If you’ve ever been to New York City, there’s a good chance you’ve come across the Anthora coffee cup. Leslie Buck, who passed away this week, initially designed the cups to target the large population of Greek Diners in NYC and it went on to become a coffee icon throughout the city for decades.
A pop-cultural totem, the Anthora has been enshrined in museums; its likeness has adorned tourist memorabilia like T-shirts and ceramic mugs. Like many once-celebrated artifacts, though, the cup may now be endangered, the victim of urban gentrification.
The Anthora seems to have been here forever, as if bestowed by the gods at the city’s creation. But in fact, it was created by man — one man in particular, a refugee from Nazi Europe named Leslie Buck. -NYTimes
Though their use has declined, the Solo Cup company, who absorbed the original maker of the cup, sold 200 Million of them up in 2005 when they began to only offer the Anthora design by special request. However, a few years ago, Graham Hill (founder of Treehugger) began making ceramic replicas of the cup for all those fans who want to reduce their waste, without giving up their sacred Anthora.
Last December we wrote about the Beta Cup challenge (still trying to raise money at that point), but since then, Starbucks has stepped in and offered to sponsor the competition. According to Core77, the contests media sponsor, there have been over 152 entries to rethink the current system for coffee to-go. You can view and rate the entries so var on Jovoto. There are a lot of great ideas floating around and it will great to see how quickly the winning solution can be implemented. Good luck to all the participants.
Over the last couple months, I’ve been to a number of cafes that use the Abid as their weapon of choice for pour over coffee. It’s a nice hybrid of full immersion brewing, like a french press, with the filtered cleanliness and single cup simplicity of a V60 or Melitta.
I had been considering getting one myself to experiment with when I found this lovely video on BrewMethods. I then found my way to a great write-up about the Abid, by David on The Other Black Stuff. Enjoy!
Over the last two weeks, we had our first contest here at DCILY. The winner was Will Godwin, who’s Virginia mug garnered the most “likes” on our Facebook page, winning himself a Mug Hug! This really is a beautiful mug. Congrats Will and thanks to everyone who shared their lovely mugs with all of us.
I recently discovered this thanks to Mike Crimmin’s great review of it on Daily Shot of Coffee. As a designer, my first response is to call it a BS marketing scheme hoping to capitalize on the provocation this brand invokes. Like the Cocaine Energy drink, it rides on the back of drug references, but Meth Coffee take it a step further with the entire company shrouded in a seedy lab of mystery. Using the language of pushers and videos of meth head coffee junkies freebasing the product, it takes coffee to a place where I’ve never seen it before, which is itself an inspiring feat. Though I wouldn’t consider myself a part of the intended market—I find the drug references to be dopey—I’m sure there are enough college guys and metal heads to keep “The Roaster” in business.
There’s only one blend and it’s laced with a bit of Yerba Mate for an extra caffeine kick. Mike gave its taste a fair review, but I’ve read elsewear that the Mate makes it a bit sour. Oh, and the State of Illinois banned it for glorifying drug culture.
The first time I saw this technique, it was used by one of the most brilliant designers alive today, Stefan Sagmeister. Not only did it take an idea that could easily be photoshoped and instead build a full scale model, but the concept was fantastic. Designers drink a ton of coffee. It drives them. In this case it rewards them for their hard work and late nights. I’ve since seen the technique used in other places, without the strong concept, but always just as cool.
I’m excited to announce the first ever collaboration for Dear Coffee, I Love You. We partnered with the great people at Mug Hug™ to bring our readers the first “Give your mug a hug!” contest. All you need to do to enter is take a photo of your favorite mug and upload it to the Dear Coffee, I Love You fan page on Facebook—before Monday, April 19th. Beginning on Monday, whichever mug gets the most votes (i.e. “likes”) by 3pm est on Friday, April 23rd, will win a free Mug Hug™. The lucky winner will be able to carry coffee in your favorite mug wherever you go!
In light of my comments yesterday, regarding coffee companies who work to improve the lives of farmers, I wanted to share one who is doing just that—connecting farmers with the consumers of their product. These relationships help educate the farmers and the consumer on many levels as well as help build a new sense of appreciation for the whole coffee system.
Last week I met with Emily Kerr of Liga Masiva and was extremely inspired by her heart for the Dominican Republic and the farmers who live there. While holding down a day job, she has successfully built and continued to grow Liga Masiva. Emily’s relationships with the farmers are as sincere as family and the passion expelled when she talks about her work is contagious.
While Liga Masiva is sold and brewed mainly in Dominican populated cafe’s in Washington Heights (NYC) as a way to connect customers with their DR roots, they have also begun reaching people though online sales, including a coffee subscription club. My favorite part, is the subscribers get postage-paid postcards each month to send messages directly to the farmers. Such an awesome way to show the coffee producers your appreciation and remind yourself of the families you are supporting.
I just came across this packaging for Eighthirty™ coffee in New Zealand. Their website seems temporary, so I couldn”t find more information about them. I really like these bags because of their striking departure from most coffee packaging and their playful use of language. I admire coffee companies who work to improve the lives of farmers, but from a design and brand perspective, they all tend to blend together in a faux, origin-centric aesthetic. There are a number of acceptations to this rule, of course, but the status-quo remains the former.
“Eighthirty source organic beans from sustainable farms, then combine these with dedication to deliver the perfect coffee every time. Our passion is passed on in every cup to customers who care about great coffee as much as we do. Eighthirty delivers – simply good coffee.”