Coffee brands rarely show enough love for their origins. Rich and fertile lands in countries with climates conducive to coffee bean growth are utilised to cultivate products that get shipped to western countries and slapped behind a brand that's often more a reflection of the designer's toolbox than the coffee's heritage.
With Beastly Beans we wanted to attempt to put that right. The beans for this coffee are sourced from three countries with a plethora of history and culture; Colombia, Ethiopia and Guatemala. With the BB brand, we wanted to give legendary coffee legendary mascots, so set out to research the myths and legends that people local to these regions hold dear. We settled on Buda, La Tunda & El Sombreron - all weird and wonderful in their own, unique ways.
Those characters are front and centre on the BB identity, combined with illustrated patterns that reflect the tasting profiles of each coffee; flavours imbued into the beans by the local flora. In addition we created a series of flash design with the aim to champion the efforts of Beastly Beans to provide fairly-traded, biodiverse, carbon-neutral, sustainable and of course, delicious coffee.
'La Tunda is a myth of the Pacific coastal region of Colombia and Ecuador about a shapeshifting entity, resembling a human female, that lures people into the forests and traps them. It is capable of changing its shape to appear in the form of a loved one to lure its victims into the forest and feed them with shrimps (camarones peneídos) to keep them docile. Her shapeshifting abilities are said to be imperfect, as this doppelgänger of sorts would always have a wooden leg in the shape of a molinillo, a wooden utensil used to stir hot drinks such as chocolate or aguapanela.'
'Buda, the mythical being that figures centrally in Ethiopian supernatural cosmology, is popularly believed to possess the power of the evil eye. Cannibalistic and malevolent, a Buda spirit takes control of the human body, using it as a vehicle for its evil activities. The word B. can also refer to the persons possessed by Buda powers, often members of landless groups who make their living as skilled artisans, such as tanners, weavers (Weaving) and especially blacksmiths and potters (Pottery). These “B.-people” are widely believed to have the power of turning themselves into animals at night, mainly hyenas.
'El Sombrerón is one of the most famous legends of Guatemala. His main characteristics are always the same; a short man with black dress, a thick and brilliant belt; he wears a black, large hat and boots that make a lot of noise when he walks. He likes to ride horses and braid their tails and manes. When he cannot find horses, he braids the hair of dogs. He also likes to court young ladies who have long hair and big eyes. When he likes one in particular, he follows her, braids her hair, serenades to her with his silver guitar; but he also puts soil in her plate and she is not able to eat or sleep.'