Java John: The Man behind the Coffee

By on October 30, 2003

He is known simply as “Java John.” However, other than the fact he makes our drinks, the student body at Quinnipiac knows very little about this mysterious man behind the counter.

John Raccio, as he is known beyond the confines of the coffee counter, has an undying passion for the school and what he does.

He was originally drawn to Quinnipiac for several reasons.

“I knew this lovely campus would be a very nice place to work,” Raccio said.

He stressed, however, that “it is not the money” that has kept him here, but rather the fact that he “fell in love with the kids.”

“I literally have served thousands of kids and have had very few problems,” Raccio said.

“I really could not ask for anything better,” he continued.

Raccio sees the lack of problems stemming from the “mutual respect with the kids.”

He likes to keep conversations very lighthearted while he prepares the students’ drinks.

“Who knows what the hell we’ll talk about,” says QU’s Java master.

Raccio was not always behind the same counter. He had a freestanding coffee cart in the cafeteria for six years. After those half-a-dozen years alone, he moved to his current location of selling and making coffees.

Raccio hopes that students will continue to support him with the new coffee machine that allows students to make their own coffee in a shorter amount of time.

He believes that the quality of his services makes the wait worthwhile.

He is likewise very involved in the school.

Raccio has volunteered at several charity functions in various capacities. He has made a clown of himself, been dunked in a tank and had pies thrown at his face.

“I’m pretty easy like that,” Raccio said.

Before Quinnipiac, he and his father owned a children’s product services company. The company performed cloth diaper services. However, after it began to fade out, they sold their company to people in the New Haven area.

Raccio was offered a job as a coffee maker in the front of the cafeteria. His coffee machine spawned the machine at the Rat because it was so popular that the school decided it needed a second one.

Raccio estimates that he makes between 50 to 100 drinks a day, which is a small shadow of the many more that he made before the automatic machine, was added.

He also said that when it begins to get colder, around this time of the year, his business picks up.

Raccio’s biggest reward from his job is when he knows that he is doing the best that he can.

In addition, the “ardent follower of rock and roll music,” is most happy when he sees the students enjoy what he is doing.

Raccio’s average day begins at a quarter to 4 in the morning, when he wakes up.

He then punches into work by 6:30 a.m. and starts preparing for his customers by preparing and cleaning the machines.

Finally, the famous coffee, hot chocolate and espresso begins to brew at quarter after seven in the morning.


About Jamie DeLoma