This project came about from my good friend and legendary Long Beach hip hop emcee LMNO and Carlos, who started his own company, Mestizo Coffee, that proudly celebrates Mexican and Mexican-American culture and heritage. They had discussed doing a limited run of single origin Ethiopian Harrar in one pound bags.
We had our first conference call in April of '21, laying out dimensions, directions, dos and don'ts. They had come up with the name Ceremony, after researching Ethiopian coffee, noticing that in many pictures a dozen or so cups being filled by a jebena, or Ethiopian and Eritrean coffee pot. Drinking coffee was not just an activity or necessity, it was a ceremony.
Fusing West Coast underground hip hop and East African coffee culture was bound to be a challenge, but this is where I have the most fun.
I knew immediately I would be relying heavily on Ethiopian imagery, the jebena, the cups, maybe inflections of Geʽez, written script of the Amharic language. I also feel like the unmistakable shot of Los Angeles is downtown with mountains tucked away in back. To maintain consistency with the brand, I continued its black, white, and red color palette, with heavy line work and high contrast; something with shelf appeal that stood out amongst the Dunkin and Starbucks of the world.
One pound bags are available for a limited time at Mestizo Coffee and select independent coffee shops.
Proposed Package Designs
An independent non-alcoholic brewery in Bridgeport, CT & a naturally flavored sparkling water company in Newton, MA.