Coffee can be a bit of a niche item. While most of the world relies on it mostly as a vehicle for caffeine, there is a small (but growing) subset of the population that pores over every single detail. For them there is no fact about a coffee—the variety, origin, sub-region, elevation, harvest date, processing method, roast, etc—too small, no bit of minutiae too insignificant.
Similarly, playing cards have their casual users as well as their hardcore aficionados. For most people, playing cards are simply a means to playing a game, no more no less. For others—often times magicians and sleight of hand artists—a playing card is so much more. It’s a tactile piece of art, requiring both form and function, with prices going as high as hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of dollars.
At the niche nexus of these two seemingly disparate interests is the Cafeto Playing Card set, a premium deck of playing cards inspired by the history of coffee. And it’s live on Kickstarter now!
Designed by William Steven López Márquez in Veracruz, Mexico, the fetching verdant green card set is chock full of references to coffee. Each suit corresponds to a different region of the world with historical significance to the history of coffee: Diamonds are Africa, Hearts are for the Arab world, Spades represent the European “Old World,” and Clubs are the “New World” America. The royalty for each suits represents a person of significance to that particular region. The King of Spades, for instance, is Pope Clemente VIII, who in 1600 is believed to have blessed coffee, helping popularize the beverage by removing the stigma of it being “Satan’s drink.” The Queen of Clubs depicts Melitta Bentz, the inventor of the paper coffee filter. And the Jack of Diamonds is Kaldi, who is believed to have discovered the coffee plant.
With custom pips, the set includes handfuls of coffee imagery, including coffee beans, plants, brewing methods, jute texture, cups, even the chemical makeup of the caffeine molecule. Each card is a treasure trove of little coffee details waiting to be explored.
Unlike some ultra-premium decks, the Cafeto Playing Card set won’t break the bank, thanks to some nice Kickstarter deals. Assuming the campaign meets its goal, a single deck can be picked up for $12.50 ($15 MSRP). Or if you’re fancy fancy, a limited edition Gilded Cafeto deck is available for $27.50.
With just over one week left in the campaign, the Cafeto Playing Card set is nearing $3,200 of its $5,021 goal. Rewards are scheduled to begin shipping out in March of 2023. For more information or to back the project, visit the Cafeto Playing Card set Kickstarter page.