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April 20, 2013

A passion for coffee, soccer and reggae

Walking into Capresso Coffee Bar on Main Street in Oneonta, customers are met with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, the clean lines of coffee-colored décor and soccer on the big-screen television.

Klasik Irving, owner of Capresso Coffee Bar, is a man of many talents and several passions. He moved to the United States from Jamaica and played Division One soccer for SUNY Oneonta. He then self-produced a reggae album and made enough money from its sales to buy the coffee shop in 2011.

Irving is passionate about coffee, especially Blue Mountain Peak Jamaican coffee, which some connoisseurs consider one of the best coffees in the world. With family connections, Irving is able to bring 15 to 20 pounds of the coffee back to his coffee shop each time he visits Jamaica.

“I go back home to Jamaica two times a year,” Irving said. “My great-grandmother owns land that is leased to the Blue Mountain growers. Everyone back home, they want to move to the villages and leave the farms. So we rent it out.

“When I go back home, I bring back as much as they will allow.”

Because Irving does not have a license to import coffee from Jamaica, he can only bring back as much as he can carry in a suitcase. He hopes to obtain a license to export the coffee, but he said the license can cost as much as $20,000.

In addition to Blue Mountain Peak coffee, which is only offered occasionally, Irvin sells a different light roast, dark roast and decaffeinated coffee daily.

“We come in here because the staff is so attentive and friendly,” said M.J. Robson of Bovina. “It is a nice place, upscale but not too frou-frou. And the coffee is great. It is consistently good coffee every time we have come.”

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