Some fliers posted up in a window at 814 South Ninth Street (former home of this accordion shop) caught the eye of the Passyunk Post yesterday. The fliers announce the arrival ("Openning Mid September 2014" [sic]) of Jasani Cafe, which purports to grow and roast its own coffee — "the world's best coffee," no less.
Naturally, Eater Philly wanted to learn more about the best coffee in the world. But as soon as we saw the contact page on Jasani's advertised website, we suspected things were only going to get more confusing. Oh, and this guy was there:
The original Passyunk Post writeup, skeptical though it sounded, put forth some preliminary claims from the website listed on the flier: that the company appears to be based in Philly, offers direct home shipping, and may have been around for ten years already.
The website for Jasani Cafe lists contact numbers in New York, Bogota, and London. (We tried the NYC digits, but were met with endless ringing. We've tried emailing them, too, but are not currently holding our breath.) But the address is in Philadelphia — although maybe not the Philadelphia that exists in the same universe as the rest of us:
Of course, there is no "North Market Street" in Philly, nor is there a 11111 zip code, well, anywhere. Only a fax number is listed, because everything about this situation is perfect. So we dialed 1500 Market building managers Reit Management, who said only, "They're not our tenant any longer." They had no further contact info to pass along. (We also tried talking to the management company at 2 Penn Center, where an apparent older version of their website had them listed, with no luck. Incidentally, that office is now occupied by attorney/ace adman Rand Spear.)
A Whois look-up on the jasanicafe.com domain lists a company which shares a name with a bath supply company in Plano, Texas, the same London address as this one on another version of Jasani's site, and a phone number that leads to San Francisco-based Tractus Education. A quick Pennsylvania corporation search turned up no "Jasani" and a bunch of different things under the name "ABG."
Hey, maybe we could try ordering something to see how legit this place is.
This is all to say, we've struck out so far in getting in touch with the team behind the best coffee in the world. Which is too bad, because the totality of their website and social media presence is an absolute romp. And not just because of the thumbs-up coffee cup dude.
Their site prominently displays testimonials, such as one dated June 2011 from a site called topcup.com, from sites that are registered but contain no actual content (archived versions of topcup.com look like this; "CoffeeHouse Magazine" goes here). In fact, look up pretty much any name or fact your eyes fall upon throughout the site, and that name or fact will not exist anywhere else on the internet. This despite the site's claims of multiple generations owning coffee farms and/or roasting facilities in Colombia, Brazil, Turin, Turkey, and more.
There is one incredibly vague YouTube video that, we guess, is supposed to be of their Colombian coffee farm. There's a Twitter account, active for a few months in 2013, featuring more stray quotes about the quality of their product.
But above all else, there is this impeccable LinkedIn page, where the CEO of Jasani is depicted as a coffee bean (we think) dressed up in people clothes and Groucho Marx gag glasses:
The chief executive coffee bean also boasts more than 68 years of experience in the coffee business, and claims to have earned a 4.0 GPA in "Coffee Perfection" and served as president of coffee debate club:
What is any of this? A prank? A scam? An elaborate piece of performance art? Brilliant viral marketing attempt? Who posted the fliers? We do not know. If you know, we'd be happy to hear more. For now, though, we do know this:
Franchise opportunities are available.
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