John Kruegler is the Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Co. Director of Education, as well as one of our lead coffee roasters, and curator of internet memes. Education is one of the most important aspect of the Blanchard's Coffee ethos, whether its training our clients to make the best possible cup of coffee for their customers, or teaching the public more about the coffee they love, and better ways to brew it. John is also our espresso whisperer, spending incalculable hours dialing our blended and single origin espressos. He drinks more coffee than our entire staff combined, so by shear volume alone, he is an expert.
We sat down with John to brew some coffee and talk about his favorite brews and what takes up his day.
When did you start working at BCRC?
I started with Blanchard's in October 2014, so roughly 3.5 years.
What made you get into the specialty coffee industry?
I managed a cafe for a few years and trained closely with a coffee roaster who encouraged me to get involved in the specialty coffee community. I learned a ton about coffee preparation but more importantly about the industry as a whole and how many hands coffee has to go through before It gets to me. I was also introduced to cupping and sensory analysis of coffees from different regions, processes, and roast degrees. Each level of the supply chain has a huge impact on the final product and I wanted to travel up the supply chain to see how I can affect quality at different levels.
What is your go-to brew method at home? Recipe?
V60 all day every day.
2.5 minute brew time
No drama.What is your favorite BCRC coffee right now? And what are your stand-bys?
I'm super pumped on the El Salvador El Ocote. It's packed with approachable coffee flavors like cocoa, caramel, and maple syrup, with a cashew butter mouthfeel and soft finish. It makes a balanced buttery espresso and a delicate V60. I always love the Nicaragua San Jose and the Ethiopia Layo Tarega has some great tropical fruit notes with a crazy caramel depth.
What are your thoughts on the Richmond coffee scene? Highs? Lows?
I love Richmond coffee right now! Making a great cup of coffee (or espresso) isn't very difficult, it's just a very intentional process. I'm seeing more and more shops take an intentional approach to their coffee program and putting out some fire brews. There's a lot of talent in the coffee community right now and it's a great time to be involved in the Richmond Coffee scene. I still think there is plenty of room for improvement, but Richmond is raising their expectation of what they want in their cup.
Go-to meal out in Richmond?
I find myself scooping into Ellwood Thompson’s hot bar atleast once, if not twice a week. It’s got a huge variety of healthy options, some of which are local, and is super affordable.
Your friends are in from out of town and you want to share your best Richmond day with them — where do you take them? What do you do?
I hope they're ready to ride a bike because it's the best way to see the city. We'd definitely have to stop by Belle isle and maybe drop in on the Northbank Trail (it’s pretty tame). Then we'd scoot over to Church Hill to, uh, ride hills. We’d grab some pies at Proper Pie and head over to Libbie Hill to see one of the best views of the city, then we'd ride a few blocks to 23rd street hill where Peter Sagan launched his attack to win the 2015 UCI World Championship for the 1st time (He's won 3 in a row currently). We’d round out the day at the VMFA followed by Gelati Celesti because ice creams is life.
Top three SFW memes on your feed right now?
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