A month ago, Intelligentsia dipped its toe in the world of bikes with their BMX inspired Quintin snapback (now sold out) and have recently teamed up with Kyle from Trackosaurus Rex to create this rad three-panel cycling cap. Designed by Sean Talkington and Eric Vasquez of Team Dream, the Golden Saddle lid represents two great brands at once. Ride over to the nearest Intelli shop to get one before they’re gone.
Love that star placement.
Coffee is a wonderful thing. But it takes a vast amount of resources to bring us our daily cup(s). The least we can do is try to minimize that impact. In an ideal world, everyone has the time to sit down with a ceramic mug and enjoy their coffee until it’s gone. However, in real life people have things to do and places to go—so they take their coffee with them. All of those cups add up (500 Billion per year) and they do a great job of ruining the drinking experience as well.
For the last year, I’ve been trying to find the best travel cup for my coffee. Ceramic tastes the best, but it’s too heavy, too fragile and those rubbery lids are worse to drink from than plastic ones. Stainless steel would seem to be the most “sustainable” but you still end up drinking through a plastic lid and they’re a costly investment. So after weighing the benefits of several different option, including the overall design, cost, functionality, taste, etc.—the KeepCup is my favorite option available for mobile coffee drinkers.
So I partnered with the Mug Users Guild to bring DCILY fans a reusable cup that works great, looks great and lets the world know how you feel about all those paper cups.
The 8oz (black) is my favorite and holds the perfect amount for an AeroPress on the go. The 12oz (white) will let you carry a bit more but still has markings for both 8oz and 12oz volumes on the inside of the cup. These also fit under the grouphead of most espresso machines, which means the barista won’t need to waste a cup, just to transfer the drink. The lids are splash proof—not spill proof. So you can walk or drive around without spilling, but don’t take it rock climbing or throw it in a bag with coffee inside. [also great for poolside cocktails when there's no glass allowed]
While a KeepCup isn’t the same as drinking from a ceramic or glass mug, the taste differences are more of a perception than a reality and the rounded design of the lids make drinking from them far more enjoyable than a standard disposable one. KeepCups are BPA free, recyclable at the end of their life and have been tested for up to 1000 uses (more technical details).
The DCILY KeepCups are limited, so get them while you can! Make 2012 the year you stop throwing away coffee cups and damn thy disposable.
Order one from the DCILY merch store.
Curface is a composite material made from spent coffee grounds and recycled plastic. The nonprofit industrial design firm, Re-Worked, have been combining their creation with reclaimed wood to build some truly unique and sustainable furniture. Curface first debuted at the 2010 Ecobuild Conference in London, but have recently replaced their website with a vague message about halting all production.
The firm’s most recent project was the Google Coffee Lab, which I wrote about a few weeks ago. That project included large custom tables made from Curface and exterior panels for a Sanremo espresso machine, designed by Alessandro Milanese.
The material’s finish resembles a matte carbon, is waterproof and needs no sanding or finishing. Hopefully the production was only stopped to figure out how to keep up with demand. It’s an innovative material that would fit nicely in a café setting.
On December 13, just south of Starbuck’s hometown of Seattle, a new drive-thru location opened up in Tukwila, Washington. Unlike the other 17,000 locations though, this one is built from reused shipping containers. Green architecture isn’t new for Starbucks, last year they began opening LEED certified cafés around the world, but this is the first one utilizing cargotecture—the reuse of cargo shipping containers for architecture.
Starbuck’s isn’t the first coffee company to use shipping containers (Illy previously used a transforming shipping container as a café at the Venice Biannale and Ritual Proxy opened this summer in San Francisco) nor is their architect the first to design with them—though they speak as if they were:
We were able to open our minds to the use of very common elements destined for the landfill as structure for a high-quality, drive-thru coffee house design – essentially creating an industrial beacon for sustainable thinking. –Tony Gale III
I’m a big fan of shipping container architecture and applaud reuse in any form—however, I find it ironic that the modest green giant’s “beacon for sustainable thinking” is a drive-thru coffee shop in the suburbs. Maybe the sheer spectacle will introduce a unique perspective to a new audience, but I don’t see how a line of idling cars waiting for their trenta ice coffee is a beacon for anything other than the worst of American consumerism and suburban sprawl.
For being as large as Starbucks is, they aren’t entirely bad. I may not like their coffee, but I also won’t deny the trail they blazed for specialty coffee or the sustainability efforts they do make. Sadly, the reality of being a publicly-traded company too often encourages them to make decisions that counter all of their positive efforts (like joining the K-Cup trend) for the sake of maximizing profits.
In the long run, if this prototype became the new format for all future drive-thru locations, it could reduce the use of virgin material in construction and inspire other large companies to follow suit. But please Starbucks, show a bit of humility—shipping container architecture is not a Starbucks invention, nor is roasting “light.”
More photos and an interview with Starbucks on Inhabitat
When I was last in the US, Handsome Coffee had yet to release their new packaging—so until now, I had only seen it via twitpics and Instagrams posted by all the lucky ones drinking it. But it was immediately obvious they made a fantastic choice working with Sissy Emmons, at PTARMAK in Austin, to capture the Handsome brand.
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of browsing the aisles of the SCAA tradeshow with Tyler and we talked a bit about the importance of a brand and how great packaging can make a huge impact on a company. I knew then that Handsome was working with PTARMAK and I’m really pleased to see the the outcome of their relationship so far.
Yesterday, Handsome’s new bags were featured on The Dieline—the internet’s top package design website. The featured photos give a much better look at some details I hadn’t previously seen. The new packaging combines the right amount of handcrafted illustration and wit with enough modern typography to give the handsome ruggedness a refined feeling of quality. Great work to everyone invloved.
We employed color, shape and a little figure ground to differentiate between the lines and categories. The color system was developed loosely around a 1940′s craftsman—workshirt blue, denim, utility orange, metallic copper, crisp white, no-nonsense black and a rich black-brown… in honor of the coffee.
Illustrations line the sides and are what we like to call the manly-man items—objects that share the Handsome dedication to a by-gone era where handmade craft and a dedication to quality were a labor of love as well as a way of life. A dip of copper at the bottom of the bags is a continuation of the copper counters in the Handsome shop and on the Handsome Traveler. It adds just a touch of elegance to the otherwise practical bags. The system is intended to be humble and utilitarian with every detail lovingly applied. -PTARMAK
Read more about the design and see all the images at The Dieline
Continuing the DCILY series of world record coffee feats, the latest addition is a mosaic made with 1 million coffee beans (309 lbs) by Albanian artist Saimir Strati. The mosaic, titled “One World, One Family, One Coffee” was completed last week in Tirana, Albania. The image depicts five characters from different continents—an African drummer, Brazilian dancer, European accordion player, Japanese drummer and a country singer from the US. Strati wanted his image to convey how coffee brings us together:
I wanted to give the message that sharing love over a cup of coffee brings us closer, a cup of coffee brings us more love than a G20 meeting.
It took Strati 31 days to complete this epic coffee image, measuring 25 square meters. This is Strati’s 6th Guinness World Record mosaic—past projects have used screws, paint brushes, corks, toothpicks and nails. Enjoy!
[Photos by Arben Celi / Reuters]
Last week, I wrote about the grand opening of the DunneFrankowski pop-up coffee bar in London. In an effort to foster conversation around the culture of coffee shops and the habits of customers, they are charting and sharing all of their coffee sales as they happen. This transparent tally will keep track of a daily and continuing sum of all the drinks ordered by customers during their time at Protein.
It will be interesting to see if certain beverages (like filter coffee) become more popular as customers begin to learn more about the coffees being served and have the opportunity to try new things. This is a cool experiment I look forward to following.
Explore the ongoing results at cafe.prote.in
Since the beginning of October, Mike White (one of my favorite coffee persons) has been chronicling his daily coffee experiences on a feed simply titled “My Daily Coffee.” The photos are all simple overhead views of an empty cup, which creates a nice visual collection of vessels contrasted with a great variety of table textures.
Each photo is captioned with a brief description of the experience. The observations drift between flavor notes, environmental observations and customer service. Many of his thoughts are concise enough to be tweeted. Enjoy.
The Google Headquarters in London has officially been added to my list of “must visit” coffee destinations in the UK. The newly opened Engineering floor, dubbed “L4″ is fully loaded in ways you could only dream about for your own office.
My favorite part, of course, is the dedicated Coffee Lab. With 7 hoppers, 2 espresso machines and a myriad of manual brew methods to choose from (note the Presso & syphon centerpieces), you’ll have more decisions than just which one of the 19 available coffees you want to brew—impressive.
I’d love to know which coffees they have in stock and if there’s a barista on staff to train employees how to dial in a good shot. It would be a waste if such a beautiful set-up wasn’t being used for all of its potential.
Once you’ve brewed yourself a coffee, you can head over to the cinema, indoor park, arcade or soundproof band room for a jam session or karaoke party with co-workers. Only thing missing from this place is laser tag and a ball pit—and yes, they’re hiring.
More photos of the Google office at Pocket Lint
Intelligentsia has experimented with collaborations in the past, from partnerships with indie band Wilco to custom skate decks—but this latest project with Quintin really throws their hat into the ring as a full on lifestyle brand.
Our good friend and BMX pro Kevin Porter put us in touch with the great guys at Quintin, and a just few months later we’re launching this collaboration cap. Designed by Intelligentsia but build by Quintin just a few blocks away from our LA Roasting Works, this limited edition hat is one of our proudest collaborations to date. -Intelligenstia
I know I talk about Intelligenstia a lot—but they continue doing really awesome stuff. I’d take this over a moc croc Jimmy Choo coffee sleeve any day. $32 bucks and made in LA.
This collaboration is a celebration of the idea that the customer deserves to buy into more than just the product that a brand offers, whether that be a freshly brewed cup of coffee or a hat, fresh off the production line. We are happy to present to you a fine collaboration for the end of 2011. Look for Quintin Co. select coffee soon on our online store. -Quintin
Intelligentsia X Quintin Hat