SCA announces Specialty Coffee Expo Design Lab winners

The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) announced Elixr Coffee, Kickapoo Coffee Roasters and Soma as winners of the Design Lab competition at the 2018 Specialty Coffee Expo in Seattle on 20 April.

Design Lab is an exhibition space within Expo that showcases the best design in coffee and the stories behind each of them.

This year’s elements included coffee packaging, vessel design, and cafe spaces design and aesthetic. The SCA stated that great coffee is synonymous with great design, and increasingly serves a critical function in distinguishing specialty coffee.

A panel of judges representing Guild leadership and independent designers carefully evaluated hundreds of submissions for originality, function, and sustainability.

Elixr Coffee won Best Packaging Design, thanks to its creator, Mike Smith of Smith and Diction.

“[The goal of the design was to] move to a completely recyclable package design, along with offering a simple, always neat, never wrinkled look,” Elixr Coffee said. “We took inspiration from the Chemex, which is our main mode of manual brew at our cafe.”

Kickapoo Coffee Roasters won Best Design Space thanks to is large team of influences: Lead Designer Caleb Nicholes, with assistance by Allison Sandbeck, Jessica Hooper, TJ Semanchin, Brendan Karlstad, and Paul Deutsch.

They aimed to create a space that would inspire creativity and connection in its small and vibrant community.

“We wanted our customers to feel elevated in the space, to create places for intimacy, as well as fostering an open social atmosphere,” Kickapoo Coffee Roasters says.

“We are inspired by many of the cafes the Blue Bottle has opened in the last few years. The Intelligentsia cafe in Logan Square was a great source of inspiration as well.”

Soma won Best Design Vessel.

“Our goals were to create a sophisticated vessel that allowed users to experience the use of ceramics on the go,” Soma says. 

“The product was created to fill a void in the marketplace – a piece that mimics the enjoyment of drinking from a ceramic mug, with travel and on-the-go-capabilities and a leak-proof lid. We have incorporated natural and sustainable materials with a sleek design and neutral colours that allow it to fit seamlessly into the existing Soma product range.”

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