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Coffee design is a continuum, and for every brand new fresh shiny product to launch, there are a pressing set of decisions: how to establish oneself visually? And where do these choices lead? We often tackle such questions here on the Coffee Design series, but today we’re taking a look way down the looking glass, clear through the other side of the spectrum, at what it means to redesign a brand with deep heritage and roots in the coffee scene.

That would be Hasbean Coffee, a United Kingdom coffee brand founded in Stafford in 2002, then acquired by Ozone Coffee in 2018. Now here in 2022, the team has launched a bold redesign of the Hasbean brand. This is a unique inflection point, and an opportunity to explore some of the bigger questions raised by the confluence of coffee and design, which is very much our bag, baby.

We spoke to Ed Hughes, Head of Design at Hasbean and Ozone Coffee Roasters, to learn more.

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Ed Hughes

Who was on the design team?

Alongside our in-house design team that includes me and Fran Newman-Day, we partnered with Oliver Tyrell to help bring the brand to life. His experience working with Studio Makgill and more recently through his own studio, gave us an important, fresh perspective to deliver the most we could with this rebrand opportunity.

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From early visions/mood board to debut, how long did the rebranding process take?

We spent about six months from our first mood board sessions to the launch of the new Hasbean. Before we put any ideas on paper, we spent a lot of time brainstorming with our team and hearing from our customers to align on our creative direction and understand what was most important to convey. It was a really significant project, and we wanted to do right by our community by bringing the brand to life in the best way we could. We didn’t want to rush the process.

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Tell us about the differences between the earlier branding and the new look.

We’ve been roasting coffee for 20 years, so when we decided it was the right time for a refresh, we knew we needed to start from scratch so we could reimagine how we communicate who we are and what we’re about. We started with the word mark to set the tone for the project and everything else stemmed from there.

The specialty coffee world can feel a little complex, especially for newcomers. We wanted the new Hasbean (and specialty coffee) to feel more accessible, and enjoyable, to interact with. We worked on a new tone of voice to strike the balance between fun and serious: fun and approachable in how we talk about coffee, yet serious about our sourcing philosophy and sustainability efforts. We also wanted to rethink how people find their favorite coffees or discover new ones with us—that’s where the editions and our extended color palette came from. We worked with our roastery team to identify seven flavor profiles that our coffees fit within to, with a bold new color and imaginative flavor notes assigned to each. The color system is everywhere from our new packaging to our website and makes it smoother to spot your favorites or get into new ones from our vast collection of single origins. One of the changes we’re really excited about was swapping out our old bags with new, home compostable ones. These bags lead the aesthetic choices for the packaging and labelling, as wanted to show off what is a pretty special material.

We’ve always thought of the Hasbean brand as an extension of our team, like a friendly expert that’s there to guide you and talk (coffee) shop. This rebrand was meant to highlight and bring that forward more. There was an honesty about the previous brand; it was something we were keen to hold on to and portray a bit differently: everything is about the coffee and how good it is.

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What has the response been so far?

Great! We’ve built a loyal community over the last two decades, so we expected some people might miss the old branding. But it’s been great to see such positive feedback around the new look and know that people get why we’ve done this. We launched the new brand at London Coffee Festival, which was a fun way to bring Hasbean to life in a physical setting—everything about it was well received, especially all the new colors and flavors of coffee.

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Where is your coffee available?

We roast every day of the working week from our roastery in Staffordshire, shipping across the UK and internationally. Find us online at hasbean.co.uk, as well as in some of your favorite UK coffee shops.

What coffees are you currently excited about coming out this season?

We’re excited to launch a very special and rare geisha at Hasbean this Spring, from Finca Deborah in Panama. We’re always exploring what’s driving the industry forward and working with world-class producers who are on the forefront of that. We have a couple small lots from the producer, Jamison Savage, including a 15kg lot of ‘Illumination’ that tasted incredible in the initial roast samples.

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What’s next for Hasbean/Ozone?

The coffee and hospitality industries faced a lot of challenges the last few years; we’re glad to be getting closer to the other side of that. It means our wholesale partners (cafes, restaurants, hotels, and offices) are seeing a lot more visitors, so we’re expanding our offering from Ozone and Hasbean. It’s awesome to see our wholesale community back in action and to work with so many new partners.

We’re also continuing to push our sustainability agenda forward and double-down on how we reduce our footprint in the next few years. We’re working towards becoming a certified B-Corp company and hope to reach that milestone in the next 12 months. On the Ozone side, we introduced single origin compostable pods last year, which allowed us to tap into a new community of home coffee lovers. People appreciate being able to have a good, quality cup of coffee in the convenience of a capsule (which, let’s face it, isn’t easy to come by in pod form), so much so that we’re introducing new editions this Spring.

Beyond that, we’re focused on growing Hasbean and Ozone and introducing more people to our world. From exclusive coffee drops, new events and partnerships, expansion news and a few more big plans, we have an exciting and busy roadmap with a lot of awesome things in the works.

Thank you!

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