It all started during the early ’90s while Reggie was searching for a hideaway in the Blue Mountains. Nestled away in the district of New Monkland, St. Thomas, was a pristine parcel of land. This property rests in the valley bordered to the west by the main road to Cedar Valley, and to the east by the sparkling Nigre River. A property lush with fruit trees, orchids and wild parakeets, it lies under an evergreen canopy of the great Guango trees. To our amazement, within this fertile rain forest next to an abundance of cocoa plants, growing wild was Jamaica GOLD – Blue Mountain Coffee. To this passionate coffee aficionado, this was an epiphany! Thus began the journey…this was the soil!
Teaming up with Henry Orgill, who eventually became manager of the farms, Reggie embarked upon development of the land. Preserving much of natural shaded canopy of the Guango, the original “wild” coffee trees were maintained by pruning and cutting back, the cocoa plants removed, and new coffee trees planted. Ten years later, Reggie’s Roast New Monkland Farm became a thriving 10-acre property producing Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee. All coffee harvested is sold to the Blue Mountain Coffee Cooperative (BMCC), of which Reggie is a member.
In 2001, Reggie acquired the north section of the Brook Lodge Estate, in the district of Hagley Gap, St. Thomas. This lush fertile property was once part of a thriving highly productive estate. However, with the devastation of Hurricane Gilbert in 1988, much of the infrastructure was destroyed and the property abandoned. Brook Lodge is blessed with gentle slopes, abundant shade trees, and a micro-climate which provides for cool temperatures and abundant mist in perfect harmony with the majestic tropical sun. With multiple springs emanating from underground streams atop the mountain slopes providing year-round irrigation, these gifts of nature create a coffee rich in the traditional Blue Mountain Coffee flavor, naturally sweet with an intense aroma, optimum acidity and full bodied.
Since development commenced, with cutbacks and pruning of existing trees and planting of new ones, approximately 30 acres are now in production. Brook Lodge Estate cherries are also sold to the Blue Mountain Coffee Cooperative.
It would be remiss of us if we did not acknowledge those who are truly the engines that make all this possible, those who toil the land to allow us the simple pleasures of enjoying a delicious cup of coffee. I have been fortunate to have Henry, affectionately known as Burru, as farm manager. Henry is a walking encyclopedia of farming, especially of Blue Mountain coffee, a knowledge that is not derived from a formal education, but from the soil under his nails. He lives and breathes coffee, and is extremely passionate about respect for the land and the environment.
To the Henry Orgills of the coffee world we say “Thank You”. We could not do this without you Partner!
For more information about Reggie’s Roast Coffee Farms, please visit http://www.reggiesroastcoffee.com/about/