Coffee Guide: Nice Package

6 Portland Coffee Roasters with Primo Packaging

From mason jars to arabesque fonts, these beans stand out on our city's crowded coffee shelves.

By Benjamin Tepler February 20, 2017 Published in the March 2017 issue of Portland Monthly

On our crowded coffee shelves, image is more important than ever. Sterling Coffee co-owner Aric Miller describes the challenge: “We’re all sourcing the best coffee in the world, roasting on the best equipment, using the most talented baristas. The only thing that separates us, at this point, is packaging.”

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After helping move the needle for craft coffee, Stumptown hired out local creative agency Omfg.Co to reinvent the brown paper bag. Their solution, the kangaroo pouch info card—a removable slip with info like region, growing method, and elevation—is now used by roasters around the world. $15–28 per lb at most Portland grocery stores

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We love Roseline’s gilt, arabesque design, courtesy local artist Blakely Dadson and creative agency Jolby & Friends. For owner Marty Lopes, the look represents “refinement, elegance and intention through years of study and practice.” We concur; this coffee is damn good. $17–19 at Good Coffee and Woodlawn Coffee and Pastry

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Miller, who designed this grand mausoleum of a bag, says he spent months looking for the perfect font before returning to good old Times New Roman. “Silver is timeless—look at companies like Barney’s New York. Plus, the rectangle is a ‘golden rectangle,’ so we’ve got that divine proportion working for us.” $13–17 at Zupan’s and Powell's

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Tanager takes inspiration from its namesake migratory songbird, which plays a role in balancing various coffee-growing ecosystems. It’s a nod to Tanager’s serious focus on the environmental and social aspects of the coffee trade. $12–16 at the Arbor Lodge and Cathedral Coffee

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Owner Joel Domreis says he’s been using mason jars marked with his caffeinated coat of arms since 2004, when he first started cycling to deliver his prized beans. “I don’t think it makes financial sense,” he admits, “but it’s waterproof.” $12–15 at World Foods and Market of Choice ($1 refund with jar return)

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Dapper & Wise

Seeing D&W’s rainbow of pastel colors in a sea of monotone brown is like witnessing a Pleasantville-style awakening. Designer Seth Lunsford matches the color gradient to the level of fruitiness in the beans. Easter egg: the bag's edges hide a kaleidoscope pattern that matches the roastery’s wallpaper. $1318 at Whole Foods and New Seasons 

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