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
Raise your hand if you follow Blanchard's Coffee Co. on Twitter and Facebook.
If you didn't raise your hand you should get on the bandwagon. As much as we try to blog about every cool thing that comes down the pipes, some stuff slips through the cracks--but we rarely miss a beat on social media.
Perfect example: If you were following our Twitter and Facebook feeds Friday evening you probably saw something about a Saturday morning espresso tasting idea. That idea, by the time it was confirmed around 10:00pm Friday night, became known as PopUpEspresso, and if you didn't come out, you missed something pretty special.
For those of you that missed it--here's the story:
I put out a question on Facebook and Twitter around 8:30pm Friday night asking if there was any interest in an espresso tasting Saturday morning--I didn't have anything to do and I needed to be out of my house for a few hours, so I was looking for something interesting to get into.
Enough people expressed interest so I decided to run with it, and at 10:00pm, I announced on Twitter and Facebook that I would hold a PopUpEspresso. What is that you ask? Think of it like a surprise espresso bar. There is no set schedule, no set format--I announced the times and the rules Friday night for the next morning.
This time around, the rules were simple: Come, taste espresso and/or macchiatto, rate it, comment on it, stick around, socialize, ask questions and learn about coffee--if you want to purchase coffee beans, fine, otherwise, leave your money at home. The rules may be completely different next time (and there will be a next time) but they will always be posted ahead of time so you'll know.
This Saturday's event was a great success. We had a bunch of visitors, lots of new faces, and some great feedback on the several espressos we were testing out. Old friends and new friends stuck around, socialized, got highly caffeinated and learned tons of new stuff about coffee and what goes on at Blanchard's on a daily basis.
It is pretty exciting to see how energized an idea can become, even after only a short period of time, so we're already planning the next one! If you want to participate then keep your eyes open for our posts on Facebook and Twitter--it'll be here before you know it!