks hanging out at our new Roast Lab.
That party was an unveiling of sorts for our newest coffee--Direct Trade Dominican Republic Jarabacoa. We worked with a great importer, Josiah Hernandez, to bring this lovely island coffee to Virginia where it is featured by several small-batch roasters. Josiah has worked for some time, hands on, with a group of five farmers in the Dominican Republic to increase crop quality, consistency and overall sustainability. Additionally, he has increased the amount of money farmers are able to earn for their crops by facilitating direct trade deals with roasters like Blanchard's.
For such a special coffee, we decided we should give it a special presentation. For the Jarabacoa's release, we commissioned our Chief Roaster and Artist in Residence, Seth Bauserman, to design a special label for the bag. What he came up with was so great that we switched gears and decided to change our packaging all together. We have made a limited run of Blanchard's Coffee Co. logo glass jars and had Seth paint 48 unique art-cards for an ultra-limited edition run. We also had prints made of some of his work for the rest of the jars.
There are still few original signed and numbered cards which are painted with the coffee itself, and we'll have them and the print jars for sale until they run out.
You can order them right here from the BCC Blog so get yours today!
Happy Summer Everyone!
Despite the fact that today will be one of the hottest days of the year thus far, I'd like to talk talk to you, briefly, about coffee!
As many of you know, Blanchard's Coffee Co. moved from its long-time home in Westover Hills a few months back. We've spent the past few months getting settled in to our new home at 700 Bainbridge Street in the Historic Manchester District.
Though we miss our friends and neighbors in Westover Hills, it is great to be able to stretch out our arms in a much larger, well-lit and ventilated space--a space of which we are quite proud. The larger space allows us to grow more comfortably and feel great about inviting our friends and loyal followers to visit anytime.
With that said, we'd like to invite you all to our Open House event on Wednesday 27 June 2012 from 6-8:00pm. We're going to do some roast demonstrations of our new Direct Trade Coffee: Dominican Republic Jarabacoa. We'll also have some delicious refreshments provided by Hartmanda Bakery, Shyndigz and Dixie Donuts. There will be coffee tastings and other drinkables as well.
Bring your friends, your family, your coffee-loving neighbor--and feel free to forward this email to anyone you think might enjoy coming out!
We'll be launching our Limited Edition Packaging for the Dominican Republic Jarabacoa, 50 of which include original art by Seth Bauserman--Chief Roaster and Artist in Residence. We'll also have any of our coffees available to buy and take home.
You can RSVP on our Facebook Invite, or just show up--we like to keep it informal!
If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email or give me a call--I look forward to seeing you all!
Where the heck are we?
If you are a die hard Blanchard's Coffee fan (which you totally should be) you've probably heard tell of our leaving the 5047 Forest Hill Avenue location we've inhabited for so long.
Well, we were supposed to be fully operational in our new space by March 5th but, as is often the case with projects involving construction, we had a few hiccups and decided it was best to push the whole thing back one month. That brings us to the end of March and we are DEFINITELY moving--we sort of have no choice because we have to get out of the way of Taza so they can begin their transformation of the 5047 Forest Hill Space.
Starting in April, you'll be able to find us at 700 Bainbridge Street in the Manchester District of Richmond. Our space is coming together, we're meeting (and caffeinating) our neighbors and we're eyeing that Legend Brewing patio with thirsty mouths!
Also on the subject of moving, you may have noticed some changes to our coffee display at Martin's Food Stores if that is where you buy your BCC coffee.
Martin's is undergoing some shelving changes, one of which affects our location in the coffee isle. Where we used to occupy a section of the bottom shelf in most stores, we are now moving to the far left end of the coffee section on the bottom three shelves. The coffee selection should remain the same. If you run into any problem finding your favorite coffee at Martin's please find a manager at the store to help you and, as always, feel free to contact us for help.
One final "moving" note--be sure to swing by Ellwood Thompson's Market to check out the newly opened Ellwood's Cafe, now moved into the main Ellwood Thompson Market space since their take-over of the old Blockbuster space. They're featuring an espresso specially designed here at BCC to their specific espresso machine. They're brewing several of our coffees, including the Clover brewer, and they've got an AWESOME fresh juice and smoothie bar that you simply MUST check out.
Finally, since you were so kind to read our blog, go to our website and use the coupon code BLOGZ for a discount on any order--including our shiny new coffee brewer section!
It seems there is a lot of reason for us to be in news lately; here are a couple of our favorites!
Relay Foods wrote a really nice piece about us recently--it was super flattering, especially since the writer isn't a coffee drinker! Read more here
Hills & Heights broke the story of our impending move to the Manchester District with this article that was later aggregated by several other online publications: read more here