Many of our staff and clients are coffee aficionados. Others consider themselves merely casual drinkers. However strong their passion for coffee may be, for the past four years, we’ve created unique java blends to celebrate coffee, camaraderie and integrated communications.
I got to help craft this year’s blend, “Howllelujah,” featuring bright Ethiopian Yrgacheffee and earthy Guatemala Huehuetanango and roasted by our longtime agency friend Jeremy Raths, owner of The Roastery. To a self-described utilitarian coffee drinker like myself, the process revealed the discriminating taste and intense mindset required to choose beans that would satisfy the refined palates of coffee lovers.
After getting a feel for the beans (literally), it was time to smell each aroma, starting with the grounds of each type of bean. Dark, light, wet, dry – each roast offers its own unique verbiage within the language of coffee, and all are on full display on first whiff.
Once our nostrils had their fill, it was time to taste. With water heated so precisely that it cools to just the right temperature in the walk from the heater to the coffee table, the grounds form a thick, foamy film that locks the flavor beneath it. After a few minutes (enough to let the water become drinkable but not cold), we broke the crust, took one last whiff and dug in…
… But not with the same fervor with which you attack your morning cup. This part’s a bit like a wine tasting (or at least, what I imagine a wine tasting is like): Sip the coffee quickly with lots of air to let it spray every taste bud, but don’t swallow it. We identified the taste and smell of each roast to find out how they would match up once they hit our colleagues’ cups.
With our brew selected, we then undertook the creative challenge of giving it a visual appeal that could match its powerful taste. Pulling from SCG’s best and brightest copywriters, graphic designers and all-around marketing expertise, we composed the “Howllelujah Chorus Blend” to complement the roast with an equally bright theme.
Creating a full-bodied experience, we nestled the pound bags with their original, eye-popping labels and packaged them in faux straw with our signature seal. At last, Howllelujah was ready for its destination inside the coffee mugs of our clients across the United States.
When our friends brew up their great blend, we’re confident they’ll experience everything behind it – like the care that went into roasting the beans and the subtleties of selecting them – in addition to the well-rounded taste. “Howllelujah,” indeed!