Black Tap hit the coffee scene with their shop in historic Charleston, SC in 2012. Since then they've elevated the level of coffee in this wonderful city and have recently began roasting their own selections. They were named one of the best coffee shops in the US by Business Insider as well as Travel & Leisure. Craftsmanship and hospitality drive their company. Black Tap strives to source, roast and craft some of the best coffees in the world and in the process share a unique coffee experience in an approachable manner. We caught up with their head roaster Trip Gandy for a quick little Q&A.
CK: Describe your roasting style in three words.
Tripp: Let it be
CK: What makes your approach to coffee unique?
Tripp: Creative sourcing and the acquisition of quality green beans is where I devote most of my efforts. As a company, we place a lot of emphasis on seasonality and traceability, and strive to pass this information onto the consumer in an approachable manner. Ultimately, it's the experience of the cup that sets any roaster apart from another.
CK: What kind of roaster do you use and why did you choose it?
Tripp: I roast on a Loring S15 Falcon. Not only is it the most energy efficient, and eco-friendly roaster on the market, it also has the ability to produce excellent coffee consistently. Loring roasters have caught the eye of many in the industry lately, and for a good reason. It's American Made and well engineered.
CK: What advice would you give someone who wants to start roasting coffee
Tripp: Reconsider. Go to med school and do something with your life.
CK: Where do you source your coffee from?
Tripp: We buy coffees from all over the world, and what we have at any given time is based on seasonality and quality. We work closely with a local importer, Balzac Brothers, to bring our coffees directly from origin to the Charleston harbor.
CK: What is your biggest pet peeve about the coffee industry today? Tripp: My biggest pet peeve is being served a naturally processed coffee at a shop without being told that it's a natural.
CK: What do you think will be the next trend in the coffee industry?
Tripp: A moving away from single-cup manual brewing, and a shift back to the improved automatic brewers that are available on the market today.CK: How and why did you get started in the coffee industry?
Tripp: Chess got me into coffee (long story). I got a job in coffee. I became obsessed with coffee. I woke up, and I was 13 years older, and still working in coffee. Seriously though, if the opportunities that I have had along the way hadn't presented themselves, there's no way I would I gone this far.
CK: What is your favorite type of coffee that BlackTap offers?
Tripp: I prefer drip coffee black always. My favorite coffees are usually washed Ethiopians, but I love Central American coffees as well. I rarely fall in love with Indonesians or Central Africans.
CK: How do you enjoy spending your free time when not roasting and drinking coffee?
Tripp: I am passionate about music, and enjoy performing, but for my family only. Interacting with nature and the outdoors is always what I want to be doing with my leisure time.
Check out the Black Tap Coffee page and shop their selection.