Doma Coffee is the first coffee roaster I’ve tried from Idaho. It may actually be the first thing I’ve tried from Idaho that isn’t a potato. Idaho is one of those places that never seems to come up in conversation and I’ve never had a specific reason to go there. However, I hear that part of the county is beautiful and if it’s filled with more people like the good folks at Doma Coffee, I won’t write off a future visit.
Doma sent some Idaho love my way and it was much appreciated. They’ve been roasting since 2000 and made it clear from the start that principles of social and environmental responsibility would be reflected by their business. From focusing solely on Fair Trade and relationship-based organic coffees, to roasting in a Loring Smart Roast—which is more efficient with its use of natural gas—the company has created a strong foundation for doing business right.
The design of Doma’s packaging and collateral all have a very tactile feel. The bags are biodegradable and letterpressed with veggie ink by Dreyer Press (who’s also responsible for the rad looking La Bicicletta illustration), and it all just looks and feels really nice in your hands. It’s the kind of bag you don’t want to throw out (or even compost), because they are individual pieces of art.
Aside from supporting coffee growers, the company also supports a variety of non-profit organizations as well as cycling advocacy—and after coffee and design, bikes are next on my list of things I love. Proceeds from their La Bicicletta blend go towards supporting competitive women’s cycling and the company often sponsors local cycling events.
Of the three coffees I received, the La Bicicletta blend was my favorite, a good balance of sugar and spice. Although all of them were roasted slightly darker than I prefer. I often found my palate contending with roast flavors while trying to discern the true essence of the coffee. This is not to say they were dark by any means, I know there are many people who would really enjoy them. The Colombia was comfortable, balanced, and would make for a fantastic “everyday” coffee for my parents.
Coffee can be very subjective and everyone will always debate what tastes “good” and what doesn’t. The industry continues to learn, experiment and evolve. However, coffee tastes aside, it’s clear that Doma’s heart for building a responsible company focused on supporting its community and providing a product that makes them and their customers feel good is honorable and much appreciated. Some coffee company’s principles are worth praising, while others most certainly aren’t.
I really enjoy this animation chronicling the childhood and life of a coffee bean, set to the tune “Java Jave”—the 1940′s hit by The Ink Spots. The animation was illustrated and produced by Kristyna Baczynski, an artist from Leeds, UK. It also won the Digital Media Award in 2008 at the Northern Design Competition.
Kristyna’s whimsical, but refined illustration style reminds me of Ren & Stimpy with a more refreshing color palate, I love her unique take on comics and sequential art. Check out more of her work, shop her Etsy, or read a nice interview with her at Pika Land.
There’s been a lot of recent talk about the rising cost of green coffee and the impact it will have on consumer prices. Much of that talk, like most things related to global markets and trade, can be difficult for the average person to understand. Thankfully Peter Giuliano, President of Counter Culture Coffee & the SCAA, and designer Katy Meehan have turned an overwhelming topic into something a bit more manageable. “What’s the deal with the coffee market?” is a colorful 12-page comic that sums up the various factors responsible for rising coffee prices.
I got to spend a lot of time talking with Peter G. while we were at Coffee Common and he’s one of the most sincere coffee enthusiasts I’ve met. Peter’s passion for sharing the miracle of great coffee with anyone willing to listen is inspiring and encouraging. The effort to create this comic is just one example of how he continues to help elevate the industry. This is the kind of work that will help inform consumers and invite them into the conversation instead of alienating them.
Jess Giambroni has a habit of drawing on his coffee cups to pass the time during monthly design meetings at DDW. Here’s a look at some of the collection he’s created while multi-tasking at work. They immediately made me think of the styrofoam cups that Cheeming Boey transforms into works of art.
Louis-Martin Tremblay is a Montreal-based designer who was inspired by the advertisements plastered all over Paris at the turn of the century. He created this great series of posters illustrating a range of cultures and coffee brewing methods. I especially love the babushka poster above. They are supposed to be available for sale on his website (www.lmtl75.com), but it seems to be down right now.
“Remember the little things.” Sometimes I just feel like shitty diner coffee and a doughnut. Combine that with everyone’s favorite typographic glyph, the ampersand, & you get this! Dan Beckemeyer created a fabulous series of illustrated ampersands using various “food groups.” This, for obvious reasons, was my favorite.
I came across Susan Rudat’s beautiful illustrations on her Flickr stream and had to share some of them with you all. I’m not much of an illustrator, so I’m always fascinated by what can be done with a marker, a Moleskine, and a major love for coffee!