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Nice Package: Variety Coffee Roasters, Brooklyn, N...

Nice Package: Variety Coffee Roasters, Brooklyn, NY

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Sometimes a nice package just reaches out and slaps you across the face! Such was the case with Variety Coffee’s packaging on display at the 2015 NYC Coffee Festival, during which the Variety crew brewed tasty cups for the masses while showing off their nifty big-city-retro box design. From the charming brew diagrams along the side to the Wyckoff Ave Brooklyn triangle graphic, everything about Variety’s design screams “NEW YAWK”. We love a nice package with a sense of place.

Variety Coffee, what’s not to like?

 As told to Sprudge by Gavin Compton.

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When did the coffee package design debut?

The packaging debuted in mid-summer, after over a year of edits and sourcing of materials and what not.

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Who designed the package?

We hired a local design hero and regular customer Derrick Holt, he’s done everything from Diner to Pies ‘n’ Thighs. It only took seven years of hounding him before he took us on and it was well worth the wait.

We knew from the start that we wanted to do a box the inspiration started with the ideas of of the 70s rock ‘n’ roll. from their we ended on cigar boxes of that time and took it from there. The final product is a li’l locked into a timeless design than specifically 70s. The hardest part was coming up with iconography that represented such a vague word as “variety.”

We tried as hard as possible to not “put a bird on it” or something of the sort. We put it aside and focused on other aspects of the design. We got on the subject of taste and tongues just seemed even weirder than what we ended up on which is lips, although we don’t use ’em to taste, it’s impossible to drink coffee without ’em.

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What coffee information do you share on the package? What’s the motivation behind that?

We tried to include as much as possible our interim packaging, had nothing except the region and farm/producer name which was something that made us very uncomfortable… we would never cup a coffee to buy with that li’l of information provided so why in turn would we expect the home consumer to care so little about factors that change the profile so drastically.

Included is:

  • The Producer
  • Variety
  • Region
  • Elevation
  • Process
  • Drying

Then tasting notes:

  • Mouthfeel
  • Aroma
  • Tasting notes

The last few change from roast to roast and are updated accordingly as the coffee ages.

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Tell us a bit about what the package is made out of and where it comes from. 

The bag inside the box is a pretty standard, sealed poly valved bag from PBI, the box comes from a local recycled box manufacturer, the labels are printed in house which is extremely helpful.

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When the package serves its purpose, how does one throw out the package? Landfill, recycling, reusing, or composting?

The box gets recycled as any cardboard does, and the poly bags are recyclable once the valve and tin-tie are discarded.

Nice Package is a feature series by Zachary Carlsen on Sprudge. Gaze upon more nice packages here.


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