Portland’s own Roseline Coffee marries beautiful, practical packaging with delightful, light-roasted coffee. We spoke with owner Marty Lopes, as well as Jolby & Friends, creators of the packaging design.
Ray: I’m Ray
Kandace: I’m Kandace.
Ray: This is Unpacking Coffee. This week, Roseline Coffee Roasters of Portland Oregon.
Kandace: Yeah Portland!
Ray: They are founded in 2012 let’s say. 2012. It’s owned by Marty Lopes.
Kandace: Who was the coffee buyer for Barista for a few years.
Ray: He came in and talked to us a little bit.
Marty:: I started out as a barista in a local neighborhood bakery that I was so stoked to get a job at. So when I first moved here, I worked at Extracto Coffee House in Northeast Portland. They were a nice shop and, I was really lucky to get a start with them. From there I went to Barista Cafe, and then from there I got to start Roseline coffee.
Ray: Do you do the buying and the roasting at Roseline?
Marty:: Certainly. We’re also a roaster. Our operations are really simple. We just buy green coffee and roast it and put it in bags essentially.
Where we really focus our effort is just searching for the highest quality product that we can find. We need to have a very holistic approach to what we’re doing. It’s not just roasting. It’s not just sourcing the green coffee. It’s the QC and the tacking and the delivery. There’s a lot of thought and effort put into understanding what consumers want…and really just trying to be a positive member of our local community in Portland.
Ray: Another thing that’s interesting about them is they don’t have a retail shop at all. It’s just basically wholesale.
So, right now you can get it at Barista. The Hounds Tooth in Austin is kind of like, they carry a number of different roasters kind of like the model that Barista does.
Kandace: We’re gonna be in Austin.
Ray: Yeah so we’re gonna check that out.
Kandace: That goes on our list.
Ray: Yeah, it goes on the bucket list.
Kandace: Yeah, we’re coming for you Austin!
What did you talk about Ray? You and Marty? This was yesterday right?
Ray: Well one of the things that Marty and I talked about was the story behind the spine packaging.
Marty:: This iteration of our bags right now is like, the first iteration that I’m like, okay I’m semi-happy with this. You know our current bag setup is a combination of how can we make this look really nice but also get a lot of flexibility out of the packaging. We’re looking at form and function. These are stock bags that we source and we have our hot stamp design printed on there and then we had a custom die-cut label designed so that we can do short run printing and have a little variability like, what coffee it is, a splash of color, and obviously adjusting the actual roast date.
It looks nice and there’s only one sticker to apply. Blakely Dadson is the original artist of Roseline font and our rose icon. I’m gonna be okay with my grandkids you know looking at this and it’s not gonna change.
Jolby and Friends— they’re a local design crew. So they helped us design our hot stamp and then they put together the actual label design. Once I saw this design I was just like yeah this is it.
So how we set this up is our single origin coffees are all in white bags and then our blends are all in black bags. The components of the blend can change, but it’s a really familiar thing to the customer every single time, and they can be like, “oh, I know that one”.
Brett Stenson: The original bag that he started with was more of like a scrappy, sort of like we need to just get this bag out there. For me, as a designer, I wanted to elevate packaging to fit the flavor because it felt…it felt luxurious I guess to me. So a lot of the design is actually based on like imperial, you know like kings or like cigar boxes and I wanted to tie in the rose stuff because it’s Portland, and this is Rose city.
So, before it felt like the coffee spoke louder than the bag and so we wanted to really try to push with Marty like how can we make this bag feel worth even more than it actually costs.
Instead of just like putting a logo on it and then putting a little paper label how can we make the whole bag feel like a complete package.
Steven Kasprzyk: We could come up with a million ideas that would cost him five dollars a bag. That’s not what he needed or wanted, so that was really important too.
We actually spend quite a bit of time picking colors based on the flavor or the region that it comes from. Like this is Molasses cacao and coconut. So, in our heads that fits that flavor profile I guess.
He could have, you know ten different Guatemalans. We don’t want them all to be blue, because some may not feel blue. You know necessarily…
For Marty, it felt like the coffee was super premium, but he didn’t want to be too flashy.
Not every panel is designed and not every square inch is designed. I think, when you look at a client, as like, a personality or something like that, it just helps so much to really narrow it down.
Kandace: Also, we had a great conversation with Marty as he was leaving about coffee in general and… source trips. It was a good reminder of how interconnected coffee is, what a good agricultural product is, and at the end of the day people like Marty are making this phenomenal coffee you know the money is going back to farmers and that’s a good thing.
Ray: Roseline Coffee Roasters of Portland, Oregon.