Coffee-blend name inspired by locale

Wendy Jepson operates a coffee-roasting business from a converted garage at her Outram home. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Wendy Jepson operates a coffee-roasting business from a converted garage at her Outram home. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
When Outram woman Wendy Jepson was looking for a name for her blend of roasted coffee beans, she could look no further than Sunday Drive.

For Outram was a place that people came to on a Sunday drive, to have a coffee or ice cream, buy berryfruit or go to the river.

The founder of the town's Wobbly Goat cafe, Mrs Jepson now operates a coffee bean-roasting business, Fat Cat Coffee, from a converted brick garage on the street frontage of her Skerries St home.

With a lifetime involvement in the food industry, she started The Wobbly Goat in 2007.

She wanted to do everything herself, from making all her own food to roasting her own coffee beans, giving her control of her own destiny.

She had always loved coffee and spent time watching a coffee roaster, before buying a drum roaster imported from Turkey.

Then came plenty of ''trial and error'' and drinking copious amounts of coffee, until she came up with what worked.

She had since ''pretty much stuck'' with that same blend, Sunday Drive, which was described as a rich full-bodied coffee with chocolate and caramel notes and made up of four different beans.

In the Huhtamaki 2012 New Zealand Coffee Awards, Fat Cat Coffee won a bronze medal for the second time in the best flat white blend category.

After five and a-half years at The Wobbly Goat business, Mrs Jepson decided it was time for a change and time to focus solely on coffee. She had no regrets, although she did miss the cooking aspect.

She took her roaster with her when she and her husband remodelled a ''dingy, divey garage'' into a roastery.

She came up with the name Fat Cat Coffee ''just because I couldn't have anything ordinary after being the Wobbly Goat''.

She still supplied The Wobbly Goat with beans and also made coffee and sold beans at the Otago Farmers Market at the Dunedin railway station on Saturdays, and she was also at the Sunday market at Forsyth Barr Stadium. She also made coffee sack cushions and coffee soap.

She roasted beans about three times a week, in batches of between 3.5kg and 4kg.

People could buy direct from the roastery, where she was every Tuesday and Thursday between 10am and 2pm. Otherwise people could press a buzzer on the wall of the roastery and she would ''come running down the driveway''.

Mrs Jepson sourced her beans from a green bean supplier in Auckland, as her business was too small to justify importing her own. They were derived from Sumatra, Guatemala and Colombia.

She likened coffee to wine, saying beans from different regions tasted different, as did grapes.

She also likened coffee beans to fresh fruit and vegetables, saying customers should buy small amounts often. They should buy enough beans to last a maximum of 10 days, preferably seven.

She had no plans to greatly expand the business, saying she wanted to be a small, boutique roastery.

As for her own coffee preference, she preferred a long black, of which she could drink up to eight or nine cups a day.

 

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