This Isn’t a Box, This Is So Much More Than a Box

I recently made my first order with Fellow Drops, the text-to-order coffee service from the company that makes the most achingly beautiful coffee paraphernalia. It was a sampler set of four coffees from Onyx Coffee Lab, one of my favorite roasters.

Not too much longer, a small box, no more than a 5″ x 5″ x 5″ cube, arrived at my home. My initial reaction was disappointment, because clearly four bags of coffee couldn’t fit inside such a wee little box. My second reaction was befuddlement, as it took a while to figure out how to open the sucker. Once I did, ohhhhhhhhh my, was I in for a delightful surprise.

I’ve ordered previously from Onyx, and been impressed with the packaging, but this Rube Goldberg device takes the cake and almost makes you forget about the contents.

Step one was to cut through the packing tape and flip the two main sections of the box apart, which revealed a delightful monochrome selection of tiny print. Upon fetching my reading glasses further inspection, it’s a listing of the countries from which Onyx sources beans, the different coffee varietals they roast, and (for lack of a better term that doesn’t sound like it comes from a business school textbook) their coffee manifesto.

Flip the two sections out a couple more times, and you get….. well……. this:

Two small compartments, each with two 4 oz. bags of coffee. Included in the box were single-origin beans from Ethiopia and Guatemala, a sampling from a microlot produced by a Costa Rican farm and dried with a yellow honey process, and the Tropical Weather blend, one of Onyx’s staples, which takes beans from one single- origin coffee and combines two different processes.

Once the whole thing is laid out before you, it’s like opening the passageway to a secret Coffee Nerdery 101 class, with diagrams and drawings and lists showing you the growth process of the coffee plant, the global coffee growing belt, growing regions of key countries, elevations of plantations, recipes for espresso and filter/drip coffee, the ol’ flavor wheel, and proper terminology so you can wow your fellow coffee goons with incisive tasting notes. And even if you don’t give a whit about the information, the layout and illustrations are just gorgeous. I’m still mad at myself for putting it in the recycling bin.

And in case you didn’t catch the reference embedded in this post’s title, the care that went into making this delightful package came to mind when we recently watched Love Actually for the eight thousandth time and Rowan Atkinson popped up.

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