Milk Maid Java & Mocha Can, Telfer Coffee Co., Detroit, MI. Ca. 1900

The Telfer Coffee Company in Detroit, Michigan was a long-time leader in the production of coffee in the Motor City.  Te Tefler Company produced a myriad of different coffee brands under the company name and collectors today can find many of them with a quick google search.  This particular Telfer Coffee Company Milk Maid Java and Mocha Coffee can features a jersey cow in the center of the can, with a very distinctive teal coloring paint.   Coffee cans featuring cows are very collectible, and the milk pail style of coffee cans is perhaps the most collectible of all coffee cans.  Hence, this can features both aspects, and garners much attention with many antique tin collectors.

Telfer Coffee Building, Detroit, MI

Telfer Coffee Building, Detroit, MI

Originally started by Edward Telfer in Grand Rapids, MI and then known as the Telfer Spice Company, Edward saw a larger market opportunity in Detroit and moved his business in 1899.   Mr. Telfer had gained his experience working in the Detroit area for the wholesale grocery house called The William J. Gould & Company, Merchant Grocers.

The Telfer Coffee Company was located at the intersection of Eighth and Lafayette Streets in the city of Detroit.   The company advertised itself as a “complete coffee roasting plant” and they claimed “there reputation for integrity and business methods”.    I am not sure what this meant, other than to suggest their competitor perhaps did not hold the same standards?

Either way, The Telfer Coffee Company eventually grew into a large 3 story building with a full fleet of delivery trucks to sell their products across the state of Michigan.  To date I have not been able to determine when the company closed or was bought out, but I am guessing it was in the 1930’s judging from the lack of information on the company after that time period.