Brandon Linkins has been a dedicated member of the Blueprint team for quite some time. He currently serves as the Director of Quality & Education.
WHAT IS YOUR ROLE AT THE CAFÉ, AND WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
I am the Director of Quality & Education. My favorite part about the job is the variety of work I do every day. My tasks vary, I can be cupping our production roasts, trying a new sample roast, checking in our cafes, writing new class work, or leading a public event all on the same day. Coffee is forever a circular industry, so it never can get too mundane before the next roast, the next coffee, or the next class.
WHAT PROMPTED YOUR INTEREST IN COFFEE?
In high school, I was fortunate enough to take a school trip to Italy, and I wanted to try coffee while there since I knew it was a big part of Italian culture. I HATED IT! The jarring experience got me interested in finding out why people even like this stuff! I needed to know what was so special about it. So I found the closest specialty coffee and tried everything on the menu until I slowly started liking coffee and got past the initial "coffee" taste.
IF YOU COULD ENJOY A CUP OF COFFEE WITH ANYONE IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE?
Aaron Moma, owner of The River Coffee Co., and a personal mentor of mine. He taught me both professional skills and personal life lessons I’ll never forget. The one who kickstarted my passion for coffee and helped set the foundation of my faith as well. Those early Tuesday morning bible studies before school and early Saturday morning conversations before work set me on the course I am on now. I would not be where I am today without his mentorship.
WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO COFFEE ORDER AT BLUEPRINT?
Honestly an iced chai with oat, I already drink so much coffee during my day to day!
WHAT ARE YOUR PASSIONS OUTSIDE OF COFFEE?
A big passion of mine is soccer. I watch a lot of MLS & NWSL & the Premier League. I have been to a lot of STL City games so far this year, as well! I'm also very active, so playing indoor/outdoor soccer throughout the year, sand volleyball during the summer, and visiting the gym are all a sconstant in my life. Outside of sports, I am a casual anime watcher and a little bit of a military history buff. My faith is also a big part of my personal life as well.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH THE BLUEPRINT FANS?
Thank you to the whole STL coffee scene for welcoming me this past year, and here's to the next!
HOPES, DREAMS, DESIRES FOR THE FUTURE?
I have a lot of really large dreams both professionally and personally. Professionally I dream of becoming a Q-Grader, a SCA AST, and hopefully one day a World Brewer's Cup judge!