Meet: Rising Star Coffee Roasters
Hey there! We’re so happy to be able to tell you a little about one of our roasters: Rising Star Coffee Roasters located out of Cleveland, Ohio! In this article we’ll talk RSCR backstory, a little bit about their Director of Coffee – Brandon Riggs, and how we came to partner with them. Let’s get started!
Rising Star Coffee Roasters was founded by former rocket scientist (yes, you read that correctly) Gary “Kim” Jenkins. Kim grew up in a small town called Rising Star, Texas which is how he came up with the name for his roastery! After retiring, he and his wife moved to sunny Cleveland, Ohio so they could be closer to his wife’s family. There, Kim cultivated one of the best roasteries in the area as both a reminder of his Texan roots, and a way to create job growth. Rising Star continues to expand year over year and currently has a total of five cafe locations: Hingetown, Cleveland Heights, The Arcade, Lakewood, and Van Aken. They also sell wholesale to various places in and around the Cleveland area. As one of the first third-wave roasteries to open in the Cleveland area, it’s no wonder they are truly loved by the community.
Each shop not only gives homage to the individual nature of the community they are located, but also creates an atmosphere that is tangible when exploring each location. The most notable, and their very first location, being Hingetown - where they took residence in an old firehouse. Now you will find natural wood furnishings, helpful baristas, rows of bagged coffee, large windows, red brick exteriors, and a beautiful coffee plant mural painted by local artist: Mike Sobeck (@msobeck).
Brandon, the Director of Coffee at Rising Star gives a lot of insight about what he looks for when sourcing the coffee to use at their shops. Originally hailing from Kansas, Brandon doesn’t find himself there anymore! Brandon does a lot to ensure that their customers enjoy some of the best coffee out there. Working in the coffee industry since 1999, Brandon has a vast knowledge about the coffee process. He is the co-founder of the SERC (South Eastern Roaster Consortium), a member of: MARRG (Mid-Atlantic Regional Roaster Group), Roasters Guild, and SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America). From sourcing, selecting, roasting, and cupping he’s a true coffee connoisseur. The nature of his work has him traveling to various regions on origin trips where coffee is produced. His most favorite trip being Guatemala. While unsure if it was just because it was his very first coffee trip, it holds a special place in his heart, but he also says each trip is so different that it really is next to impossible to choose an absolute favorite.
Brandon makes the same comment about coffee. During our podcast: Sip the Drip with Dripbox, we asked what his favorite coffee is. Just like choosing a favorite child, Brandon jokes that it’s just as difficult for him to choose a favorite coffee. He does, however, have a preferred way he takes coffee - black! This seems to be true for most professional coffee connoisseurs. Mainly because you can taste the true notes of the coffee without covering it up via: syrups, creamers, and other add in flavors. Next time you want to try to taste what your roasters are tasting, we suggest brewing your coffee, and sipping on it black! Just like wine, it takes roasters years to hone in on their taste buds and be able to find the right flavors/ notes to describe the coffees they are roasting.
Rising Star was the first roaster Dripbox contacted and we are so fortunate for their encouragement and help throughout founding Dripbox. Founders Kallan and Jake spent many weekends at their various locations and enjoyed their coffees so much they knew that they had to feature them in the box once it got started. When they were just getting things together to form Dripbox they reached out to Brandon, who was happy to have Rising Star be a part of Dripbox. Since then, Dripbox and Rising Star have coordinated to help curate unique, fresh, quality coffee to deliver right to our subscribers’ doorstep. We’re so happy to have them be a part of this journey with us and be able to share their incredible coffee with subscribers all across the U.S.
If you’d like to learn more about their coffee, be sure to check out our podcast: Sip the Drip with Dripbox! Click here to see all available platforms.