It was late 2015 when we came up with the idea of designing a coffee label that could convey to the consumer the relation that exists between the origin of a coffee and its flavors. A few years earlier our Italian roastmaster came across a colorful info-graphic of a world map where the coffee producing countries were filled with icons of fruits, chocolate and other stuff normally used to describe the flavors of coffee. The map was called “Flavors of the Coffee Belt” – subtitle: “Locating the notes of single origin coffee” After a quick research, it turned out that the author was a young graphic designer living in the United States who had made that work for a school assignment. We contacted Mara Russo (this her full name) asking if we could use and partially re-adapt the map to be used as promotional and educational tool for our recently-established roastery. Her response was super positive, her enthusiasm so contagious that we assigned her the design of our packaging. Together with Mara, we came up with the idea of designing a combination of patterns and a colors which could be visually ascribable to a particular country (coffee origin) drawing from the local arts, traditional colours or clothing. We then wanted those very same patterns reproduced on the front labels of our coffee bags framing the cup profile, that is a brief description of how that coffee should taste if brewed properly. We did believe that establishing a visual linkage between a coffee, its geographical origin and its taste would make it easier to understand for those consumers approaching specialty coffee.
In the coming future, We plan to fill this beautiful map with all the countries lying on the so called coffee belt (coffee is grown in the area between the two tropics). Up to day we have roasted coffees from all the countries that are already coloured on the map, and within each one we tried coffees from different sub-regions, cooperative/estates or specific micro-lots. We will spend some of the next blog post to explain what all these terms mean, at least for us. For the time being, let’s introduce our journey across the world of coffee that we are offering to our subscribers. Indeed, starting from January’18 we will send out every month two different coffees from a selection of 12 coffee origins. Starting point of our journey is the place of birth of arabica coffee (Coffea arabica), the place where it all begun, Ethiopia. All the arabica coffee grown in the world is coming from the region between Ethiopia, South Sudan and Northern Kenya. That means that the region is the only place where you can find wild coffee plants and it is where 95% of the genetic diversity of coffee is still preserved. This biodiversity is what many specialty coffee roasters refer to when they write “Ethiopian heirlooms” on their coffee labels.
After Ethiopia, the following origins will follow. Just keep in mind that the schedule can change according to the seasonal availability of the coffee:
February – Kenya
March – Nicaragua
April – Colombia,
May – Honduras,
June – Brazil,
July – Rwanda,
August – Guatemala,
September – Indonesia,
October – El Salvador,
November – India
December – Thailand
NB: Make sure you read the rules for the different subscription plans that you find here
If you subscribe before the 3rd of January ’18, you will receive the Ethiopian coffees, after that deadline you can apply for the Kenyans and so on…
We hope you will join us in this journey across the different flavors of the coffee belt.
We wish you all a happy New (Coffee) Year!
The Nordhavn Coffee Roasters Team