Breaking late Monday evening PST here on Sprudge, news that ATL/Olympia based coffee roasters Batdorf & Bronson and St. Louis' Kaldi's Coffee Roasting Company have teamed up together for an innovative, radical roasting collaboration.
Two Guatemalan coffees, uniquely roasted, shipped between St. Louis and Atlanta, blended in equal ratios, then offered to both Kaldi's and Batdorf customers for purchase. The coffees in question are Finca El Valle, a washed and sun-dried bourbon from the Antigua region, and San Pedro, a similarly processed blend bourbon, typica, caturra and catuai varieties from the Atitlan region of Guatemala.
Together they may very well form a more perfect union, one they've gone ahead and named the Kaldi's and Batdorf “Collabrewation”. Artist Ben Blake designed the beautiful packaging:
Why is this important? It's not just the similarities to craft beer collabos – it's that specialty coffee roasters have historically been fiercely competitive, and a roaster's customer base loyal. This decision to partner together in both product and packaging represents an upending of those norms, a genuine push towards collaborative effort and common practice. “I think it will open up the idea that others could do it,” B&B's Jason Dominy tells us.
When you look at moves like this one from the Kaldi's and Batdorf folks, along with the worldwide phenomenon of the Disloyalty Card program, and green buying groups like Coffee Roasters United, there's a bold new shift toward joint collaboration, innovation, and community – in more than name only.