Do you remember VHS tapes? They’re back (in coffee form) thanks to Belfast’s Process Coffee

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Do you remember the VHS? The “Video Home System” was an icon of late 20th century media design, comprising a two-part closed loop of memory storage and display. The VHS player could be found in almost any home, sometimes built directly into a television, and would allow users to play media from the VHS tape. This tape, consisting of a physical analog tape on which moving images and sound were recorded, should be rewound after each use. Large archive centers—”video rental stores”—allowed users to “check out” tapes on demand, and extensive home collections were not uncommon, along with free rental privileges at libraries municipal.

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Yes, it’s hard to imagine a time when the media was limited to such a format. But clumsy as it is, VHS remains a visceral emblem of 20th century media consumption, and so it’s no surprise that it inspires the design of beautiful and ingenious consumable packaging here in the 21st. For more on this unique shape, we turn to Process Coffee of Belfast, Northern Ireland, whose founder, Ben Hamilton, harnessed deep VHS nostalgia to create a one-of-a-kind take on the coffee bag. modern. We were smitten with Process via their inclusion in a recent Dayglow Coffee subscription box and just needed to find out more about the brand’s unique approach to design, nostalgia and coffee.

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Tell us about Process Coffee!

Process is a coffee supply and lifestyle company. It was born from my passion for coffee and people in 2020, at the start of the pandemic… and it has taken different forms since its launch. I want people to be excited about coffee, excited about life, and deliver products that help you drink every day. I started by collaborating with some amazing roasters over the past couple of years, introducing their coffee to my community through the Process online store. Roasters like Hex, Onyx, and Creature kept me hooked at first. And then in October 2021, I launched my own coffee to share with the world and started roasting for myself.

Personally, it’s great great to be able to take my coffee journey further through roasting, and it’s a privilege to continue to feature other roasters alongside Process now through my own subscription service and in seeing my coffee piled up on retail shelves. cafes around the world.

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Who designed your unique packaging?

Process Coffee’s packaging was designed in collaboration with Angel & Anchor. It’s a Belfast-based branding studio and the founder is also one of my closest friends. I’ve worked with them on many projects over the years and they’ve always managed to stand out, so entrusting them with my vision for this coffee packaging concept was way easier than you might imagine. I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve created!

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Tell us about the design elements.

The packaging is truly experiential, and I wanted the experience to continue until you lift the box off the shelf to sip your way through your brew. There are loads of little Easter eggs that I want people to discover and experience for themselves as they love to open the box each time they choose it for their brew.

My memories of finding that favorite VHS on the shelf and the excitement that built up when you pushed it into the VCR is how I feel now picking up my Process coffee can and sliding the tray out of the pouch to reveal the coffee I’m brewing.

I’ve added a different brew recipe to the back of each of the four sleeve designs to help you get more engaged. These are just a few of my must-have brewing guides on different brewing methods, which I hope homies can use as a starting point for exploring each coffee. And if you collect all four boxes, you can save those recipes on your shelf for future beers.

Finally, the bag reminds you to “trust the process” as you take it out of the box and pour in your beans to get the first smell of the coffee you’re about to brew. The back of the bag says these coffees are experienced by you, to be shared with others, and I hope people pass these boxes around and share these special coffees.

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Which coffees are you currently passionate about?

I’ve been able to work with some amazing cafes so far and I’m just getting started! I’m super excited to be releasing new coffees from producer Yenni Esperanza soon, after launching with his Heat Shock Castillo from last year’s crop, which I source through Cata Coffee Export who work with some of the best young producers in Colombia. I can’t wait to release these coffees, but again, it’s just a privilege to bring coffees from different origins, growers and cooperatives, and do my best to deliver them to the best of my abilities. I put a lot of pressure on myself with every coffee I bring.

All Process Coffees are selected to showcase the origin, terroir, varietal, process and producer in the best possible way.

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Where is your coffee available?

First, you can head straight to process.coffee and purchase the currently available coffees. Worldwide shipping always! 🤙

You can also find Process Coffee ALL OVER and I love connecting with some of the most amazing people and cafes that have shared Process with their customers. There are too many department stores to name that are getting involved, but I must mention a few. Dayglow, Lukes Drug Mart, Revolver, Local, Rosslyn and Edge Coffee have been part of the PRO TEAM since its launch. Legends!

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What’s next for Process?

I’m always here for collaboration and I have some really exciting projects coming up this year. I can’t wait to share them with the world! And I’m excited to continue to share great products and experiences that connect a wider audience to specialty coffee, and to the history and journey we’re all on.

I also strive to improve my roast with every coffee I bring. It’s a big problem ! And as soon as the sun comes up here in Ireland (which it doesn’t often do), I’ll grab my skateboard and host as many coffee sessions as I can over the summer.

Thanks.

Explore much more in the Coffee Design archives.


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