As I worked on the feature “Impactful Packaging” over the summer, Rebecca Patano mailed me a box of material from her north Idaho roastery, DOMA, to photograph. I expected the contents to include one of their cans of coffee, wrapped in the killer artwork that had compelled me to feature the company, along with a few auxiliary branding bits and bobs. The box, it turned out, was really a piñata of design candy.
The cans and a bag of beans tumbled out, along with two manila envelopes filled with more than a dozen shelf talkers in multiple sizes, an array of stickers, brochures, and even temporary tattoos. But I skipped right over the bags. Rebecca included different versions of the bags they print, on a letterpress, for a single coffee. That’s right, grab one bag off a shelf and the next bag may have different artwork. The incredible thing is that it’s still clearly the same coffee.
It’s easy to make too much out of the fact this great artwork, and incredible coffee, comes from Post Falls. (Unless you’ve been to Lake Coeur d’Alene, you’ve never been there.) But that’s mostly a sign of urban snobbery. Some of the best coffee is coming far from the coffee capitals, and some of the best packaging is too.
—Cory Eldridge is Fresh Cup’s editor.