New Cups The story of coffee

Our New Coffee Cups: The Story of Coffee

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2 May 2019

We’ve just launched the first design in our new series of takeout cups based on the story of coffee, from plant to cup. It’s the brainchild of Emporio’s Simon Maguire who's been working with Wellington graphic designer Spencer Levine. We asked Simon for the low-down.

The Coffee Journey

Most coffee drinkers know that we don’t grow coffee in NZ, but I don’t think they realise how many people come into contact with it before it's drunk. It’s incredible the journey this little bean takes before it meets its demise.

Even if a customer has some understanding of the story, often coffee is judged by the brand alone. This can be a good and bad thing. Good because having loyalty to a respected brand gives some reassurance of the quality of the beans; bad because it doesn’t take into account all the factors involved in making a great cup of coffee. For example, the barista is the key to unlocking the potential of any coffee.

There are so many hands involved in getting coffee from farm to cup, we have focused on four of the main stages with the word COFFEE in bold on each cup to represent the beans.

Rolling out the Coffee Story

Over the series, each new cup represents another step on the journey from farm to cup.

The new cups work in telling that story because they are a brief encounter, not a lasting interaction. In 10 minutes your coffee is gone.  The bright and cheerful design really works for this.

Each new cup design will be rolled out once the previous one runs out of stock.

The Stages of the Coffee Journey

The first cup represents coffee farming, with leaves and coffee cherries.

The second is shipping, funnily enough represented by a ship on the ocean. I particularly like this one.

The third is about roasting, a loose interpretation of our roastery on Abel Smith Street and the fourth is the drinking, represented as a hand holding the final product, another favourite.

Emporio Takeout Cups

The Design for our Coffee Cup

It was great working with designer Spencer Levine. I initially gave Spence a briefing on the four stages for the four cups and went through some ideas with him: farming, shipping, roasting and consuming.

What Spence came back with was pretty out there.  At first, I was a bit unsure. The design is outside our normal look but it's good to push the boundaries. And I think the new cups will be noticed and create conversation. The concept also really works because it's a change and it's colour, it makes our brand visible. 

We have been running different designs on our 8oz cups for a few years now, we started out with the Crown Lynn series, then moved into different coloured Emporio logos. 

It's quite cool to look forward to the next design coming out, I’m already starting to think of a theme for the next series.

Sustainability of Coffee Takeout Cups

All our takeout cups are from Ecoware so they're made from plant materials and are commercially compostable. Ultimately it would be nice if we didn’t have single-use cups at all and customers used reusable cups. Even better, they'd take 15 minutes to sit down in their local café and enjoy a coffee in porcelain.

Is it too snobby to say I find drinking a large milky coffee through a plastic lid is a sad end to the journey?!

 Simon Maguire