Explore | A New Coffee Experience : Nanaimo’s Regard

Friends, I’m a changed woman. I now like… hold your breath… coffee. It’s shocking, I know. There’s a help line set up for anyone who needs guidance during this difficult and unfamiliar time.

For anyone who doesn’t know, I’m a die hard London Fog-er who, before December, never ever enjoyed the taste of coffee. Like, at all. But all that changed during my two month romp around New Zealand. Flat whites changed me. I mean, sure, I still need like 4 sugars to make it bearable. But what started out as a drink to keep me awake on long drives across NZ turned into a treat that I looked forward to drinking. I denied it for a long while, believing that I wasn’t ordering coffee because I liked it – it was because I needed it. However, after my 6th cup it was time to admit defeat. I like coffee.

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This new revelation brings me to today’s blog post. There’s a new coffee shop in town and if you’re a caffeine addict lover, you’re gonna want to stop in at Regard Coffee Roasters. Nestled in Bowen Centre, Regard is owned, managed, roasted, barista’d, musically curated (and anything else you can think of) by Andrew. Seriously, this guy does pretty much everything.

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To start, Andrew wanted to build up Regard organically and in small steps. He’s all about word of mouth business. This is partly why he’s the only employee. In addition, being the only employee let’s him be fully in control of Regard, ensuring that everything’s up to snuff.

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In tune with starting out small, Andrew offers a pretty simplified coffee menu, and just a few select teas. This allows him to really focus on the quality of his product. This is quality over quantity, people!

Speaking of quality, Andrew gets all his sweet treats from Lantzville’s Riso (which we love). In our short conversation with Andrew we were able to really connect with his passion for keeping things local. As you know, we’re all about supporting local at Local Loves Nanaimo, so it was exciting to be able to welcome another supporter into the fold!

Riso Treats. Yum.

As previously mentioned, Andrew roasts all his own coffee beans. As for the tea? He sources it from a small tea farm in Victoria called JagaSilk. He told us how he almost didn’t include London Fog’s in his menu (blasphemous!) but something unique about JagaSilk’s Fog changed his mind – it’s make with micro-milled house-scented early grey tea infused with vanilla infused organic sugar.

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This is definitely the most unique London Fog I’ve ever tasted – the milled tea (think powdered) adds an intriguing texture. It’s a bit difficult to explain – it’s almost a silty texture felt on your tongue. BUT IT’S SO GOOD.

Processed with VSCOcam with a1 presetAndrew has a great selection of records to listen to while you enjoy your brew

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Now, at this point, you must be thinking but Seaaaaaaan. You said you like coffee now, why try the London Fog? Well, like I said: powdered milk. I couldn’t not try it. But have no fear, I had Sarah with me so obvi she ordered a coffee, which I got to taste. And let me tell you, that sh*t was good. New Zealand prides themselves on their coffee – they’re all sort of coffee snobs (but in a good way, I love those kiwi’s!) so I had low hopes for coffee once returning to Canada. However, Andrew’s roast is enough to get me drinking coffee on the regular in Nanaimo. So if a formerly-reformed-coffee-hater loves this roast, I’m sure all you caffein fiends out there will love it too.

Please go visit Andrew at Regard Coffee Roasters and let me know whether his beans satiate your inner caffein addict!

– Sean

UPDATE: Riso Foods just made London Fog Macarons and Regard now serves them. OH MY GOD #NeedRightNow

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Editors note: It was previously stated that Andrew uses powdered milk in his London Fogs which is totally not true. He uses a milled tea with vanilla-infused organic sugar. My bad!

5 thoughts on “Explore | A New Coffee Experience : Nanaimo’s Regard

  1. dylan says:

    I went for the first time today at the recommendation of a friend on the mainland. Folks, the unique coffee culture that has already filtered in through Victoria and downtown Vancouver has finally made it to nanaimo. It is clearly the best place to buy a quality roast north of Vic and West of Van.

    • Sean Helmn says:

      Thanks for sharing, Dylan! Andrew at Regard will be so happy to hear your comment as that’s exactly what he wanted to bring to Nanaimo – that unique and quality coffee experience :)

      • Josh Higgins says:

        I was introduced to Andrew’s incredible roasting skills at Bee’s Knees, and I am very much looking forward to trying Regard.

      • Sean Helmn says:

        He also worked at Riso Food Inc. for a time as well – but we’re so happy he has his own place now. Please do go visit him sometime soon! :)

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