While we may poke fun at concierge-level bundle curation from time to time, make no mistake: We at Sprudge are sluts for cute packaging. It's what makes vinyl better than CDs, or a real live book incalculably better than a Kindle. And it's one important part of what we love about the speciality coffee industry, where creativity and the market both serve as drivers for some super cute packaging from leading roasters. Today we're going to profile two box sets that have just been released, produced by our friends and partners at Blue Bottle Coffee (Oakland / Brooklyn) and Dogwood Coffee Co. (Minneapolis).
First, look at this adorable box set from Blue Bottle. The packaging is stunning, modeled on a midcentury US Postal Service tube in full derivation of Blue Bottle's overarching MCM design aesthetic. The artwork, done in house by Blue Bottle's own Michelle Ott, is just begging for someone to convert into a tattoo (especially that beautiful line drawing of a coffee roaster). And the coffee housed inside each little tin comprises the very best of what Blue Bottle's globe-spanning sourcing program has to offer.
The tube set is available in two different conflagrations. There's one for $40, featuring Blue Bottle's Ethiopia Kemgin, El Salvador Tres Limites, and Mexico La Cañada COE coffees. This is the tube Your Sprudge Editors had the opportunity to check out on a recent visit to Blue Bottle HQ, before purloining it back home for a very Portlandy photo set.
There's also a second tube set, currently available for pre-order, and focused on some highly sought after “natural” processed coffees. It retails for $90 and includes Panama Los Lajones, Ethiopia Nekisse Red and that same El Salvador Tres Limites from the previous box. Both tubes of coffee would look great (and probably fit real snuggly) in your favorite coffee enthusiast's Christmas stocking, and both tubes come with a handy “brew guide” coaster insert. But you know what? No one who reads this website would fault you for buying, then hoarding, this tube for yourself.
Next, please to direct your attention to this remarkable variety breakdown set from Dogwood Coffee Co. in Minneapolis. The concept here is like some magical siren's song to the coffee enthusiast in your life: Eight different coffees (ooh!), all separated by variety (oh hey!), all from the same farm (what.) in Tarrazu, Costa Rica. Each coffee is parsed out in an attractive tin, and the set comes with a really beautiful and fun to read guide book to all the coffees and the farm itself.
The coffees of La Lia are predominantly processed in the “fully washed” style common to Costa Rica. The varieties included in this box include Typica, Red Bourbon, Caturra, Yellow Bourbon, Mokka, Dwarf Bourbon, and Villa Sarchi. There's also a special honey processed Red Catuaí thrown in for good measure. Unless you're traveling to origin and visiting experimental variety gardens, tasting boxes like this one are the only chance most of us will have to try uncommon varieties like Villa Sarchi and Mokka.
Dogwood sent us a first run of these coffees back in November, and it's been a treat to drink through each of the tins. It's a brain teaser, this box set – a way to challenge your palate, and tickle your coffee noggin, but also a very beautiful accoutrement to have on display at home. They're prepping a second run now, to be shipped on December 18th, and you can learn more and place an order here via Dogwood Coffee online. Put this box set under a coffee lover's Christmas tree and watch them freak out – it's rare, it's fun, and we can recommend this gift sincerely.
All photos by Sara Ziniewicz Michelman (@HeySaraLouise) for Sprudge.com.