August 29, 2017
Wild Timor Coffee
Amid the hustle and bustle of Sydney Road, Wild Timor Coffee is a café with a story as unique as its renowned drop.
Wild Timor Coffee was founded in 2012 when four Australian peacekeepers, Tom Mahon, Shannon French, Tom Potter, Cameron Wheelehen, stationed in Aileu, East Timor, formed an unlikely bond with a young Timorese local, Jack.
Eager for his new friends to experience life in Aileu, a remote part of East Timor, Jack took the peacekeepers on a tour through his village and to his home.
A meeting with Jack’s family opened the Australian’s eyes to just how challenging it was for them to make ends meet. Jack’s family, like other families in the village, worked tirelessly harvesting coffee, only to often hear that the harvests were unsatisfactory – too wet, too dry, or simply not processed properly.
With a drive to help the struggling family, the peacekeepers sent a sample of the coffee beans to a friend in Australia, a sales rep for a major coffee brand, with hopes he could assist the family in refining their harvest.
Within days, the group received a call from home. According to the friend, these beans were immaculate. “That was the moment we knew Jack’s family were being exploited. It hit me – if someone with such extensive knowledge of the coffee industry speaks so highly of this harvest, there is an opportunity here,” said Tom. “This thinking prompted the idea of establishing Wild Timor Coffee as an avenue to help people. We could go back to East Timor to harvest beans from the locals and fund their hard work while also making a living for ourselves.’
The peacekeepers returned home and searched for the perfect place to setup shop. Through their research, they found Moreland City Council had an established aid program in place with Aileu – a sign to call Coburg home. Today Wild Timor Coffee is a local favourite that’s known for its delicious coffee, exotic menu and laid-back vibe. Tom recalls fondly how Coburg welcomed Wild Timor Coffee into the community. “It was crazy to see the hype that ensued around our opening and it gave us a real buzz.
It really reinforced that we’d made the right decision in basing ourselves here,” Tom said. “Even today we are blown away by the support we receive from the local community. Support that comes not only through friendly residents and loyal customers, but also through a strong relationship with the Coburg RSL.”
Five years after first meeting Jack, the Wild Timor Coffee team purchase beans from numerous families across East Timor and are big advocates for ‘sharing the love around’ to help as many people as they can.
Wild Timor Coffee
282 Sydney Rd, Coburg VIC 3058
Timor Trading Co. products can be purchased through the website wildtimorcoffee.com