To tell you why we at Fellow have decided June is “Design Month,” we first have to tell you about San Francisco Design Week! SF Design Week is an annual gathering of great minds and hands and eyes and imaginations to showcase the latest and greatest in design innovation from all over the world.
Over the last decade, packaging in the specialty coffee industry has become something of an art with the challenge of balancing form, functionality, and originality. Will it keep my coffee nice and fresh? Is it compostable? Informative? Does it look fly on my kitchen counter?
When we take these things into consideration, it’s easy to see why design is so integral and important to the way we experience almost everything in our daily lives from our shoes to our phones to our toothbrushes to our coffee.
To celebrate design with the rest of our city, we have carefully selected some of the finest examples of coffee packaging in the whole industry. We hope you’ll enjoy these gems!
Oslo, Norway | Founded in 2015 by Talor Browne and Jørgen Hansrud
Fun Fact: Before Talor&Jørgen, Jørgen founded a start-up in 2014 called Epic Win Movement to empower young people to learn practical skills to facilitate their projects. Talor boasts a robust coffee career spanning from companies like St. Ali, Barista Hustle, Coutume, and Tim Wendelboe, as well as being a Q Grader.
Coffee/Origin: Rwanda Nyamasheke
Variety: Red Bourbon
Notes: Vibrant, Raspberry, Vanilla
“This coffee from Mahembe is unique in many ways. Justin the owner is unusual in his commitments to improving his operating and to processing some of the best coffees coming out of Rwanda. Mahembe is a privately owned washing station owned by Justin Musabyiama, who is also growing his own coffee trees. Justin has grown up in the local area and after moving away for some time, decided to come back home and invest in the community he was from by building a wet mill on his father’s coffee plantation.” – Talor&Jørgen (@talorjorgen)
CITY OF SAINTS COFFEE ROASTERS
Brooklyn, New York | Founded in 2014 by Joe Palozzi and Matt Wade
Fun Fact: City of Saints’ café/ roastery is neighbors with a small art gallery with whom they collaborate frequently, contributing to their eclectic and vibrant aesthetic.
Coffee/Origin: Ethiopia Germa Eshetu
Notes: Peach, Agave, Arnold Palmer
“Girma Eshetu is an undeniably badass human being. We knew this before we met him, from the story of how he wound up living and farming in the region he is today, a story that starts in a beer brewery, takes us through a self-funded Masters in Mechanical Engineering, and ends in what Girma believes is his ancestral homeland – fittingly shared with the purported birthplace of coffee itself.
The spiel certainly sets you up to expect a dazzling dude. But meeting Girma sealed the deal – impeccably dressed in pink stripes and a Panama hat, with beer bottles as seeming extensions of his fingers. This is a man who takes tremendous pride in producing phenomenal coffee, and always keeps his sights on improvement. Before embarking on the several hour horseback ride to his Estate, we met at a washing station he constructed for processing community lots. Here, he enthusiastically flaunted his water filtration system by drinking the very water he’d be using to wash the coffee, cupping it in his hand and slurping it up with giddy pride. When we sip Girma’s coffee ourselves, it’s hard not to emulate that excitement. Characterized by vibrant, shimmering brightness and a refreshingly silky mouthfeel, this coffee is a treat anytime, but is perfectly suited for summer.” – City of Saints Coffee Roasters (@cityofsaintscoffee)
METHODICAL COFFEE ROASTERS
Greenville, South Carolina | Founded in 2015 by Will Shurtz, David Baker, and Marco Suarez
Fun Fact: Will started serving coffee from his mobile cart called Vagabond Coffee when he was only 18!
Coffee/Origin: Honduras “Santa Barbara”
Variety: Red Catuai
Notes: Milk Chocolate, Stone Fruit, Nutty Finish
“Since 2005, the region of Santa Barbara and the small producers living and working there have shared the distinction as the place and the people producing exceptional coffee within Honduras. Our work and the beginning of the on-going relationships we’ve since established here began during the 2005 Cup of Excellence. We came to realize that there are exceptional producers from this small area. And since that inaugural year, we have purchased from over twenty different Santa Barbara producers.
Located in the village of Pena Blanca is coffee exporter San Vicente – the company that coordinates the coffee we buy from Santa Barbara. Over the past several years, one particular hillside has become the largest supplier of CoE winners in Honduras. The most successful farms with the smartest and most innovative farmers are neighbors on the hillsides of this region and they help each other to refine the best of their lots.” – Methodical Coffee Roasters (@methodicalcoffee)
BRANDYWINE COFFEE ROASTERS
Wilmington, Delaware | Founded in 2013 by Todd Purse
Fun Fact: All of Brandywine’s bags are stamped and screen printed by hand with original designs by Todd himself!
Coffee/Origin: Panama Elida Estate
Notes: Grape, Elderberry, Kiwi
“The Lamastus Family has being producing coffee in Elida Estate for four generations since 1918. Elida Estate coffees are produced under a unique world-ecological condition. It is shade-grown, bird friendly, and the farm is located at a very high elevation in a micro climate with very low temperatures. The coffee trees are surrounded by the Volcan Baru National Park, a virgin native cloudy rain forest.
At the turn of the century Kentucky born Robert Lamastus started an Arabica coffee plantation in a farm located at around 5,600 ft (1,700 m) above sea level in the skirts of the Baru Volcano in Boquete, Panama. At the time our grandfather processed and exported what is still today considered as one of the highest quality coffees in the world. Nowadays and three generations later, the tradition continues. The Lamastus family still produces, processes, exports, and now roast its own rare estate coffees.” – Brandywine Coffee Roasters (@brandywinecoffeeroasters)
ELIXR COFFEE ROASTERS
Philadelphia, PA | Founded in 2010 by Evan Inatome
Fun Fact: Elixr’s newest roastery/café facility offers an “Omakase” style, where guests can receive a specially curated flight of their special offerings!
Coffee/Origin: Colombia “Suarez”
Variety: Caturra, Castillo
Notes: Bruleed Sugar, White Grape, Birch Beer
“For the second year in a row, we are proud to present Suárez from the Cauca region of Colombia. We first came across this coffee at the best of Cauca competition two years ago. This year’s crop offers the same deep sweetness, and complexity as we remembered. With tasting notes of bruleed sugar, white grape, and birch beer, this coffee is one of those easy drinking sweet and enjoyable cups!” – Elixr Coffee Roasters (@elixrcoffee)
While these five eye-candy coffees have taken up residency on our Featured Roasters wall this month, that’s not the only SF Design Week fun Fellow is having. On June 15, the Fellow Store + Playground is along the route for SF Design Week’s Studio Crawl for Dogpatch, Mission, and Potrero. Grab your tickets before they sell out because…the first 70 people to visit Fellow will get a tote bag screen printed by an artist live at our event!