When you think of the Smithereens you think of the greatest rock to come out of Carteret, New Jersey.

You think of songs like "Especially For You", "Blood and Roses", and "Behind a Wall Of Sleep." You think of the late Pat DiNizio, Dennis Diken, Mike Mesaros, Jim Babjak, and now Marshall Crenshaw and Robin Wilson.

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But do you think of coffee? You will now, thanks to "BABJAX" coffee the latest creation from Smithereens lead guitarist and founding member Jim Babjak who spills the beans on his Facebook page.

"I'm happy to announce the launch of Babjax Coffee! Those of you who have seen me perform in concert know how passionate I am about my music. That same passion goes into Babjax Coffee. So when you take your first sip you'll go "Ahhh....that's a great cup of coffee!"

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According to their website, BABJAX is "Coffee that Rocks" handpicked by Babjak himself.  I spoke with Jim about his coffee.

How did you come up with the idea for Babjax coffee?

"Originally I wanted to open up a coffee shop that also sells vinyl records. This idea goes back to 2016. I thought it would be a cool idea since I owned a record store in the early 80s. Then I realized, I would never have time to operate such a venture. Finding a good location was very difficult and the rent was too high to make it worthwhile.
The thing is, we are performing more shows than ever, which involves a lot of travel. Also, I’m writing new songs and hope to record an album with the band during the winter.

"So anyway, I have a good friend who is a coffee roaster and I was asking him if he could make me a batch of coffee infused with bourbon, kind of as a joke.
“We tried a bunch of different things and then one thing led to another. The coffee infused with rum flavoring came out so well that I decided to take it to the next level which is to sell coffee online and see where it takes me."

What makes Babjax coffee so good? What sets it apart from the rest?

"My coffee is not bitter and has a very smooth taste. They’re roasted in small batches and are always freshly ground. Anything I put my name on, whether it’s a recording or coffee has to be the best."

What have you learned about the coffee business?

”I’m learning new things every day about roasting and different varieties of beans. For instance, I didn’t know that a light roast has more caffeine than a dark roast. I assumed the opposite was true. Check out other answers in the FAQ section of my website.”

What's your favorite coffee and what do you like to eat with it?

”Of course, it varies. In the morning I like to have my Sunrise, blend which is a light roast for the perfect pick-me-up. I eat oatmeal during the weekdays and save the eggs for the weekends. Right now I have three different blends and will introduce others in the future.

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As you know, we're all about the coffee in New Jersey, or as some Jersians would say, "cawfee."

There are so many great coffee places in the Garden State that we had to cut our "best of's" into sections like "Best coffee shops in North Jersey", Central, South, and even the Jersey shore,

Having owned 2 coffee shops in New Jersey myself, The Daily Grind in Ocean Grove and Coffee Dot Comedy in Sea Isle City, I know how hard it is to succeed in the coffee business, but if Jim Babjak's coffee is anywhere near as great as his guitar playing and music, he should have no problem. Jim Babjak, I raise my mug to you!

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

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