REVERB COFFEE | JEREMY + ZACK | LOCAL MEMPHIS ROASTERS

In 2013, Jeremy Harris saw a lack of high-end,  single-origin coffee beans in Memphis, TN. Often coffee shops’ beans are blends of different origins. For example: Kenyan and Ethiopian blended and roasted together.

     

And SO, Reverb was founded! Founded on single-origin beans. Whether it be the same region, or down to the same farmer for batches of beans. Tanzania, Ethiopia, Columbia, and El Salvador are some of the countries they buy from, keeping the beans separate.

Zack Jennings joined the Reverb team in 2017, learning from Jeremy himself. Zack is one of my best friends and invited me to Reverb to meet Jeremy, learn about Reverb, and watch the roasting process. “Reverb has a strict dedication to single origin coffee that are sourced at a certain level of quality. We switch raw coffee providers depending on the quality we get from them. We don’t stay just because it’s easier.”

Zack discovered Reverb through Avenue Coffee, a local Memphis coffee shop located near U of M. He began learning the art of brewing and serving, even entering in the Latte Art Throwdowns around town. He has been a faithful barista ever since.

Z approached Jeremy, asking if he could be of use to Reverb. Zack started working on the coffee truck (used for catering and festivals), as well as packaging the beans in their signature black fold bags. Quickly upon arrival, Zack asked to learn how to roast. Within his first few days, Z was making small batches at home.

“I wasn’t expecting how much of a craft it is, how many different coffees there are, how many different approaches there are to roasting. It isn’t an exact science. You shouldn’t be afraid to play with the variables.”

Those different variables include: heat, developing time, speed of roasting, finishing temp, roast level. How dark, how light. Because Reverb has such a strict policy on how it tastes, that means a true commitment to the quality, the coffee, not just the process. It means continually checking themselves and their product. Not only is the quality important, but allowing the quality to be an attainable raw product. They believe in attainability over huge profit, working on a 2x profit, instead of the 4x that many roasters do. “It is a small roastery. Maybe the smallest in Memphis, but our per bag cost is what makes us count big time.” Reverb roasts once a week, and then delivers to all their clients. They provide beans for Avenue Coffee, The Rev, Downline Ministries, and Mempops to name a few.

I asked Zack how he describes Jeremy, the founder: “Jeremy’s like, well there’s not really a word. He’s kind of like a coffee guru. He knows what he is doing. I have a lot of respect and trust in his ability. Outside of him being a good coffee roaster, he’s not afraid to use what he knows. He does not except slack quality, and that’s really nice to work with.”

Some of the hardest aspects of maintaining Reverb that Jeremy holds to are researching single origin farms, keeping up on the cutting edge of coffee, staying critical of his own work, dedication, and an obvious consistency in effort.

Zack told a story Jeremy told him. At one point, he thought his coffee beans were starting to lack in taste. He panicked and regrouped. In fact, he started roasting beans in a completely different way. It sucked, and he went back to what was truly working. “But that fact that he was willing to change what he was comfortable with and liked doing, just to maintain the level of quality, says what Reverb is all about.”

Zack’s vision for Reverb is to keep roasting quality coffee, to experiment in exotic roasts, maintain the clients, grow in consumers, and continue making profit.

I enjoyed my time in the roasting room with these two. Lots of laughing and chatting. We sipped on coffee and told stories pretty much the whole time. I am so thankful to know Jeremy and Zack. After spending a few hours with them, I am just so stoked for Reverb and all it has become and is growing to be.  SO, to my local buddies! LOVE on Reverb, support your local roasters!

Website: Myreverbcoffee.com

Instagram: Instagram.com/reverbcoffee/

COPELANDS | Rashawn & Denisse

Aren’t they precious!? The Lord truly ordained these two for Memphis that morning. The Copelands found me on Instagram, and a few DMs later we were roaming downtown early Thursday morning. Rashawn & Denisse were high off Passion 2017, and I was fresh from Arizona; we were all excited to praise God and share our love for Him together. It was such a wonderful way to start the year off. I love these two’s love for each other – in every touch and every laugh. They made my job easy! Not to mention it was way to cold to look that cute! <3 Just a lovely morning. Cannot wait to see y’all again. Thank you for sharing your story with me and for spending time in Memphis to be in front of my camera.

         

Rainy Memphis Weekend | Guest Writer: Abby Wolfzorn

 

I’ve invited one of my favorite humans to write about our day in Memphis a couple weeks ago. I hope this inspires you to visit this city, or if you live here, to take advantage and enjoy our incredible authentic food and sights.

Abby writes:

You know, Emily and I haven’t known each other that long. I like to think that when people see us, they think, “wow they must have been friends for forever” because that’s how it feels to be with her. Being with her is effortless and I wouldn’t trade our days exploring Memphis for anything. Here was our original plan for my fall break weekend: she would come and pick me up from school and then we’d go camping in our enos, make sandwiches and build fires for tea, and cuddle up in chunky sweaters and some gloves. I got a call a day earlier from her asking me if I wanted to be picked up that night, and spend the night at her house. There was no reason for me to say no (and let’s be honest-even if there was, I’d do everything I could to make sure I could go see Emily). Around 2 hours later, she showed up, and we were on our way to Memphis. Arriving around 10, we went to Avenue and ordered an apple cider tea that tasted like fall in a cup. Once it closed at midnight, we headed off to her cute little apartment as we talked about what we wanted to do with our free day before we went camping. A quick late night stop in Kroger inspired us to buy food to prepare a massive breakfast the next day. Dragon fruit was our little risky addition. I knew it looked pretty, but that’s about it. Looking forward to all our adventures, big and small, I knew it’d be a good next couple of days. Abby-15Once I woke up the next day, all I could think about was the dragon fruit waiting for me – but that wasn’t all. We went downstairs and cut up strawberries, bananas, and the dragon fruit, scrambled eggs, boiled tea, and toasted granola. After documenting our appealing array of colors and flavors, we got to eat it. It was one of those meals that even though you’ve already said “wow this is amazing!” you still feel the need to say it every five minutes, as if the first few times didn’t count. Emily still had to take some photos, so we flipped on Friends and continued to chat and plan out our day. Afterwards, she still needed to edit the photos and catch up on work, so we hopped from “workplace” to “workplace”. After eating lunch at Babaloo, we went to Muddys, famous for their desserts. We sat outside in the cool breeze as we both enjoyed one another’s company in silence while we worked on various tasks. Next, we went to Tamp & Tap which was a very unique sort of coffee shop. I wish I liked coffee, but I don’t, so I got tea. A nice, relaxing, layedback day to store up energy for our CAMPING TRIP! This was the plan: We were going to pack up our stuff and go camping the next night – her car was LOADED with all sorts of food, blankets, sleeping bags, tarps, ropes, enos, you name it. We could not have fit another person in the car… I could feel the camping trip was already going to be a success, and my mind was at ease when we went to bed.

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After the best sleep I’ve had since in college, I woke up to the sound of raindrops on the window. I only appreciated it for a few moments until I remembered this was our camping day. I went downstairs to start breakfast, and when Emily came down later she said, “How do you feel about renting an Air B&B?” I was ALL FOR finding a cute house in a neat area and spending our day doing whatever we wanted, even though it was still disappointing to not go camping. After searching for a while, she remembered her grandparents were out of town. And you know what grandparent’s house means? Forts. With a quick call to her grandma, we had made up our minds to continue exploring Memphis during the day and build the best. Fort. Ever. Once we got to the house. Emily, being queen of spontaneity and fun, quickly mapped out our day full of “must sees” or “must eats” since we are both passionate foodies, you could say.

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For breakfast, we went to Arcade, the oldest café in Memphis. Famous for – I’m drooling – sweet potato pancakes. I mean, c’mon. After eating a breakfast of the pancakes, fruit, an omelet, and biscuits, we decided to do some walking. Simply strolling through streets looking for unique doors, neat trees, and whatever else caught our eye. Once we had been walking for a couple hours, we started itching to go thrift shopping. Another shared passion. Goodwill it was. There was nothing standing in our way of trying on every single clothing item there. I mean, wow. If we thought we liked it, it went in the cart. If we knew it had potential, it went in the cart. If it was a Bill Cosby sweater, it DEFINITELY went in the cart. We each had a wardrobe to try on by the end. Talk about productivity.

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Emily’s mom gave a call asking what Turkish food I had been missing, and after naming a few dishes, we hung up. Emily said, “we need to go hungry…” Well- she was right. Emily’s mom surprised me with a Turkish FEAST. Soup, salad, pastries, appetizers, rice, beans, and dumplings. Even some Turkish cookies! I think I ate enough to last me until I get to visit in January (plus- I got to take some leftovers). Blaring some Turkish pop music and getting to use some Turkish phrases made me feel like this one house in Memphis was in Ankara. I would’ve been willing to WALK back to Jackson just for these few hours. To top off the end of the night, we had a fort to make. We drove back to her grandparent’s hosue and like two little kids, we ran upstairs and found a closet filled with quilts, pillows, and anything else deemed worthy of our fort. We tossed it over the second floor railing and watched pillows roll down the stairs and sheets flood to the bottom floor. Blankets and sheets were draped over the bed, beside the bed, we used ropes to create an entry way, and Christmas lights were strung. It was simply from a dream. After a late night talk, I had another night of the best sleep I’ve had since college. Waking up? Even better.

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Opening my eyes to see twinkling lights, enclosed in this cocoon of a fort made me smile. Memphis is filled with warming places. Every coffee shop, boutique, restaurant, and street had people inside ready to greet us. Passing colorful murals and cute houses makes me want to stay forever. Even though our camping trip didn’t work out, I wouldn’t trade our time for anything. Plus, it just means I’ll have to come back.