PT's Coffee out of Topeka, Kansas celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The roaster operates three cafes in Kansas and Missouri and fine shops around the country serve their coffees. The company paired up with Carpenter Collective of Kansas City to refresh the brand identity and debuted fresh branding in late November of last year. We asked Will Vunderink to tell us more.
Tell us a bit about your company.
PT’s was founded in Topeka, Kansas in 1993 by Jeff Taylor and Fred Polzin. Over 25 years we’ve grown from a single cafe to a full-scale roaster with a robust wholesale program, three cafes in Kansas and Missouri, and online customers around the world. We were one of the early roasters to establish a Direct Trade program, which today provides about 80% off the coffee we produce.
When did the coffee package design debut?
We launched our new branding and packaging last November, in anticipation of our 25th Anniversary earlier this month.
Who designed the package?
Our identity rebrand was done by Carpenter Collective—a design and branding studio located in Kansas City, MO.
What coffee information do you share on the package?
Our Signature Blend and Espresso labels list the origins of their component coffees, a description of the blend, flavor notes, roast level, and roast date. Labels for Single Origin and Direct Trade coffees also specify the name of the farm and producer(s), coffee varietal(s), growing altitude, and process. Elsewhere on the bags we include suggested brew parameters and background on our company.
What's the motivation behind that?
We tried to include all the information a potential customer would need to make an informed decision, while keeping the label legible. The segmented labels make it easy to compare coffees side by side, and each type of coffee (Signature Blend, Espresso, Direct Trade, Single Origin, Decaf, Blue Label) is identifiable by the unique color of its label.
On Direct Trade coffee labels we also include the producer’s signature as a way of connecting the customer to the farm from which the coffee came.
What are some of the improvements made in the packaging?
Other than looking much better, the new bags are resealable to keep the coffee as fresh as possible for as long as possible!
Why are aesthetics in coffee packaging so important?
We look at the packaging as our first opportunity to heighten the customer’s experience—it was important for our new identity and packaging system to reflect the quality of the coffee we produce. We want the packaging to stand out, and we want our wholesale customers to feel proud to display our packaging on their shelves.
Where is the bag manufactured?
The bag is manufactured by Savor Brands, who are located in China and Hawaii.
For package nerds, what type of package is it?
Our 12 oz and 5 lb bags are kraft with a matte color film overlay. They feature a box bottom, valve, and resealable zipper closure. Our Blue Label coffees come in a cardboard tube with removable sleeve, with the coffee in a valved plastic bag inside.
Where is it currently available?
Our coffee is always available online at www.ptscoffee.com, on the shelves at our cafes in Topeka, Lawrence, and Kansas City, and at our wholesale clients’ cafes around the country.
Location: Topeka, Kansas
Country: United States
Design Date: November 2017
Designer: Carpenter Collective
Zachary Carlsen is a co-founder and editor at Sprudge Media Network. Read more Zachary Carlsen on Sprudge.