MiVT: Brown & Jenkins

Published: Oct. 10, 2022 at 6:04 PM EDT
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JEFFERSONVILLE, Vt. (WCAX) - Fresh coffee is a “brew-tiful” thing, and coffee connoisseur Sandrea Riggen has known that for a long time.

“I was in a very popular breakfast place in Burlington, and I had the coffee, and I said to my mom that was with me, ‘This is the most amazing coffee I’ve ever had,’” she recounted.

The coffee in question came from Brown & Jenkins. It was started in 1984 by Ken Brown and Carol Jenkins in Burlington. After a while, they decided to sell their business. That’s when Sandy saw an ad that caught her eye.

“And it just said ‘gourmet online business.’ I called and it was this coffee company,” she said.

In the perfect blend of circumstances, Sandy took over the business 16 years ago, and things have been going well since.

The operation has since moved to Jeffersonville, where Sandy and her husband, Rich, send out bag after bag of their beans all over the country. Of course, the beans don’t grow in Vermont... but they do come from all over the world.

“We have a broker and he will source out from these little farms where a lot of the big guys can’t purchase,” explained Sandy. “We end up buying smaller lots.”

That allows them to have around 72 blends and flavors from different Arabica beans, roasted fresh every day.

“We can roast the coffee and have it to California in three days,” Sandy said. “Everybody always says, ‘Why is your coffee so good?’ It’s good because it’s fresh.”

Rich handles the roasting.

“By the end of the week, everything I roasted will be gone and we’ll start all over again,” he explained while roasting a batch of Brazilian Blend.

The beans are roasted to 400 degrees using a big machine. He says there are ways to automate the process, but he prefers to do it by hand.

“It’s not really difficult, but timing is essential because if you went a little too long, you wind up with a French. If you wait a little longer, you wind up throwing it away,” he laughed.

Once they’re done roasting, it’s bagged up and sent out to customers and restaurants who have been buying these beans for decades. The product is sold whole bean or ground, in smaller bags for consumers and bigger bags for wholesale. They do private packaging, too.

No matter what blend you choose, there’s a sip of Vermont steeped into each cup.