** Bronze medal winner at the 2018 Golden Bean North America roasting competition **
So, what’s up with the name and the artwork? We named Bare Knuckle Espresso in honor of Richmond-born Tom Molineaux, a fascinating man born as a slave right here in Richmond, Virginia in 1784. Molineaux grew up to become a prolific boxer (all bare-knuckle at that time). He eventually earned his owner a large sum of money in winnings on bets, was granted his freedom, and moved to England where he expected to be able to earn money as a professional boxer.
He did have some success in the succeeding years, but never attained the wealth he had hoped for. Sadly, he died penniless — but free — in Galway, Ireland in 1818. That not withstanding, we are proud to honor the memory and legacy of a Richmond original — a man born into the ugliness of slavery who made his mark in his own way.
We are so thrilled with this espresso that we commissioned some magnificent t-shirts and posters (printed by the local firm Triple Stamp Press) bearing the Bare-Knuckle Espresso artwork. The posters are especially intended for any establishments (cafes, bakeries, restaurants, etc.) who choose to serve their guests this delicious espresso. It’s a bold statement that you desire to provide a unique and thoughtful experience with your espresso drinks lineup. The posters and t-shirts may strike up nearly as many conversations as the espresso itself.
If you are an owner or an employee of a café that would like to put it through the paces at your own place, we’re always happy to send out samples — just give us a shout. If you are an avid home barista who enjoys espresso a bit “off the beaten path” with fresh flavors, a balanced profile, and not a trace of the smoke you’d typically find in the majority of espressos, this will be right up your alley.