Meet Talor&Jørgen, a new coffee roaster out of Oslo, Norway and say hello to their gorgeous packaging. Talor Browne and Jørgen Hansrud co-founded the company and their likeness appears on the first line of covers on their post-friendly coffee boxes. The lovely coffees are now shipping worldwide and we spoke to Talor Browne to learn more.
As told to Sprudge by co-founder Talor Browne.
Tell us a bit about your company!
Talor&Jørgen is a two person team comprised of myself (an Australian) and Jørgen Hansrud (a Norwegian). We met in 2015 when we were both looking to expand our horizons and realised that we shared a lot of the same beliefs and had complementary skills.
Jørgen Hansrud is the former trainer for Steam Kaffebar and I am the former head roaster from Tim Wendelboe.
The intention of T&J is to build a coffee roastery that roasts super tasty, high quality coffee with all the knowledge and skill I’ve accrued in my 15 year career in some very well known businesses. The difference being is that we want it to be approachable and fun, rather than pretentious and ostentatious.
In Norway pretty much everyone drinks coffee, especially at home but there is an enormous divide between those that identify as specialty drinkers and those that buy commercial coffees. It genuinely does not come down to taste but to convenience, price and self identity. Some just don’t want to be seen as “foodies” and that is how specialty is marketed here – as a luxury.
Talor&Jørgen will have high quality coffee but will offer degrees of roast outside of the standard “Scandinavian light” norm in Oslo. We also are working towards offering a service that will get your coffee to you when you need it. Similar to Amazon Prime.
When did the coffee package design debut?
In August we spent a week traveling through Scandinavia and testing different roasters with the intention of finding the best machinery for our roastery. The outcome of those tests meant we had 240kg of super tasty Kenyan coffee going to waste so we decided to check the mailing systems we had created and offered a beta test in September 2016.
Our first real production day with our full line up was in December 2016.
Who designed the package layout?
Jørgen and I were meticulous with every inch of this project. I wouldn’t have waited this long to present a half baked idea. So we spent 3 months in meetings with various designers from Helsinki to Melbourne trying to find the right fit for us.
In the end it was the guys at Bielke&Yang that captured our hearts. They loved our idea and were able to deeply understand our vision.
Christian Bielke and I met when I first moved to Oslo in 2012 when we worked alongside one another on a project for Food Studio. We kept in touch as I was regularly roasting coffee for their office.
Their body of work is seriously impressive and it was them that suggested pairing up with Janne Iivonen – a Finnish illustrator based in the UK. His cartoon style that uses a lot of colour was right up our alley.
The box design actually came from Jørgen and I. We wanted something striking but something that could also fit into the average Norwegian mailbox, as that is our main customer and focus.
My favourite thing about the packaging is that it will constantly change. Each run has 6000 units and once we get through this first batch we’ll commission another artist to interpret the box design. The shape will remain the same, as will the label and its placement but the boxes almost become a collectors edition in a sense and it always allows us the ability to evolve our message and vision – a really important thing for me. Over time the boxes will tell a story about our journey. We also get to support a bunch of artists and showcase their work.
What coffee information do you share on the package?
Because this box is basically a glorified envelope and the design itself is so loud, we wanted to keep the information at a minimum. You will find the two most prominent flavours along with our logo on the front of the box. On the back you’ll see the producer or cooperative, country of origin, the varietal, the processing method and when it was roasted. Each coffee has a specific colour we will use for that coffee only that is reminiscent of the tasters flavour wheel.
Anything more you could want to know about each of our coffees is written on the website and will soon be accompanied by short film clips from our YouTube: Talor&Jørgen.
What's the motivation behind that?
I don’t think that the specialty industry has really found a way to communicate well with our customers through our packaging. Theres a lot of psychology that goes into influencing the way someone feels about your product and right now there is no distinct difference between high and low quality coffees.
After years of working in bars and watching people struggle to find what kind of coffee to take with them because of the verbose nature of coffee packaging, all I really wanted to do was make it easier. I would often see people refer to the colour of the label or describe the way it tasted, rather than attempt to say a name they had no clue how to pronounce.
Thats why we wanted to use colour and flavour as the main indicators of the coffee. Our aim was to alleviate choice fatigue.
My motivation was multifaceted: Communicate how our approach is fun and friendly using colour. Keep the information short and relevant as to not confuse people. Make it accessible and approachable for those that might not care about extra details.
Where is the package manufactured?
The boxes are built in Poland and the labels are produced in Oslo, a couple of blocks from our roastery.
It's a very distinct shape! What type of package is it?
Its a specially designed box made to be strong and compact in the mail. its made of cardboard and its laminated on both sides.
Is the package recyclable/compostable?
The box itself can go straight into the paper recycling. The plastic sheath inside is made from recycled plastic and can also go into plastic recycling. We’re also working with a company in Australia named Planetware to develop a biodegradable plastic sheath.
Being a little more earth friendly is very important to us.
Where is it currently available?
You can grab some online at www.talorjorgen.no. Within Norway we offer free shipping! Other than that, you can currently grab some at Prufrock in London or Upshot Espresso in Sheffield. In the states you can grab some in the very near future from Pour Cleveland.
Design Date: December, 2017
Coffee Design is a feature series by Zachary Carlsen on Sprudge. Read more Coffee Design here.