The roasters getting design right
While the stereotype might be that Britain is a nation of tea drinkers, our allegiance has been shifting in recent years. Surveys indicate that the average Briton drinks around two cups of coffee a day. While millennial coffee consumption falls slightly below this average, this is apparently because they favour the more expensive artisanal coffee found in specialty coffee shops. As more consumers have become willing to invest in a good cup of coffee, a wave of new generation roasters and coffee shops has sprung up to cater to this more discerning coffee drinker.
Alongside a superior product, the best of these new business have also tapped into the almost tribal obsession we now have with coffee. This means cementing their identities with sharp, distinctive branding that speaks to their personality and their ethos. For some, this has extended to custom merch to be worn by their staff, and in some cases for sale for their customers. (For those thinking of selling merch online, read our guide to taking the perfect product photography here.)
Here are 7 of our favourite coffee brands investing in merchandise alongside their brews.
This coffee-brewing alarm clock fulfils our childhood fantasies about an automated future with a grown-up design, promising to help ease that painful transition from sleep to functionality. Their brand identity is a clever play on the face of an analogue clock or timer, with an overall design that is sleek and minimal. This logo, crisply emblazoned on custom black longsleeves which they hired ICON to create, lets their product speak for itself whilst also nodding to its functionality
Kuka Coffee are all about delivering “clean caffeine” with their cold-brew, and bill it as the most “dynamic” form of coffee you can get your hands on. This means not only is it good for your usual daytime pick-me-up, but it’s also an excellent base for a variety of cocktails. When creating uniforms for their mobile bar team to wear at festivals this summer, Kuka worked with ICON to create custom jumpsuits that allowed their staff to be as dynamic as their brew. (For more catering workwear inspiration, check some of our favourites here, and our guide to creating festival merchandise here.)
Square Mile Coffee Roasters aren’t boasting when they describe themselves as “synonymous with London coffee culture”. They have been going since 2008, and chances are if you’ve been to an independent cafe in London you’ve drunk one of their roasts. Their distinctive gryphon logo can be seen on everything from their coffee bags to custom flags, totes and tees. Real coffee nerds know that anyone sporting this logo is a fellow aficionado.
Allpress throw back to their origins with their ‘Retro Tee’, created with ICON in celebration of their 30th birthday. The design features the original logo created by their founders in the 80s, with zigzags to signify the grinding of coffee, and waves that represent the aroma of their spectacular brews. This is a great design that reinforces their pedigree amongst roasters, whilst capitalising on everyone’s love for retro design.
Workshop roast their beans in Bethnal Green, while also operating cafes across London. Like all the best roasters, they put emphasis on the transparency and sustainability of their process and their product. Part of that means nurturing the community around their business, and they have sponsored The 5th Floor cycle team since they started drinking Workshop coffee over 5 years ago. Workshop sell a number of tees and other merchandise, but their 5th Floor cycling ‘Musette’ collaboration is a great reflection of their approach to business. One side features the Workshop logo, which is then flipped on the reverse to resemble a pair of mountains.
View this post on Instagram
Made to measure. • One of the finer details of our musette shoulder bag sees a 250g bag of coffee fitting snuggly into its specially created internal pocket. • Created in partnership with @the5thfloor cycling team to celebrate five years of friendship, our collaboration musette is available in our Online Shop.
Based in Wales, Coaltown Coffee Roasters are passionate about supporting the area their founders grew up in. Ammanford, South Wales, is a mining town whose last Colliery closed in 2003; Coaltown aim to regenerate the local economy with their own ‘black gold’. Their pick and shovel logo pays homage to the miners who built the original community, expertly combining branding and politics.
North Star Coffee Roasters are one of the North’s most beloved roasters, and they place their suppliers at the heart of their business, working closely with farmers and NGO’s to ensure they are creating sustainable and reciprocal practices. This holistic and humanistic approach is reflected in their branding, which opts for a more organic feel rather than trying too hard to look cool.
View this post on Instagram
🤩A couple more shots of the amazing space, food and drink over at Seed & Cherry! They have launched with an incredible smoothie and the SP9 / batch brew filter brew menu. 🤤 The first selection on the brew bar is the Rwanda Twumba and Colombia Las Brisas. Both are super juicy and available through the SP9 & Aeropress combo or Moccamaster batch brewer. ℹ️ Remember that the Rwanda Twumba is contributing to the Firm Foundation project with @internationalservice too. 🤩👍
Want to create merch for your coffee business? ICON Printing offer fast turnaround printing on a range of garments, counting a number of clients in the coffee trade, as well as clients ranging from such as WeWork to Boiler Room and the Tate. Get a quote in 2 minutes online.