This is it, folks. It’s finally December. 

2016 is officially coming to a close and there’s one thing most of us can agree on: Everyone who works here, and everyone reading this post, is a human being. 

Human beings suck at a lot of things, but we’re generally very good at finding the positives among the negatives. Seeing the silver lining at the end of the tunnel. Starting fresh. 

And that’s how we’re choosing to end 2016 around here. We are, after all, based in the freshest city of fresh starts, a city founded on the idea of reinventing yourself, on showing up broke but leaving rich. 

We’re ending 2016 with a new lot of coffees packed in brand new bags. 

It took us entirely too long to make these new bags… seven years, in fact, but when you have an in-house designer and you live and breathe the design process sometimes the temptation to scrap the whole thing and start fresh is just too strong. 

We also had to wait for green bag technology to catch up with what plastic bags have been doing for years, namely creating an effective barrier between our sweet little brown beans and the big bad outside world. We finally found that bag in the Biotré line of products, a home-compostable bag that keeps coffee as fresh as its ugly plastic counterparts. Home-compostable means it’s not commercially compostable (yet), but if you throw this baby in your community garden it’ll be gone a couple of months into the new year.

As far as the actual design goes, we ended up looking for inspiration outside of the coffee world, and found most of it in the wine world: in their clean labels, their minimalist designs and the information they choose to share with their customers. We didn’t want any bullshit mission statements or a semi-mythical origin story. We didn’t want to blow any smoke with “honest trade” or “direct trade” (even though that’s what we do) because there’s really no industry standards for either of those things.

We wanted to emphasize the coffee itself--just a little esoteric blurb on the taste, the location it was grown, and the harvest date. We were actually so dedicated to keeping the outside simple that we put some information where the sun don’t shine – namely, inside the bag. On the inner lining you’ll find all of the parameters for all of the different brewing methods we could think of.

Visually, though, that’s not very exciting. We admit it. So in an effort to not only tantalize your taste buds but also stimulate your eye-holes, we delved back to our artsy roots and enlisted a rotating cast of artists to adorn the fronts of our bags. This first round features Paul Madonna and Izabela Dawid Wolf, and there will be more to follow every time we release a new round of coffees. 

Speaking of the coffees, can we tell you a joke? Two Rwandans, a Colombian, a Nicaraguan, a Kenyan, a Guatemalan and an Ethiopian all walk into a cafe, and we have no idea what happens because we’re coffee roasters, not comedians. They’re all delicious, though, and we’re excited to offer them to you in your brand new bags. 

So that’s it, really: two artists, seven new coffees, and some brand new bags to end this year on a high note and start fresh as a phoenix in 2017. 

Happy New Year, fellow humans.