This week we take a look at the packaging from Parlor Coffee out of Brooklyn, New York. What caught our attention wasn't so much the box itself (which is delightful) but the packaging within: a clear, compostable bag with lovely details printed in white. When the bag is full of roasted coffee, the design really pops. We talked to Operations Manager Stephanie Dana to learn more.
Tell us a bit about Parlor Coffee
Parlor was founded in 2012 with a single-group espresso machine in the back of a barbershop and a dream to roast New York’s finest coffee. We supply coffee to cafes, restaurants, and home brewers across North America from our roastery on the edge of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. We continue to pursue the original dream along with others we’ve hatched along the way.
When did the coffee package design debut?
We launched our new and improved retail packaging in January 2018.
Who designed the package?
We collaborated with fellow Brooklyn-based design firm Franklyn. We’ve entrusted many of our design projects to their incredible team, including our recent publication—Parchment—as well as the packaging for Parlor Instant.
We're especially fond of the details on the clear bag! Tell us about this!
That’s definitely one of my favorite elements as well! The idea for that design began with the type of packaging we knew we wanted to work with (Biotrē 2.0) and how we could make that material as beautiful as the product inside. The coffee floral pattern is a throwback to our original (and very popular) botanical print on our previous bags. The exterior box, which shields the interior Biotrē bag from light, also features the redesigned motif. We love that the clear bags allow consumers to immediately see the coffee upon opening the box. I also just find it to be a bit whimsical.
Why are aesthetics in coffee packaging so important?
We believe that our packaging and branding should always, first and foremost, be a reflection of the coffees we source and roast—of the highest quality, clean and emanating unique character.
The foundation of our business is wholesale, so we wanted our packaging to show Parlor’s personality while telling the story of each coffee to any person interacting with each box. The wraparound label is color-coded by origin and makes for an intuitive presentation which clearly differentiates the coffees on our menu. Navy blue is reserved for our blends (Wallabout and Prospect), vibrant red for our African offerings, forest green for the coffees of Central and South America, and saffron yellow for our Decaf selection. We wanted to highlight the producers we work with and celebrate the diversity of the origins we are sourcing from through these design choices.
As an added bonus, the boxes ship more efficiently and are less prone to being damaged in transit, ultimately making for a better final presentation of our coffees to customers.
Where is the bag manufactured?
The clear bag is manufactured by Pacific Bag in Taiwan and is part of their Biotrē 2.0 line.
What type of package is it?
Paperboard and Biotrē 2.0.
Is the package recyclable/compostable?
The box is recyclable. The bag and its one-way valve are made from plant-based polyethylene. According to the information Pacific Bag has published on Biotrē 2.0, 60% of this material will break down naturally in a home compost environment, ultimately reducing the amount of packaging that ends up in a landfill.
In striving to be better stewards of a good food system, we remain steadfast in seeking to purchase the best and most sustainable coffee packaging available. Our newest retail packaging is a small step forward for Parlor’s commitment to this ideal.
Where is it currently available?
Our retail is always available on our website (parlorcoffee.com) and at our Tasting Room, open to the public on Sundays from 10am to 2pm. And, of course, many of our wonderful wholesale partners stock our retail. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to find your closest café or outlet offering Parlor!
Location: New York
Country: United States
Design Debut: December 2018
Zachary Carlsen is a co-founder and editor at Sprudge Media Network. Read more Zachary Carlsen on Sprudge.