Getting Pumped: Q&A with Shannon Leto of Black Fuel Trading Co.
Years of travel have garnered Shannon Leto an elevated palate and distinct taste that has become the genius behind his curated coffee blends. The Black Fuel Trading Company is more than an artisanal coffee company, it’s a lifestyle brand that caters to the motivated, the creative, and the adventurous spirits in all of us. We had the opportunity to speak to the creator himself about his inspirations, favorite LA-based coffee joints and the future of the Black Fuel Brand.
When did your passion for great coffee begin? – It started as a young boy in Louisiana, the smell of my grandfather’s chicory coffee brewing in the kitchen was always a warm familiar feeling. The passion grew during my fourteen years touring the world with Thirty Seconds To Mars. I spent a lot of time sampling and tasting different coffee, everywhere from Parisian cafes to Costa Rican plantations.
What separates the Black Fuel brand from all of the options out there? – We don’t think in terms of separation, We think in terms of being part of something forward-thinking and unique (the artisanal, third-wave coffee movement overall). Black Fuel Trading Co. Isn’t limited to just specialty coffee, but is an evolving full lifestyle brand. We leave it up to each individual to come up with their own opinion of what the brand is to them and how it fits into their life.
Your company offers a great selection of coffee blends, which one is best for keeping you up all night? – The 11:20 blend is our lightest roast (i.e. most caffeine) so would probably do the best job for all the binge tv show watchers out there!
Everyone at the LAC office has a coffee trick, some drink theirs with coconut oil in it (to enhance the effects!) while others drink it while having grapefruit for breakfast. Being in the business, have you learned any cool coffee tricks/facts? – Try making your own almond milk at home, it’s really easy and goes especially well with our Big Sur blend, or for those who love cappuccinos and lattes but don’t have an espresso machine at home. Put some milk in a sealable microwave-safe container, shake vigorously for 30 seconds, then heat for 20-30 seconds in the microwave and out comes warm foamy milk that’s delicious with any of our blends.
What’s your favorite coffee shop in LA? – We love Cofax Coffee, Go Get em Tiger, G&B Coffee, Menotti’s, and Hermanos. All great neighborhood shops in different parts of the city.
What does the future hold for Black Fuel? – We’re working on further expansion of the lifestyle part of the brand (brewing equipment, apparel, accessories, beauty products, etc.) as well as a bunch of pop-up events and then the first Black Fuel Trading Co. brick and mortar boutique!