It was a windy day on Sunday, December 12 as vendors held down their tents at the Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market to avoid them from blowing away. The temperature was in the upper forties and the strong Jersey gusts necessitated warm beverages, so TPRFM attendees grabbed a cup of coffee. One stand, in particular, was bustling throughout the day: One Up, One Down coffee, a Trenton staple.
The store started vending at the TPRFM in 2019 and has attended the market frequently. “And the purpose is to, of course, sell our freshly roasted coffee beans and promote the fact that they are burned literally around the corner,” co-owner Natalie Rockwell said.
She stood out in a hood and jacket against the wind serving the line that came. “Of course, I brew as much as I can at our cafe before coming,” Rockwell said. As the day goes on, she slowly but starts to move from caffeinated coffee to decaf, but all hot and ready for customers. “It starts to get more and more popular as the day goes on; it’s our decaf Columbia. We only do naturally decaffeinated beans.”
Rockwell talked about the variety of coffee they were serving, like Ethiopia, which is a top favorite sold at the TPRFLM. The coffee comes with some citrus brightness, cherry fruit, milk chocolate, and a friendly, present mouthfeel as explained on the coffee shop’s website.
Matt Kuyawa from Brooklyn and an attendee with the Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market, said that this is a place to visit the next time they are in the area. “It’s an Ethiopian coffee described to me as a little fruity. A little bit of honey, and it’s quite tasty. I’ve never had their coffee before, but it’s quite good…I don’t live in the area. So it’s unlikely to happen, unfortunately. But it’s a delicious coffee and I would certainly drink it again.”
Rockwell gave a reason for their delicious coffee. “We only medium roast,” Rockwell said. “We maintain all of the flavor nuances, All coffee tastes different depending on where in the world it is grown, but Dark Roast it you do tend to burn a lot of that off… that’s why we bring different varieties because then people can see how different they are.” She explained that they were also selling different coffee beans to the public. “Decaf Columbia is somewhat sweet,” Rockwell said. “We also have two Guatemalan (Coffees) right now. They tend to be more milk chocolate on the front and then get this aftertaste of orange.”
This is Rockwell’s passion. At every chance she could get, she talked with customers about the flavors and elements of each drink. “It always feels great and warm and fuzzy and nice. People are so excited to find out about (coffee), and they like learning about why someone would roast coffee the way we roast it.”
The TPRFM happens just about every couple of months, bringing over 200 vendors to Trenton. For more info on the TPRFM, check out http://www.trentonprfm.com for their following events in the area. You also can check out One Up One Down at 750 Cass Street, Trenton, N.J., and on their website at https://www.oneuponedowncoffee.com.