Vintage Coffee Tins

11.30

The Dieline discovered this amazing set of vintage coffee cans from the 19th century in the virtual aisles of Z&K Antiques. While I can only imagine how terrible the coffee was, the eclectic spirit of the typography and design is fantastic. Enjoy!

posted by on 11.30.2010, under Design, Misc.

Intelligentsia iPhone app

11.29

The day after I wrote about Stumptown’s printed brew guides, Intelligentsia released their own guide in the form of an iPhone app. Though very different in its delivery, the slick sophistication of the app is just as fitting to Intelligentsia’s brand, as the texture of the chipboard and the smell of ink are to Stumptown’s.

The free iPhone app, made in partnership with 79Lines, has an up-to-date listing of Intelligentsia’s coffee offerings, as well as detailed information about each. You can read about the taste notes, elevation, country origin, harvest date, etc. It goes as far as including a section for images and videos, where even more behind the scenes media can be added about the coffee varietal.

Moving beyond Intelligentsia’s product descriptions, the app also includes a series of nicely illustrated tutorials for a selection of brew methods: pourover, Chemex, cafe solo, French press, and cupping. Hopefully the list will be expanded with a future update to include others (eg. AeroPress, moka pot, syphon pot). However, the initial list covers a good selection of common methods.

Along with the tutorials, there are timers that correspond with each method. The timers aren’t just a stylized version of the phones built-in timer, but also includes alerts within the countdown to indicate next steps. For example, 45 seconds into the pourover countdown, an alert pops up to say, “bloom time is finished, start your pour.”

An additional page includes links to Intelligentsia’s twitter feeds, information about their Direct Trade system, in-season coffee, and the company itself. While this is obviously branded content, it’s also a valuable tool for anyone brewing their own coffee. Intelligentsia continues to be a leader in the coffee industry, consistently pushing for better prices for farmers, the best coffee for consumers, and doing it all with remarkable style and a well-polished sense of design.

Download the free iPhone app
Intelligentsia Coffee

posted by on 11.29.2010, under Coffee 101, Design, Misc., Products

Stumptown brew guides

11.25

During my trip to Portland last week, I got a few goodies from Stumptown. While sitting at The Annex, I picked up this nice collection of booklets and started reading through them. It was a set of beautifully designed and illustrated home brewing guides that included five books: Chemex, press pot, moka pot, cone filter (Melitta/Hario v60), and vacuum pot. My first thought was how smart it was for Stumptown to produce such an obvious product. After asking how much they cost—free—I thought how awesome it is for Stumptown to treat their customers this way.

Last spring when writing about Stumptown’s brand, I hadn’t seen these, but they are another great example of the company sparing little expense to produce cool stuff for customers. Aside from roasting great coffee, that’s who Stumptown is—the first guy in school with a Nirvana bootleg willing to share it with everyone before anyone knew what grunge was. I’ve never met Duane Sorenson, the founder of Stumptown, but I imagine everything I’ve experienced with the company is in some form a reflection of him personally. From the high attention of detail spent on the coffee and the cafes, to the tattoos on the baristas reflected in the artwork on t-shirts and storefront windows.

Stumptown embodies a love for coffee of the highest quality united with the cool-as-fuck attitude expected from the leader of a burgeoning music scene. In many ways, that’s exactly what they are—leaders (along with a handful of other great roasters) in a growing new coffee scene that our parents will scoff at while they continue drinking their Sanka.

Kids these days.

The books were designed and printed by the awesome people at Pinball Publishing, who also made Stumptown these cupping journals to showcase Scout Books, one of their customizable printed products.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/08/health/20101108_thanksgiving.html?src=me&ref=homepage
posted by on 11.25.2010, under Design, Products, Recommended Roasters

DCILY prints now available!

11.24

I’ve had a lot of requests for prints of the Dear Coffee, I Love You posters that I’ve designed. Now, thanks to Society6, you can order your favorite prints! They are gallery quality Giclée prints on natural white, matte, ultra smooth, 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper using Epson K3 archival inks. This is the real deal. They’ll look great and last as long as the Mona Lisa.

If you order thru this Sunday, Society6 is offering free shipping on all orders! So skip the mall on Black Friday and order some prints for your coffee loving loved ones. If you have a color request that’s not in the store, I will take custom orders.

See them all and place orders at the DCILY Store.

posted by on 11.24.2010, under Design, Products

Wilco Select Coffee

11.23

In what may be one of the oddest collaborations I’ve seen, Chicago-based indie band Wilco have teamed up with Chicago-based coffee roaster Intelligentsia to offer “A Wilco Selection.” The coffee—which is Intelligentsia’s Organic Ethiopia Sidama renamed—will be sold as part of a Wilco Coffee Lover’s bundle that will include 2lbs of coffee and 2 designer mugs. They will also offer a decaf version of the bundle if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

While I think this is an odd partnership, I’m excited about the exposure it will give Intelligentsia—who roast some of the best coffee you can buy—and their Direct Trade program that pay farmers even more than Fair Trade. You can pre-order now, and the coffee will be roasted and shipped beginning December 6.

Organic Ethiopia Sidama Homecho Waeno
The aromatics of coffee blossom and violet make way for an incredibly graceful and elegant cup. The body has a light and silky quality, like fresh whipped cream, that beautifully compliments the ever-present note of citron, juniper berry and vanilla. As it cools, the cup blossoms into notes of confectioner’s sugar, rosehips, and soft raisin, resonating on a pristine finish with a touch of milk chocolate.

posted by on 11.23.2010, under Misc., Recommended Roasters

DCILY x PDX coffee tour

11.22

Last week I visited Portland, Oregon to see friends, speak with design students at PSU, and drink as much coffee as I could. I hadn’t been to Portland in 3 years and the coffee landscape had grown quite a bit. With a list of roasters and cafe’s to visit—which grew with each person I met—I explored, tasted, cupped, and enjoyed some of the best PDX has to offer. I also met a lot of the super friendly, super knowledgeable people behind the regions top coffee scene who continue to experiment and push coffee into new territory.

Sadly I forgot my camera, so the only photos I have come from a lowly iPhone. Enjoy.

I spent an entire day visiting 4 Stumptown locations. Above, the Belmont shop had a new, custom La Marzocco Mistral on the bar. Lovely

Right next door to the Belmont shop is the Stumptown Annex. A brew bar with no espresso machine. Just a great selection of beans and a relaxed environment to learn about coffee brewing, buy some beans, or take part in a complimentary cupping (every day at Noon and 2pm). I took part in the first one with a spread of 4 different Colombian origins and for the second, I just hung around to watch the brew demo. The crew at the Annex were great and up for talking about everything from the export issues in Ethiopia, to their favorite AeroPress techniques.

The next day I stopped by one of Portland’s newest roasters, Water Avenue Coffee. It’s a nice clean shop not far from Spirit of 77 (the best sports bar I’ve ever been to). I really loved the custom concrete pour over bar and the blue neon coffee sign. Joe from Reno let me hang out a bit while he closed up and talked about the barista school they run in the back of the shop and brewed up a nice sweet cup of El Salvador for me.

Next up was Coava (koh-va), which isn’t far from Water Avenue, and home of the K-One Kone filter they designed for the Chemex. Also open for less than a year, this shop is absolutely beautiful, my photos don’t do it justice, so be sure to check out the gallery on their website. The entire space is huge with the coffee bar tucked into one corner. A wood shop studio shares the space and there’s a collection of amazing tables on display throughout it. At first I wasn’t sure if I was in a furniture showroom, a workshop, or a cafe and hesitated to sit down.

I had a cup of Costa Rican Helsar brewed up with the Kone. I really enjoy how well the Kone retains the bright flavors and a bit of sediment, but not as much silt as a French press. Matt then pulled me a fantastic shot of their Honduras El Limon while we talked about the Kone. He quickly began to speak more like an engineer than a barista. Keith was busy roasting, so I didn’t have a chance to meet him, but I’m sure they’ll still be there next time I’m in town.

I also stopped into Barista for  a shot from Sightglass roasters in SF. I always appreciate cafes that serve a variety of beans. There are too many good roasters out there to stick with one. These are friendly guys worth visiting in a nice shopping district of Portland called the Pearl.

On the morning I left, I met some friends at Crema, a nice cafe and bakery that serves Coava and Stumptown. The barista, Skip, made me a delightful cappuccino with Stumptown’s Hairbender and then brought over a shot of Coava’s El Salvador Santa Sofia to send me off to the airport on a good note.

I know there are a lot of great places I never made it too, but it would take more than 4 days to visit them all. I really wanted to stop by Heart Roasters before I left, but I ran out of time. They just turned a year old and I’ve heard many good things about them. Feel free to share any other cafe’s or roasters in Portland in the comments. I’d love to know about the gems I missed, so I’ll have more reason to go back soon!

posted by on 11.22.2010, under Coffee Touring, Recommended Roasters

Coffee filter prom dress

11.19

When a young girl’s love of coffee is infused with her passion for finding the perfect prom dress, you get something that looks like this. Aimee Kick, an 18-year old aspiring fashion designer from Missouri, made this great looking dress out of coffee filters for her senior prom. I’m interested to know if it’s reusable or single use.

tipped by @RoastMagazine

posted by on 11.19.2010, under Design, Misc.

The Grand Crus Cup Parade

11.12

On Monday, I wrote about clocks powered by used coffee grounds and recycled Nespresso capsules from the Sustain.Ability.Design competition at Vienna Design Week. This is another winner from the same competition, but with more realistic merit. The Grand Crus Cup Parade, designed by Dottings, is a collection of coffee cups and saucers made from recycled aluminum Nespresso capsules. The design of the cups mimic the shape and colors of the capsules themselves, and could be purchased with points earned from returning used capsules to the company.

I really love these cups, they are quite beautiful and the idea is very clever. However, it’s still a solution to a problem that shouldn’t exist in the first place—unnecessary disposable cups. Another issue I see with this, is that once someone has a set of cups for themselves, there’s little incentive to recycle the capsules any longer—making this “sustainable” solution a temporary one.

via Dezeen

posted by on 11.12.2010, under Design, Products

Students re-design Peet’s Coffee

11.11

Of the major coffee chains, I’ve always found Peet’s to have the least appealing brand. Even though their coffee is usually better than the other large chains, I tend avoid it for this reason. I’ve never felt completely comfortable in their stores, which always seem more fitting to a grandmother than your typical urban dwelling coffee drinker. And their attempt to feel like an Old World trader on the Silk Road, falls short of authentic. With Caribou and Seattle’s Best freshening up their brand, is Peet’s next? A couple design students have recently taken the liberty to do so for them.

The first, and nicer of the two, is by Tomoko Ogino who is a student at Art Center College of Design. This direction is modern, but remains soft and inviting to those who would normally be turned off by such a thing. Tomoko uses a high-tech clear bag, normally unused for quality reasons, that supposedly protects the beans from harmful UV light. This immediately makes the packaging unique from the competition and allows the product to speak for itself. The bag tags also allows for an efficient and flexible system to replace the old one that required different bags to be printed for each bean.

The second direction was designed by Chul Lee, also from the Art Center College of Design. While I understand that school is a place for exploration and I appreciate Chul’s work for pushing what’s expected of coffee packaging, I don’t think it’s very realistic. Unlike Tomoko’s modern redesign, which makes the brand approachable by a broad demographic—this direction polarizes the brand too much for Peet’s market. Cardboard packaging also wouldn’t be ideal to retain the freshness of the coffee—unless it were lined—adding to the cost and complexity of production.

Both redesigns are better than Peet’s current brand and either would entice me to actually stop in their stores more often. It’s nice to see students capable of showing large companies how much better they could be, if only they would invest in design.

Tomoko’s work via The DieLine
Chul’s work via Lovely Package

posted by on 11.11.2010, under Design

15 things to know about caffeine

11.10

Nice infographic about caffeine designed by the talented Ricky Linn. Click the image for a larger view.

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posted by on 11.10.2010, under Design, Misc.