Veteran turns his love for coffee into coffee roasting business

A local veteran, turned coffee roaster, estimates his love for coffee started when he was just eleven months old.

Jonathan Albrecht was born in Naples, Italy and lived with his parents in Rome until he was two years old.

He says he remembers sticking his fingers into his moms almost empty cappuccino cup from a very young age.

“A lot of times I’d go on walks with my mom and she’d stop and have an espresso or a cappuccino and put a little bit of sugar in it,” Albrecht said. “I’d put my finger in the cup and lick the sugar and I guess that’s how I got my start drinking [coffee].

When Albrecht was 19 he joined the Marine Corps. He served for two deployments in Baghdad and the Diyala Province.

When he got out he decided it was time to go back to his passion. Coffee.

He didn’t want to do the whole barista thing. He had already done that through college in Newport, Rhode Island.

“I was searching around for things I could do that had to do with coffee, and coffee roasting came up,” Albrecht said. “I didn’t know anything about it so I had to learn from scratch.”

So Albrecht went to a coffee shop in Richmond, Virginia to learn the basics.

“I remember thinking this is either going to be really good or really bad,” Albrecht said. “It was actually really good. It made a lot of sense. It’s just time and heat really.”

Albrecht compares it to cooking. Kind of.

“If you can cook with relative skill, then you can probably roast coffee,” he said.

Over the past year or so he has come up with his signature science to how he roasts his coffee.

He officially opened his business, Longboard Coffee Roaster in February of this year.

Currently, seven coffee places in Wilmington use his coffee. But you can also buy it online.

Albrecht says his most popular roast by far is his dark roast.

He’s still constantly experimenting and playing with his roasts. He doesn’t believe coffee roasting is something that can ever be “mastered.”

“I think you’re always going to be learning and trying new stuff,” Albrecht said. “It’s challenging no matter what. But I have fun with it every day.”

For more information on Longboard Coffee Roaster, check out his website here.

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