Welcome our new artisan feature, Jasper Coffee. We had the privilege of meeting Wells Trenfield the Director of Jasper Coffee when he visited us here at Junction. His insight and passion is clearly evident in all that he does and we are very excited to be showcasing this wonderful brand and product to you throughout April.
Jasper Coffee is an Australian family owned Specialty Coffee Roaster established in 1989, led by Directors Merilyn Parker and Wells Trenfield.
With deep roots in the art world, coffee has become Wells & Merilyn’s palette. They are dedicated to re-humanizing the coffee supply chain, and have formed strong friendships across the coffee world in their exploration and adventure into the unknown.
Junction is absoloutely thrilled to welcome Jasper Coffee and their Red Dust blend to our family of regional artisans. Jasper’s ‘Red Dust the Coffee’ was initiated by Outback Academy Australia in a landmark funding campaign involving coffee and Indigenous Communities across Australia. The crux of this partnership, is to support the mentoring initiatives and the ambassadorial efforts of the Red Dust Heelers.
See Well’s interview with us below.
How long has Jasper Coffee been operating?
Jasper Coffee has been operating , it seems , forever. But last report tells me that is not so, and we started in 1989.
How did Jasper Coffee Park get started? What was the inspiration?
My (life)partner started the business by purchasing a little downgraded overpriced roastery. The inspiration was that she knew absolutely nothing about both business and coffee and that leaves room for anything positive and creative to happen…and at the time, I refused be part of this nonsense. We only ever drank the brown stuff occasionally. I joined the business several months later to “help out” The other inspiration was that there was lots of creative food producers and food retail operators at the time, all exploring the potential of fresh new tastes and directions. We recognised the same could be explored with coffee.
What did the founders do previous to starting Jasper Coffee?
Both partners were engaged with art. My partner was an art teacher and ceramist, while I was a practicing and exhibiting painter and print maker. We both brought this experience into the our roasting and blending the tastes coffees and how we used graphics and colours of the labels to equate tastes and food experiences.
Why Coffee !? Well, since we had no experience with this product, we treated it as a raw palette from which to mix and achieve nuances of equivalent taste experiences, then to create the final compostion as we would a picture. The coffee for us was imbued with meaning.
Is there a specific product or blend that you are fond of from your business?
There were no presumptions or prerequisites , apart from, we would only sell coffees that we liked the taste of. Our business was not predicated on price but truly on the quality of the product.
One of the most memorable coffees we had in our repertoire, was from a single estate in India, called Yellnoorkahn. We had this for maybe 15 years before the entire estate was sold to a café owner in India. Perhaps the everlasting flavour of and story of a coffee from Papua New Guinea, which grows wild in the forest ,and which was one of our first coffees, is among my favourites. But then it is without exception that I love my coffee experiences of Ethiopia, especially Limu or Yirgacheffe. . Perhaps the most exotic experience was a coffee from Flores in Indonesia, which had been deliberately dried and matured for 7 years before we received it to roast…but unable to repeat purchase.
What’s your number one tip for the ultimate coffee experience?
Number one tip for the coffee experience is to sit in the garden , sip slowly on a filter brew of Nicaraguan Marogogipe, and read the Sunday paper…and respect all the human energy that has poured into the growing , harvesting, processing, shipping, roasting , and making of this humble complex brew.
For a great food experience I would take people to Morocco.
If you could visit any city for a day’s eating and drinking experience, where would it be and why?
For the ultimate food experience for a day, I would not go past Paris. Food and wine reflect the ambience of a place, and Paris is turgid in both. I think I would even start and maybe finish with the patisseries, yet perhaps a dabble in the fromagerie and bread shops out of respect. But wait till Melbourne or Addis Ababa for the coffee. Yet, I have to say that best travel experiences often happen around food experiences. Without doubt, the fresh sardines straight off the boat at port , then onto the waiting charcoal grill, to the plate with lemon and charcoal grilled onions and fresh wholemeal Moroccan bread, at Essaouira, is perhaps the place to take a special friend for the most memorable taste experience, while perched at risk on a crate.
What other local artisans or producers do you admire? Why?
Since I first met the celebrated winemaker Chris Pfeiffer at his winery in Wahgunyah, I can only say that I have enormous admiration for this craft and tolerance and skill. I have learned to respect the winemakers knowledge of variables and nuances of soil, weather and skills to achieve great taste experiences.
If you had to choose your last meal, what would it be?
My last meal would have to be vegemite on fresh bread with slabs of butter, dressed with mint and walnuts.
After Wells visit to us at Junction, we then received a further answer to his question….
So…. For the most memorable and desirable dessert to complement the Vegemite mint and walnut bite, the grand finale has to be the Chocolate marquise, coffee crumb and blood plum gel, but only when indulged with a luscious Tokay sip, pulled together with a chilled double short extraction Red Dust coffee let to settle into sweet intense plum and treacle dark chocolate.
Truly mesmerising to the bitter end !!