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Inspired by vintage maps, these bags from Denver’s Commonwealth Coffee stand as a sort of antidote to the sleek, simplistic style that we so often feature here. This is one of the very best roasters in Denver and served at several of the city’s top bars, including Amethyst Coffee, recently profiled here on Sprudge and a 2015 Sprudgie Award finalist for Best New Cafe. You can also find Commonwealth Coffee at some of the best multi-roaster cafes in America, including Comet Coffee in St. Louis and Cognoscenti Coffee in Los Angeles.

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As told to Sprudge by Ryan Fisher.

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When did the coffee package design debut?

These bags debuted in May of 2014, so it has been a little while since they first showed up on cafe shelves. We started working on the designs back before we launched Commonwealth two years ago.

Who designed the package?

All of our branding/design was done by Kevin Cantrell. He’s based in Salt Lake City and does incredible Victorian-inspired lettering.

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(via Kevin)
(via Kevin Cantrell)

Please describe the look in your own words!

I am not sure how I would describe it, but we wanted something that would stand out. There is a ton of really clean modern looking design in coffee these days and we wanted something different. We really like the ornate, highly articulated elements of Sanborn Maps and used those as a starting point.

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What coffee information do you share on the package? What’s the motivation behind that?

We share the standard information: Farmer Name, Farm Name, Process, Altitude, Varietals, Tasting Notes and then a small blurb on the back about the farm/region/mill. We want to give those customers that care some information to help them make more informed purchases, but I think the details are most valuable for baristas that work with our coffee, so that they might have an easier time engaging a new coffee on bar.

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Where is the bag manufactured?

In the good old People’s Republic of China Taiwan, by the same company that produces so many coffee bags these days, Pacific Bag.

For package nerds, what *type of package* is it?

It is a pretty simple bag, really. It’s foil lined, has a one way valve and then we add custom printed labels to each bag according to which specific lot it is.


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Is the package recyclable? Any other pro-environment info about the package you want to share?

There is nothing specifically environmental about the packaging. Sorry! We plan to make some upgrades to the packaging in the not too distant future.

Coffee Design is a feature series by Zachary Carlsen on Sprudge. Read more Coffee Design here.