This week on Coffee Design we take a closer look at HEX Coffee out of Charlotte, North Carolina. HEX has been roasting since early 2017 and work with various graphic artists to design different labels for each of their coffees. Co-owner Tanner Morita tells us graphic artists “each [create] a limited-run series that will debut and leave with the coffee. This allows us to highlight the seasonality and fleeting nature of each coffee we work with.” To learn more, we spoke with Morita digitally.
Tell us a bit about your company.
HEX Coffee started in early 2015. Me and the other two owners (John Michael Cord and Chandler Wrenn) worked at various coffee shops within Charlotte for years, became friends and began to connect with each other and dreaming about how we could include our own voices within the coffee community here in Charlotte.
Being young and broke, we pooled what money we had and started HEX Coffee as a pop-up bar focusing on bringing together a community of people over coffee (and delicious waffles!) in unfamiliar places. We would work with retailers, breweries, and bottle shops to organize our gatherings while serving Passenger Coffee.
Rather than chase after a multi-roaster model, it was important for us to work with one roaster as that allowed us the ability to 1) create a clear brand that people could rely on the roasting/sourcing approach from a flavor perspective, and 2) we wanted to create a lasting relationship with a roaster that could be flexible, helpful, informative, and establishing a partnership that we could build upon. This really isn’t possible working with a multitude of roasters, and the team at Passenger has been a dream to work with and we’re still extremely grateful for our relationship with them.
After about a year of pop-ups, we were approached with the opportunity to build out a coffee bar in the front of an existing craft beer shop and have been existing in that space for about a year now.
At the start of this year, we’ve organized a sub-leased contract with local roaster, Summit Coffee, to utilize their roastery while we launched our roasting program, signed a lease, and began build out for our own roasting facility, which is slated to be done by August.
Our approach to coffee is to source as high quality of coffee as possible, focusing on establishing lasting relationships with producers that we intend to work with year after year, and roasting that coffee, highlighting acidity and sweetness, and prioritizing flavorful, high extraction. More extraction -> more tasty coffee flavor per pound.
This is our theory, and while we have been very happy with the results thus far, we humbly recognize that we are one voice in a very large and young industry.
When did the coffee package design debut?
We debuted the packaging this last April.
Who designed the package?
As with most of our digital media, we designed the packaging in house. For the labels, we work with various graphic artists (most recently with Dan Romanoski and Corey Pruitt).
What coffee information do you share on the package?
We include the producer’s name/farm name, regionality, tasting notes, varieties, artist name, and then any additional information relevant. The information put forward might be different from coffee to coffee, as not all information available is pertinent to understanding the coffee.
What’s the motivation behind that?
Remove the clutter, less means more.
Where is the bag manufactured?
For package nerds, what type of package is it?
18pt SBS auto bottom box. Clear poly PET bag.
Is the package recyclable/compostable?
The box is made from wood pulp and can be composted, and the poly bag is recyclable.
Where is it currently available?
Our coffee (all tucked up in that neat little box) is available at our café in Charlotte, North Carolina, through our wholesale partners, or through our online store at www.hex.coffee.
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Country: United States
Design Date: April 2017
Designer: HEX Coffee with Dan Romanoski and Corey Pruitt
Coffee Design is a feature series by Zachary Carlsen on Sprudge. Read more Coffee Design here.