It’s nice to have friends as addicted to great coffee as you are. One such friend is the legendary Manny G, who recommends all things ‘coffee’ for us on our podcast. He displayed gratuitous kindness and sent me coffee from a roaster I’ve been anxious to try, Brandywine Coffee Roasters. This was a birthday surprise for me. I am very thankful his addictions run as strong as mine and that he shares a similar palate, because the coffee he sent me was terrific.
Packaging. The coffee showed up in a nondescript USPS flat rate mailer. This seems to be the status quo for most coffee roasters, and I was sadly disappointed that it’s the case for Brandywine. Their quirky brand identity led me to believe the coffee would surely come in some packaging that communicated their ‘craft’ style in a better way.
The bags themselves absolutely communicate Brandywine’s identity in a powerful and remarkable way. Each coffee has an individual, hand-drawn design printed onto the front. This bag depicted two kids sitting on the curb in front of a house, talking with one another. Just above the graphic is the show stopper: a real life wax seal. It looks great. It feels great. Nobody else is doing it, that I know of. I don’t know how they do it. Whether a machine does it en masse and it’s not the cool or not doesn’t matter. It looks super custom like someone took a significant amount of time out of their day to sit down and custom wax stamp it. They’re beautiful.
The back has coffee information stamped on it. The stamped look makes it look more approachable and ties well into their brand identity, but about a third of it is hard to read. There’s a give and take there. I really liked that the flavor notes and information are on the bag itself. It’s the same info that’s found on their website.
Coffee. Those flavor notes are: “Pineapple, Grape, syrupy body, and chocolate.” I’m not sure I got much of those flavors, but I really got a strong berry flavor. It was a naturally processed coffee from Santa Ana in El Salvador. I tried it in several brewing methods, including the Aeropress, the Kalita Wave 185, and the Blue Bottle Dripper. Each time, the fruity flavors and acidity were present and lively. It’s really a good example of the great flavors a natural coffee can have.
Conclusion. Brandywine Coffee Roasters are doing something really special with their branding and coffee. They claim to “love coffee that is sweet, complex, and juicy, an exciting and flavorful yet well-balanced cup.” I think they’ve successfully accomplished that. You won’t be disappointed in anything but the USPS envelope the coffee shows up in. 😉 Regardless of what form the package takes, what’s inside will truly impress you.