In the latest edition of Coffee Design on Sprudge, we’re profiling Broadsheet Coffee of Cambridge, MA. They kicked things off as a coffee company back in 2017, but in late 2022 they rolled out a fresh look of branding collaboration with artist and designer Julia Emiliani. We love stories like this, where coffee companies team up with expert artists working across a broad range of fields, resulting in a memorable and distinct expression of modern consumable design.
Let’s learn more!
As told to Sprudge by Broadsheet Coffee founder Aaron MacDougall.
How are y’all doing here in 2023?
Thanks for asking! We’re doing great, thrilled to be roasting out of our beautiful new roastery just a five-minute walk away from our cafe, excited by the many delicious coffees we’re sampling now, and really happy to be working with the awesome team we have. Our new Loring S-35 roasts like a dream, and we are continually shocked by the increase in cupping scores we’re seeing as a result of running all of our coffees through our new Sovda Pearl Mini color sorter. And, of course, we’re chuffed with our new branding and design!
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When did the new packaging/branding debut?
We launched the new branding in October of last year.
Who did you work with for the redesign?
Julia Emiliani (@juliaemiliani) is a Boston-based artist who we came across entirely serendipitously through Cambridge Art Association. Her work is vibrant, and her color choice and aesthetic so fantastic and exactly the direction we wanted to go; it was an easy call to reach out to her. She was incredibly professional and helpful throughout the process.
How long did the process take?
As a business, we have evolved pretty significantly from where we started in 2017, and our old branding—much as we loved it—wasn’t doing a good job of conveying who we are now. We wanted to convey our excitement and joy, the vibrancy and layers of our community, and also signal the vibrancy of the coffees we are roasting as we favor juicy and sweet coffees with a lot of fruit in them. We also had a practical issue to solve with our bags since retail bag sales have grown significantly, and we needed packaging that was more efficient and practical.
Our team had been ruminating on these things for a couple of years before reaching out to Julia. She helped us clarify our thinking and distill it to core ideas and an aesthetic relatively quickly. After corralling us in, the actual design process went surprisingly quickly, perhaps only two months.
Tell us about the materials and packaging used.
We used Savor Brands, which always does a fantastic job.
What coffees are you currently excited about?
Kanzu washed and natural from Rwanda sourced via Red Fox and a Pink Bourbon from Cofinet. Many more awesome coffees will be landing shortly!
Where is your coffee available?
Oh my, we are in multiple cafes throughout New England. Locally, one of our longest-standing partnerships is with Curio Coffee, which not only does an amazing job with coffee but also makes the most delicious Liege waffles! You can find us in specialty grocers ranging from American Provisions to Formaggio and Whole Foods and online at www.broadsheetcoffee.com and Trade.
What’s next for Broadsheet Coffee?
2022 was a really intense year between opening the new roastery and launching the new branding. However, we now have in place a really fantastic framework to grow our roasting business in the coming years. Moreover, we’re really looking forward to opening our roastery doors to the public (when the Boston weather improves) for regular tastings/cuppings and training events. We used to love doing these before the onset of the pandemic and it feels like the time is right to start up again and deepen those community ties. Finally, we’ve got some really fun collaborations in the works—but we can’t give the (ball) game away just yet!
Coffee Design is presented in partnership with Savor Brands. Explore Coffee Design archives at our exclusive Coffee Design hub.
Zachary Carlsen is a co-founder and editor at Sprudge Media Network.