Jake Hansen joined the Blanchard’s Coffee Roasting Co. team in early 2015. He came to us with a barista background an interest in growing in the specialty coffee industry. He also had a lot of tattoos, so we knew he was legit. Like everyone at Blanchard’s, Jake wears a lot of hats. In addition to being one of our chief production roasters, he manages our large DSD program (Direct Store Delivery: where we manage inventory, deliver, and stock product in Wegmans, Whole Foods, Publix and Kroger locations throughout Virginia), assists on the packaging line, handles most sample roasting, and keeps us well advised on everything we need to know about professional wrestling. We don’t always get Jake’s weird Midwestern food references, but we trust him anyway because the man used to do competitive eating, and that has to count for something.
How, where, and why did you get into coffee?
I was working for the University of Iowa in Iowa City repairing old, outdated Dell computers in 2012 when my cousin suggested that I apply for a barista position with a local coffee shop to shake up my routine. I was tragically mediocre at computer repair, she knew one of the managers and I drank a lot of coffee so the job change made sense. I got the barista job and quickly gained interest in all things coffee. I started to read coffee literature, bought coffee from multiple different roasters and brewed coffee all the time. After gaining experience and knowledge as a cafe manager for a few years, my (then) fiancé and I decided to move to Richmond seeking a new adventure and escape from the bitter cold Midwest winters. My hope was to get a job with one of the roasters in town and learn as much as I could about the coffee industry. I was fortunate to be offered a job with Blanchard's in January 2015 where I'm constantly learning and growing in my field.
What is your favorite BCRC coffee? Why?
My current favorite coffee is the Finca La Julia from Costa Rica. It has a beautiful Merlot-like quality with some dried cranberry sweetness and perfect balance. It's a great espresso, pour over and batch brew option. This coffee is consistently spectacular every time I revisit it.
What are you brewing at home right now?
Finca La Julia from Costa Rica, Chelchele from Ethiopia and Finca El Ocaso 18/18 from Colombia.
What is your go-to home brewing set-up?
I use the Hario V60 the most with an occasional Kalita Wave and Chemex appearance. I have a Hario scale, Hario gooseneck kettle and Baratza Encore grinder that I use in my set up as well.
Go-to brew recipe?
30 g of coffee + 480 g of agua
60 g bloom for 30 seconds
90 g first pour
100 g second & third pour
130 g fourth pour
Total brew time around 3 minutes
What is your favorite coffee shop in Richmond?
It's a tough call but I think I visit Saison Market the most. They have a great staff that brews our coffee wonderfully, provides an enjoyable atmosphere and consistent positive experiences.
What else do you love about living in Richmond?
I love the amazing breweries and food selection in Richmond. A beer from The Veil and a meal from Kuba Kuba is a night in heaven. I enjoy living in the city but being able to make a quick drive to fun hiking areas or the beach. We get some really great shows and have cool music venues to see them at. The VMFA is always fun to visit and I seem to find something new that I love each time I go back.
Anything else you’d like to add?
N.W.O. 4 LIFE
Jake is a music hound, sniffing out records for his vinyl collection, and his collection is expansive. The great thing about Jake’s music collection is that he knows and appreciates a wide range of music, and his collection reflects that.
Even though he seems to know WAY too much about Nickelback, we asked Jake to put together a playlist of what he’s listening to right now, so here it is: enjoy.