For lovers of coffee and design, Department of Brewology is launching a new monthly roaster collaboration today, to begin shipping in January 2017. The first 90 purchasers of the 6-month-long boxset experience will get a Colombia Granja La Esperanza: Honey Geisha with subsequent orders receiving a Washed Maragocaturra from Onyx Coffee Lab.
“We asked ourselves, ‘how can we pitch something to the coffee community that’s unique?” says Department of Brewology’s David Salinas. The new boxsets – like the first round – are academic in nature, both in what they contain, but also the overall design reminiscent of our younger days at school, with report cards and the white lined cards you used to write your name on when you took a book out from the library.
“We’re hoping to have the roaster connect with the consumer on another level,” says Salinas. That’s done through a boxset with a variety of elements whose common thread is education. Every month the new box will feature a 12oz bag of coffee, a coffee brew guide from the roaster, coffee brewing research and case studies from Socratic Coffee, as well as a dose of Third Wave Water, designed for better brewing water. There’s also a Barista Merit Badge pin as well as various other goods from Department of Brewology like prints, shirts, stickers and other brewing accessories.
While he never set out to sell coffee, perhaps it was inevitable that Salinas would be approached by roasters who wanted to collaborate. Somewhere at the intersection of art, design and coffee, Department of Brewology has built a name for itself amongst the coffee crowd, with its line of prints, apparel, barista merit badges, and most recently, tongue-in-cheek enamel pins. The new roaster collaboration series is yet another expression of the company’s drive for coffee and creativity.
“Think of it more like a fashion line more than a subscription box,” says Brett Cannon, who points out that the company will adapt the collaborations to fit with each individual roaster that they are working with. Working in this way, “gives us the ability to wipe the slate clean each time and re-evaluate the look and feel,” says Cannon.
After Onyx Coffee Lab, the next three roasters in the collaboration series will be Commonwealth Coffee Roasters, Phil & Sebastian and Quills Coffee, with each box a little different than the last. The first box with Onyx will also include a limited edition print and a Terroir Chocolate bar. “It’s a box set that’s actually engaging to the consumer, more than just a coffee bag,” says Salinas. “We want to elevate the consumer experience.”
For Salinas, part of that has to do with design. Good coffee branding happens “when the coffee professional is mindful of design and the design professional is mindful of coffee,” says Salinas. He continues, “that’s our goal, to perfectly align those two things. That I believe is conducive for the consumer to experience the product.”
If pourover coffee is the antidote to the coffee capsule age, this boxset is the response to a modern hectic lifestyle where we crave a little personal attention. “If your inbox is flooded with spam, the idea of receiving a handwritten letter from someone will change your week,” says Salinas. And if your coffee stash is on the verge of going stale, and all you’ve gotten in the last week were a few text messages with creative emojis, there’s no denying that opening up one of these collaborative packages is going to make your day just a little better.
The Department of Brewology Collaboration Sequence Two 6-month boxset subscription is $180, which includes free shipping, and $270 for international orders. Customers can also buy the box sets month-by-month, for $30 plus shipping.
*photos courtesy of Department of Brewology