I had. I bought it in a deli behind Ladbroke Grove on one of our first sunny days of the year. Before then I wasn’t necessarily convinced that iced coffee was a drink for me; sticking to piping hot espressos and frothy cappuccinos to perk me up. Well I was wrong. Since this very day in the middle of May, I have never looked back. It was also on this momentous occasion that I posted an alluring shot of my iced coffee on a bright turquoise bench in my friends garden….
‘liked’ the picture and the rest is history.
What Jim Cregan has created is something cool, fun and something so delicious that it is genuinely sad when you reach you the bottom. Iced coffee never tasted so good.
I think Costa Rica produces the best coffee. I’ll put this down to ignorance of not exploring enough countries and their own coffees but when I went to Costa Rica, I distinctly remember having cup after cup of consistently incredible coffee. That isn’t to say our Honduran coffee isn’t bad, as it’s EPIC. I guess it’s also down to enjoying it in the place of origin, sat on plastic chairs in a road side cafe, without a care in the world after a great surf. That all adds to making a cup of coffee taste that extra bit better.
Lying in the grass, on a hot & sunny day, I would reach for an Original Jimmy’s Iced Coffee. What is your ideal coffee-scenario?
My ideal coffee scenario is this; waking up knowing I’ve got enough time to brew an epic Iced Coffee at home using my Aeropress and cook up some scrambled eggs to enjoy with my wife whilst listening to some crazy music on BBC 6 Music. It’s super simple as everything should be, and so fulfilling for my belly and my brain.
How long has it taken you to grow this wonderful brand from the very first seed of inspiration, to the Iced Coffee Empire it is fast becoming?
Firstly, thanks for calling it a wonderful brand! The seed was sewn in Australia in 2008 when I first found ready to drink Iced Coffee. It wasn’t ‘watered’ until November 2010 when it turned into a weed and grew like mad. I guess the brand is me and my outlook on stuff which has always been there, it’s just needed to become a tangible object to make it come to life for others to enjoy. Does that even make sense?
Tell us about your involvement with the ‘This is Africa Initiative’?
‘This is Africa’ is an epic little initiative run by a friend of mine, Lucy Devall. She runs a heap of school enterprise campaigns here in the UK and in Africa, encouraging young people to actively think about being entrepreneurial. She asked if we could be involved as a case study for the students as it fits well within their community and their climate. She figured that as Africa produces amazing Coffee and the sun shines a great deal, Iced Coffee could be produced for two reasons. One, the sunshine puts you in the mood for Iced Coffee and two, Solar energy could be used to power fridges, making it a viable business proposition. We proved to be a useful case study and it made the students broaden their ideas on enterprise, which is ace. In the future, I’d love to go out and do more, but for now it seems like we’ve managed to help out in a way that’s different and I like that a lot.
Do you have a favorite café in the UK and what makes that place so special?
My favourite cafe…that’s a tough one as there are a great deal of them across the length and breadth of the UK. Right now, I would have to go with ‘Boscanova’
in Boscombe, funnily enough. It’s ace. There are some of the UK’s greatest baristas in there who literally love coffee to death. Their breakfasts are off the chart and the chefs are like mechanical maniacs. It’s always rammed, always playing the best music and if you get in before 9am, you can do 2-4-1 early bird brekkies. They love messing around with different types of coffee without being all ‘London’ about the whole thing and are so happy to explain all the processes involved without making you feel like a douche. It’s perfect on a hangover, then a stroll down the beach. Simple.
Where do you see Jimmy’s Iced Coffee in 5 years time?
Wow. Big question. In 5 years, the Jimmy’s brand will have a great presence in at least 5 countries across this fine globe in number of guises from Iced Coffee to the best portable BBQ you’ve ever seen.
Your view right now…
My view right now is the length of my office out into the car park at our Industrial Estate named ‘Beaver’ for some ridiculous reason. It’s not all that glam, but it’s amazing what a few plants and some optimism can do to your work space.
Your next adventure is…
My next adventure is the birth of my first nipper and man what an adventure it’s going to be. My wife is already experiencing contractions, so it won’t be long now, maybe a week! It’s made me reflect on my life heaps and how much my folks have looked after me. What a mission I’ve been on, even at 32.
And finally, what are you listening to in your (perfectly adorned) truck on a Jimmy’s road trip?
On a perfectly adorned road trip, I’m listening to a mix of Nas, Pearl Jam, Snoop, Black Seeds, Russ Chimes, Beirut, Fat Freddy’s Drop, stuff like that.
Amazing. Thank you Jim!
On that note it is time to sit back with an ice cold glass of the good stuff and enjoy this…
(Stockists include: Waitrose, Selfridges & Co., Whole Foods, Budgens, WHSmith, RoadChef and many more!)