The other day Whole Foods coffee ace Sean Quast offered me a taste of a new coffee he had received for sampling. Being a Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee -- something I can never afford to buy on my own -- and because I'm always into trying new coffees, I jumped at the chance.
The Reggie's Roast cuppa I got emerged from a French press and was the smoothest, mellowest coffee I've ever had without a trace of bitterness or that "burnt" quality that turns some people off when it comes to gourmet coffees.
Quast agreed that it was good and said that the delicious flavor was notable because although coffee from Jamaica's Blue Mountains has remained pricey the quality of it has waned at times in recent years.
A quick search told me that Reggie's has two farms in the Blue Mountain growing region and is roasted to order by the same company at its New Jersey roastery.
While I'm not sure the motto "from our soil to your cup" is a winner, I appreciate what owner and New Jersey surgeon Reggie Chung-Loy -- raised in Jamaica -- is trying to say. His coffee is great and he clearly takes his product seriously.
Although Quast couldn't say for sure yet whether or not the Milwaukee Whole Foods was picking up this coffee for the store, it is available at other Whole Foods Markets in the U.S., as well as at AJ's Fine Foods in the Southwest and Kings Supermarkets in the New York area. Reggie's also sells direct via its Web site.
Reggie’s Roast gives back to its farming community via a literacy program and health fairs.
As yummy as it is, I'm not ashamed to admit that I can't afford to pay $46 for a pound of coffee.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.