Vic Books is as much a part of life at Victoria University as pressing buttons to open doors (confusing first years since forever), the daily struggle to summit the vicious Mount Street in time for class, and traffic jams on level three of the Kirk Building.
I speak from experience when I say that Vic Books is an oasis in a desert of 50-page required readings, somniferous statistics lectures, and assignment deadlines stretching to the horizon. In fact, I suspect that the Peoples Coffee expertly served by Vic Books baristas might be indirectly responsible for the completion of many degrees in recent years; whose holders might otherwise have slept through the majority of their lectures.
But – dear caffeine-addicted science undergrad – Vic Books and Peoples Coffee aren’t just about keeping you awake in class. We think that VUW students are a pretty socially conscious demographic, and we want to honour that by connecting you with not only the steps involved in our bean to cup process, but the people. We wanted to demonstrate to you, in a visual, interactive, and functional way, that every time you stumble off the number 18 bus and pick up your cup of lecture-fuel, you are part of a connection that benefits everyone involved, and in which everyone is equally important.
And what better way to do that than literally putting their faces in your hand? The new Vic Books cup features three faces, and one blank space. The first face is Don Wilfredo, a person so close to our hearts that we named our house espresso blend after him. We’ve been buying beans from his fair trade certified Nicaraguan cooperative pretty much since day one. Some of those beans will make it to Vic Books, and some of those beans will make it to your takeaway coffee, with Don Wilfredo’s face on it… How’s that for crop to cup?
But there are more people involved in the process, and these contributions are equally valuable. The next face is that of Rene Macaulay, our Roaster; responsible not only for the delicate flavour profile of your cup, but for helping to foster and maintain equitable relationships with the growing cooperatives we source from. Rene travels to origin regularly (he’s currently in Ethiopia), where he meets cooperative representatives and coffee growing communities; with a view to not only sourcing the best coffee, but understanding the issues affecting those farming communities, and collaborating on ways we can address those issues through our supply chain and partnership.
The next face, and possibly the most recognisable to you – O’ coffee-guzzling Vic Books veteran, is your friendly Peoples Coffee barista (or one of them) Dan Minson. Dan has worked everywhere great Peoples Coffee can be found – Constable Street, Vic Books, and now the celebrated Lamason’s Brew Bar. He’s even done a stint in the Roastery. To add another mind-bending dimension of meaning to your coffee vessel, it turns out Dan is as good an illustrator as he is a barista; in fact, his illustration of the Big Lebowski’s The Dude, stuck to the grinder hopper in Vic Books one day, inspired the idea for the cups, and naturally Dan was commissioned to do the illustrations.
But we can’t neglect the last link in in the VicBooks coffee cycle – and that is you, dear coffee-fiending psych major. That’s why there’s a blank space just waiting for your name to be written on it. And, if you find yourself with the urge to mindlessly doodle in your lecture, why not doodle your face right on to our coffee cup, thus completing the cycle of coffee? Better yet – tweet or instagram your drawing with the hashtag #vicpeoples and go in the draw to win coffee each week. (twitter: @vicbks @peoplescoffeenz insta: @vicbookz @peoplescoffeenz). And to that mysterious desktop portrait artist from last year (y’all know who I’m talking about)… we’re expecting great things from you.
The new Vic Books/Peoples Coffee cups are our attempt to demonstrate the purity, and personal nature of our supply chain. And to do our duty to you by showing you not only where, but who your coffee comes from – and who benefits from the money you spend on it. They’re also our attempt to redirect your doodling energy away from those poor lecture-theatre desks.
February 27th, 2015
Posted In: Uncategorized