The definition of amateur is an enthusiast who pursues their work in the spirit of love. That perfectly describes what Omaha couple Jasmyn and Jacob Wichert do with their very own local coffee business, Amateur Coffee.
High quality, specialty coffee continues to captivate a new audience of consumers who are reaching for quality over quantity. Thirty-five percent of coffee drinkers reach for a specialty cup of coffee every day, according to the National Coffee Association of America.
With nearly 30 locally owned coffee shops in the city, third wave coffee has officially infatuated the Omaha community. Local coffee shop owners treat their specialty-grade beverage as an artisanal product such as wine, as opposed to a commodity where the primary goal is to sell as much as possible as quickly as possible (ah-hem, Starbucks).
Jasmyn Wichert, co-owner and creative strategist for Amateur Coffee, believes that her company can compete with the best of them. She handles the creative and marketing behind the business, which makes her the illustrator, designer, photographer, online content creator and social media manager, just to name a few.
With nearly four years of experience roasting coffee professionally, her husband, Jacob Wichert, is the heart of the company—the roaster.
“Without him, there would be nothing to sell,” Jasmyn said. “He is constantly seeking more knowledge about coffee to improve our product.”
The Wicherts believe in creating a truly unique experience for their customers. That’s why they individually cup each of their single-origin coffees, discover each cup’s exclusive flavor notes and create the artwork and names that best represent each coffee’s unique personality.
“Within this industry, there has been a lot of farm-to-table mentality, and rightfully so,” Jasmyn said. “Our goal with Amateur Coffee is to break down the details of where our coffees come from and make their stories more relatable and easier to understand.”
Amateur Coffee focuses on three main aspects to ensure the highest quality cup every time: sourcing quality coffee, conducting personality-based roasting and cultivating relationships with people.
Amateur Coffee works with sources that pay attention to the little things – from picking the finest cherries to storing and transporting the coffee in the most secure, proper way to maintain the highest level of freshness.
When a customer buys from Amateur Coffee, they are not only supporting a local business, but the coffee farmers and importers they work closely with. The Wicherts are able to buy coffee from farmers that bigger chain stores aren’t economically able to.
“Because we buy smaller quantities, we are able to support real farmers who may have less land, but do an amazing job with their crop,” Jasmyn said. “We are able to pay them fair prices so that they can support their families and continue to do their work. It’s amazing to be part of the global economy.”
The personality-based roasting of Amateur Coffee means that every coffee has a developed and distinct flavor, or “personality.” With the small-batch roasting technique, Amateur Coffee brings out the natural flavors of each coffee bean.
“Another benefit of being a smaller company is that we are able to really tune into each coffee’s unique characteristics, and then roast them to highlight those,” Jasmyn said.
In addition to brewing their distinct flavors, The Wicherts pride themselves on cultivating quality relationships with people, and they believe that every aspect of coffee’s lifespan matters. From the farmers all the way to the barista, it is important to uphold the coffee’s integrity throughout the process.
“There was something about the energy in these spaces that really comforted and inspired me,” Jasmyn said. “I loved meeting with friends in cafés and drinking warm things in cozy environments with music and art surrounding me. I guess that’s where you could say it all started for me.”
She believes that local coffee shops are set apart because of their sense of community. They hope to open their own shop for Amateur Coffee soon so they can create a unique and creative space for customers to feel at home.
Keep your eyes out for a storefront, as the Wicherts look forward to opening one in fall of 2017. For those who can’t wait for shipping to try out the coffee, local Dundee boutique Hello Holiday has also recently announced they are now carrying Amateur Coffee in-store.