From bulk to bean
In just over a decade, a lot has changed in India when it comes to coffee. While great coffee has been produced in in India for more than 100 years, especially in the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, most of the beans were exported in bulk. In the tea drinking nation, coffee loving Indians and visitors had little choice of a decent cup of the dark fluid – let alone a flat white, cortado or americano. Adding to the misery is the frequent downgrading – since chicory has been routinely added to many popular Indian coffee brands to keep cost down, many believed that coffee was supposed to taste like the inferior chicory blend.
A visionary coffee plantation owner in Bengaluru had a plan to tap into the bourgeoning specialty coffee trend, often referred to as the third wave of the coffee – with Café Coffee Day, Starbucks and the likes representing the second wave.
Stereo Associates was assigned with developing the speciality coffee brand – from strategy and nae development, to storytelling and documentation of the people, processes and product behind the new brand.
While traditional coffee production for companies like Italian Lavazza and Illy – big buyers of Indian bulk coffee – focusses on scale and consistency, the focus in speciality coffee is more multidimensional. As a reference: you might want to buy a bottle of Italian red wine as it is, but if you add where it’s produced, the year it was bottled, the casa in which it was made in, that it is organic and produced in a limited number of bottles, chances are the quality improves and you would be willing to pay more and. The same applies to specialty coffee. So telling the story of the coffee is key. Apart from the bean variety – Arabica or Robusta – consumers are eager to know the details of the estate where the coffee was grown. They want to know how the beans were processed, if they are washed or natural, and if the workers were paid fairly. They want to rest assured that the beans were grown in synch with nature, harvested with respect and treated with respect for the environment. Finally, of course, they know that taste is dependent on the roasting – and have a preference for light, medium or a dark roast.
In this case the ambition was to sell the green coffee beans to micro roaster globally as well as establishing a chain of Indian speciality coffee outlets.
The name and logo took inspiration from the fact that storytelling was important, and the focus had to be on the beans themselves, to state that quality at each step in the process was important.
The colors were chosen to represent the lifecycle of a coffee bean – from unripe green, to ripe red – and back to green as the husk is removed, and the coffee beans made ready for roasting. An artist paint the coffee bushes and berries as decoration for coffee bags and interior decoration.
As an important part of the assignment was to document and showcase the processes of coffee making, we teamed up with excellent photographer and videographer Ture Andersen. Since our client had extended his expertise and started production in Lao, a rising coffee producing nation, we visited 6 estates in India and Lao to get deep insights into the coffee business – capturing every step of the process. The final shot took place at a micro roaster in Copenhagen.
Tone of Voice
Visual Identity Design