Drew Miller started working for Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Co. in Spring of 2013 as a part time employee, working our booth at the South of the James Farmers Market on Saturdays, and picking up a few production shifts at the Roast Lab. At the time, Drew was still working on his undergrad degree at Virginia Commonwealth University, so his time with us was somewhat limited. Over the next few years, Drew continued to increase his time with us, becoming a valued, reliable member of our production team. We couldn't have been happier when he finished college and decided he wanted to work full-time for Blanchard's and build a career in coffee.
Since then, Drew has continued to work on the production team, while splitting his focus between sample and production roasting, and client relationships though both daily interactions via deliveries and events, and developing new clients. He recently earned his Q Arabica Grader license, adding another level of agency and expertise to his coffee resume.
Here's a little Q&A with Drew:
Earliest coffee memory?
I spent most of my summers as a kid in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. My Grandparents were big coffee drinkers and always cooked breakfast. The smell of bacon and brewing coffee would wake me up. Not bad way to start the day.
You just got licensed as a Q Arabica Grader; what exactly does that mean, and what was that process like for you?
Getting the Q is kind of like earning a masters degree in coffee. I did some quick math when it was all over and I think I sampled over 400 cups of coffee through out a week. I am glad it is over and I am honored to be a Q Grading professional for the Coffee Quality Institute.
What are some of your favorite BCRC coffees right now?
Colombia Finca El Ocaso 18/18
Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Koke
What is your go-to brew method and recipe?
When I'm at work I like brewing on a Hario V60. 21g coffee to 350g water makes an excellent cup of coffee. On a Saturday morning I use a french press, about a hand full of coffee, grind it, pour water on it about 3/4 full, stir and plunge at about 4 minutes. Its delicious.
Your first job at BCRC was the SotJ Farmers Market - do you miss that at all?
For a poor college kid as I was in those days, it wasn't a bad gig. Wake up really early on a Saturday, brew coffee for a few hours, make a few bucks, and get 5 pound of veggies from the other vendors at the end of the day. Summer was the worst. I have never been more hot.
What is your ideal Saturday off from work?
I am a big fly fishermen which means Saturday starts the night before. Tying flies for the next day, wake up at 5:30am and on the river by 8:00. I really enjoy the Moormans and Rapidan River in Shenandoah National Park. More than fishing, I love cooking and sharing fine wine with my wife Tess. After dinner, we like to walk around our neighborhood with our dog Juni.
Outside of your Michael Bolton and Weird Al collection, why don't you put together a Spotify Playlist for the fans?