At Krü Coffee, we have employees who work their hardest to not only serve you coffee and breakfast, but who also genuinely love the product they are presenting. We want every customer to walk out of our doors with a beverage they enjoy and a little bit of an education on the coffee they are consuming.
In an effort to show our community who we are, behind the bar, we start our “Meet the Krü” series with Luke Rock: Head Roaster, Co-Founder, Certified Q Arabica Grader, and proud dog father.
Luke has been in the beverage game long before Krü came to be. He spent his earlier days at a local tea shop in Glens Falls, then moved onto his first barista gig with Coffee Planet when they were in Glens Falls. He met with Krü Co-Owner, Ryan Miller, at the opening of Spektor Coffee Roasters—located in downtown Glens Falls—and hatched the idea for a roastery in the area, with Luke at the helm of the roaster. Soon after, Luke began mastering his craft in a tiny corner of the original Common Roots building (RIP).
Eventually, Krü Coffee became a reality, with the main focus being roasting and wholesale coffee; the café we have all grown to love was actually just an after-thought to get people interested in the product.
Luke has been at Krü from the very start, and honestly, I’m not sure it would be such a success without his unending devotion to the beans we all get to enjoy every day.
Devotion and passion have propelled Luke into the coffee world with serious force. The coffee at Krü that you casually sip, gulp, chug—whatever helps, we don’t judge—has so much more to it than taste and caffeine.
Recently, Luke became a certified Q Arabica Grader. Before you say, “wow neat!” let me just put into perspective what becoming a coffee grader entails:
The Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) sets the highest of standards and tests prospective Q Graders. Using the “cupping” method—the way in which coffee is tasted in order to identify certain tasting notes, aromas, and roast level—the Grader must pass 22 different tests over the course of three days. Furthermore, the testing process itself lasts three days, the entire experience lasts a total of six days, with your first three days being practice—just about every day of the certification experience lasts eight or more hours each day. Our green coffee seller, Royal Coffee, hosts Q hopefuls and also has a great explanation of what the Q tests entail on their website.
As you could probably guess, this test is not for just any amateur coffee snob; it is an intense process that Luke described as being “mentally and physically exhausting.”
Okay, you may now say, “wow neat!” but with more excitement.
Stop into Krü just about any day and you can watch the bean wizard, himself, working his magic. However, if you truly want to know every detail about our coffee, then you should actually talk to Luke. He will answer any question you could possibly have when it comes to the selling, buying, and production of our organic and ethically sourced coffees, but seeing his eyes light up when talking about the honey processed coffee he just roasted, or the depth of flavor in our newest single origin offerings, are the best parts of getting to know Luke as a roaster and a person.
There is absolutely no doubt that Luke has found his calling in the coffee industry, and is damn good at what he does, which is why we thought he would be the perfect choice for the first introduction of our “Meet the Krü” series.
Photo credits: Kaleb Ladd-Cocca for LaddCocca Inc.